How to Restore Apps and Games to Your iPhone or iPad

A screenshot of the App Store


One of the great benefits of having a digital app collection is the ability to easily restore your purchases without paying for them again. This is great if you had an issue and restored your iPhone or iPad to factory default, or simply upgraded to a newer device. It also means you delete apps to save space on your iPad or iPhone knowing you can always download them again in the future. And it's pretty simple to download an app you've already purchased. You don't even need to remember the exact name of the app.

  1. First, launch the App Store. If you have a lot of apps downloaded to your iPad and don't want to hunt for the App Store icon, you can use the Spotlight Search feature to quickly find and launch any app. 

    App Store icon on an iPad
  2. Once the App Store is opened, tap your profile picture at the top-right corner of the screen. (The profile button doesn't show up on the search screen, so you may need to tap Today on the tab at the bottom for it to show up.)

    Profile button on iPad App Store
  3. Tap Purchased from the profile settings. If you have Family Sharing turned on, you may need to tap My Purchases from a second screen.

    Purchased button on App Store Account on iPad
  4. At the top of the purchased list, touch "Not on This iPhone" or "Not on This iPad" to narrow the apps down to those you no longer have installed on the device.

  5. Scroll down the list until you locate the app and simply tap the cloud button next to the app icon to restore it to the iPad.

    iCloud button to re-download a previously purchased app on iPad
  6. If you have an older device or haven't upgraded to the latest version of the iOS operating system, you may be warned that you aren't on the version supported by the app. You can choose to download the last version of the app that supported your operating system or choose to update iOS to the latest version before downloading the app. 

You can also simply search for an app in the App Store. Previously purchased apps will have the cloud button rather than having a price. You can even search for apps in Spotlight Search without opening the App Store directly.