iOS Tip: Get a List of Apps on Your iOS Device

There may be a time when you want to get a list of all the apps on your iOS device. One reason for this would be to go through your iTunes library and delete all the apps you no longer use.

You can’t view or copy any such list in iTunes; the best you get is a view of your iOS device’s home screens, and their apps, like this:

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But there is a way to find such a list. First, back up your iOS device. To do this, you need to connect it to your computer and sync it. If you have the device set to back up to iCloud, then you need to back up it to your Mac. To do this, click on the iOS device in iTunes, then click the Summary tab, and look at the Backups section.

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Click Back Up Now, and wait for the backup to finish.

Next, go to the Library folder in your home folder (the one with the house icon and your user name). To do this, go to the Finder, press the Option key, then click on the Go menu and choose Library.

Go to the /Application/MobileSync/Backup folder. You’ll see folders with long alpha-numeric names; there should be one for each of your iOS devices (if you have more than one device). Look for an info.plist file inside one of these folders.

Open this file with any text editor, and you’ll see something like this near the top of the file:

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You’ll find a list of all the apps on your device; the names may not be the exact names of the apps, but you should be able to figure them out.

(It’s worth noting that you can view a list of apps on your iPhone, in Settings > General > Usage, but you can’t copy or export this list.)