iExplorer Support

The Apps section isn't showing all of my app folders. Why is that?

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2017 08:46PM CST
Beginning with iOS 8.3, Apple has blocked access to most of the Apps directory for apps downloaded from the App Store, and the same limited access is in their latest iOS 10 release as well. Our latest iExplorer update has restored read/write access to the Documents folder of apps with iTunes File Sharing enabled, and you can still access most app files and transfer them to your computer in the Backup Explorer section of iExplorer and iBrowse. iExplorer now has a toggle button to "Show All Apps" which will either hide or show those apps that do not have iTunes File Sharing enabled. By default, the Apps section will hide those inaccessible app folders since they can't be accessed directly anyway in iOS 8.3-11, so you'll see a much shorter list than the total number of apps that are actually on your iPhone or iPad. 

Here's how to access the files in the Backups section instead:
  1. Click on Backups in the left panel. 
  2. Click on Backup Explorer below it.
  3. Find the app folder in the list which will be named after its bundle ID in a reverse domain format (com.developer.AppName). 
  4. Double-click on the folder to open it, and you'll see the Documents and Library folders inside most app folders which contain all of your personal app files (i.e. game saves, documents, media, etc.).  
  5. Simply drag/drop any files to your computer or right-click and choose Export to folder. 

Only the developer of an iOS app can enable iTunes File Sharing, so we encourage all of you to contact the developer of any iOS apps that you want to be able to access and ask them to release an update to enable file sharing. It's extremely easy for them to do. 

The only apps that aren't affected by this in iOS 8.3-10 are ones installed via an Enterprise app certificate, TestFlight, or via Xcode on a Mac. The files in those apps installed outside the App Store can still be fully accessed in the Apps section of iExplorer or iBrowse in iOS 8.3-10.

Since this is a change on Apple's end with how iOS works and how the file system can be accessed, all other iDevice transfer utilities have the same limited access to the Apps folder in iOS 8.3-11, and any devices running iOS 8.2 and earlier are obviously not affected by it. iExplorer is still fully compatible with iOS 8.3-11, and it's only the Apps section that's different. All other sections of iExplorer should be fully accessible for any and all iPhones, iPads, and iPods. 

Apple has been slowly locking down the app folders since iOS 6 when they made the app bundle or .app (dot app) folder read-only and then even hid it entirely beginning in iOS 8. The article below explains:

​Why can I no longer make changes to the .app (dot app) subdirectory of an app? 

The only way to access those folders is if you Jailbreak your iPhone or iPad and install Apple File Conduit "2" from Cydia. Jailbreaking your iOS device will give you full admin access to the Root folder of iOS which means read and write access to all app folders and files. You can find out more by searching the web with terms such as "Jailbreak iOS __" and key in your exact iOS version & iPhone or iPad model). Each iOS version (major and minor) will have different tools and methods used to Jailbreak, each using a different method, since Apple is always releasing updates that close the holes used to exploit and hack iOS since the same holes in iOS can be used with malicious intent as well. (NOTE: We do not endorse any of them whatsoever and for all of them, if you do choose to Jailbreak, it's at your own risk, and we recommend that only advanced users attempt to do so.)
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