iExplorer Support

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

Last Updated: Jan 02, 2018 12:20PM CST
Beginning with iOS 8.3, Apple blocked access to the Apps directory for any apps from the iOS App Store that don't have iTunes File Sharing enabled (which is a setting determined and set by the developer of every iOS app). The good news is that you can still access most app files in iExplorer and transfer them to your computer in the Backup Explorer section (within the Backup section), and for the Apps section in iExplorer, you'll now see 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 the Backup section in the left panel for the connected iPhone or iPad or any local iTunes backup in the Browse iTunes Backups section.  
  2. Click on the Backup Explorer section within the backup (just one below the main Backup header).
  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. 
Then for the Apps section, when you select the main app folder for an app with iTunes File Sharing enabled in iOS 8.3 or later, it will load the contents of the Documents subfolder of the app. You won't be able to access the Library or Tmp folder like you used to be able to do prior to iOS 8.3.  

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 in iExplorer's Apps section and ask them to release an update to enable file sharing. It's extremely easy for them to enable it. 


The only apps that aren't affected by this in iOS 8.3-11 are ones installed via an Enterprise app certificate, TestFlight, or Xcode on a Mac. The files in those apps installed specially outside the App Store can still be fully accessed in the Apps section of iExplorer in iOS 8.3-11.

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 all iPhones, iPads, and iPods no matter which version of iOS. Just make sure you are using the most current version of iExplorer 4.1. 

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 its own method and app tool used to Jailbreak since Apple is constantly releasing updates to iOS that include a patch to 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 Jailbreak sites or tools, and if you do choose to Jailbreak, it's at your own risk, and we recommend that only advanced users attempt to do so. It's also highly recommended to back up your device in iTunes before Jailbreaking in case you need to or decide to restore from a backup.) 

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