MacMost Now 832: Organizing Your iOS Apps With iTunes 11

By syncing your iOS device with your Mac or PC, you can use iTunes 11 to organize your apps. You can sort your iTunes app library by size or date to remove old apps you no longer use. You can also search for apps on your device and re-arrange them using iTunes.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at how to use iTunes 11 to organize the apps on your iPhone and iPad.

So if you sync your Mac and your iOS device then you will have your apps in both places. As a matter of fact you may have at lot more on your Mac because you are storing them all there and you only have a selection on your iOS device. Either way when you go into iTunes you can go and select Apps to view your library of apps. These are all the apps that you have stored on your Mac on iTunes.

In Icon View it is only somewhat useful. They should be in alphabetical order and you can kind of scroll through them and see what apps you've got. If there are some old apps here that you don't want anymore you can select it and hit the delete key to delete them.

But it is much more useful if you actually go to the List View. In the List View you can sort by clicking on the top here, the top of each column. Click twice it will sort in reverse. So for instance if you wanted to sort by size you can sort here and see what your largest apps are. So perhaps if you have some large apps and it is a game you are not playing any longer you can select it and delete it clearing off space from the iTunes library on your Mac.

You can also sort in other ways. For instance by Date Added or Purchase Date. That way you can go back and or reverse the sort here and see which apps you downloaded the longest time ago and that way perhaps you can also see some more that you can get rid of. So by sorting here in the List View and selecting and deleting apps you can better maintain your library of apps.

Now remember just because you have deleted it here doesn't mean that you can't get it again. Once you have purchased an app you can always redownload it as long as the app is still available of course. So if there is an app that you think, well I don't need it right now but in the future I may want to play that game again. As long as the game is still available in the App Store you can go back and instead of purchasing it will just have a download link.

Now what about on your device. In iTunes here we can click here and see that I have three devices. So let's jump to my iPad as an example. I've got some various tabs at the top and you want to click Apps, of course, to view your apps. On the left you will see a list of all the apps in your iTunes Library. On the right you will see each screen of your device. So you go through it. This is kind of a mock-up of the screen that you would normally see if you were looking, in this case, at my iPad.

So if your App hasn't been installed over there, is not presently here, I can simply click this button here to install it. If it is already installed it will say Remove and I can click this button to remove it. Now there is no other view here so you have this kind of icon list view but you can search. So for instance you can quickly search and put a term in there and it will narrow down what you've got in there. You can quickly get to an app and see if it is installed or not and take action.

Also another cool thing you can do if you don't know where the app is on your device. Say you've lost it, it is in some sub folder and you can't seem to find it. You can click here and double click and it will actually jump to that app. So here it has jumped to screen 3 and inside the sub folder and showed me where that app is. So this is a handy way to be able to find that app icon that you never seem to remember where you put on your device.

You can also, of course, used these screens over here to organize your apps which may be a little easier if you've got a lot of apps. For instance I can click and rearrange apps and move them to different screens just by dragging down here at the bottom and it will move it. You can delete apps, that are not the preinstalled apps. Notice apps like Messages and Calendar cannot be deleted. You roll over them. But apps that you have installed like Twitter and Podcasts you can delete from the device. They are still in your library so you can just reinstall them but it is a quick way to kind of maintain what is on your device by using iTunes on your Mac or PC.

Also a few other things I want to point out here. There is the all important check box here called Automatically install new apps, right under this list. So this if it is checked this may explain why, if you don't like this feature, when you download an app to your iPhone and then you sync your iPad to your Mac you may notice that the app is automatically comes over. This is particularly tricky if you have one computer and you maintain several different devices, maybe across family members, and say your kid downloads an app to their device and then you find that you get that app eventually on your device. Well this is the setting that will do that through the syncing process.

Also you notice at the bottom this meter here that will tells you what is on your device. So of instance I can see that I have a lot of apps on this device. I've got some videos and everybody always asks me about Other.

Well what Other is is data. Various apps have data. So it may be as simple as a game having the Save Game state and maybe something like Pages having your Pages documents or Keynote having Keynote documents. Other apps may store tons of stuff in there. For instance Mapping and Tracking apps may store lots of different maps on them. So for instance on my Audio app for audio books will put a lot in other if I store a lots of audio books in there. So that's exactly what Other is. It is basically your data being used by the different apps.

So with iOS 6 it is not necessary at all for you to maintain your iOS device by syncing it with your Mac. But it can be very useful because you can use it to organize not only things like your music and your videos but also your apps through using these tools.

Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 18 Responses to “MacMost Now 832: Organizing Your iOS Apps With iTunes 11”

    2/27/13 @ 6:41 am

    Dear Mr. Rosenzweig, thank you very much for this (and all) your video(s). It was very helpful. However, I have one question please. During your demonstration in the video you pointed the cursor to an area in iTunes that displays your devices that contain the apps in iTunes however the cursor point was hidden behind the smaller screen on the video that displays you speaking. Could you please tell me where I click in iTunes to display my devices. Many thanks! R. Huey

      2/27/13 @ 7:14 am

      Assuming you are running iTunes 11, and you have the left sidebar off (default), then you will see a button on the upper right with the name of your device. But if the left sidebar is on (so it looks like iTunes 10) then the devices appear in the left sidebar. You can see it in where it says “iPad” in the upper right.

    2/27/13 @ 9:21 am

    Once again, I have learned something basic that I hadn’t noticed before…the list view! Also, thanks for the little explanation of ‘other’, I always wondered about that.

    3/1/13 @ 6:32 am

    Great tip, thanks once again. I’m finding I have lots of “duplicate” apps for iPhone and iPad. I would like to delete the iPhone apps on my iPad. But there doesn’t seem to be any way to distinguish easily which is which. Perhaps the iPad app is ALWAYS bigger? (I notice on your demo it is slightly bigger, for instance). It gets confusing because the app icons are exactly the same on the iPad — so it’s difficult to tell which one you are deleting. Would be easier to manage on the desktop.

      3/1/13 @ 6:38 am

      Try setting it to “Sort by Kind” at the top. Then search for one of those apps using the search box just to the right of that. It should show both apps, but it will be clearer which one is which because of the sorting.

    3/1/13 @ 6:40 am

    Ok, thanks. I’ve been fussing around with this for a while but haven’t had an organized approach. But it’s time to clean up because I’ve got many more apps than data of any mind.

    3/1/13 @ 7:32 am

    Your videos are always informative but this was especially worthwhile because someone finally explained the “Other” category! Thanks.

    3/6/13 @ 5:00 pm

    Hi Gary, I have iTunes 11 but my devices are not showing top left. Could this be because I’ve never synced my iPad Mini to my Mac, only over the air to iCloud?

      3/6/13 @ 5:02 pm

      Are you connected via a cable? If using a cable it should show. If not, you have to use a cable first to sync at least once and turn on wifi syncing.

    4/1/13 @ 9:32 am

    Doesn’t it make sense to just keeps apps on the computer for those that store important info, such as medical history, journals, password keeper, trip checklists, etc? why keeps all the apps on a 64-128 GB SSD laptop where free space is a premium?
    I’m thinking about deleting most of them since syncing ipad/iphone happens less often and then there are “64 apps ready for update”. Thoughts? Thank you for your helpful videos!

      4/1/13 @ 9:47 am

      Don’t confuse storing apps with storing app data. App data is separate. That is part of your backup. The video here discusses just the apps themselves.
      Most apps are tiny, using very little space. Only a few apps, like some big games, use any real space.

    4/5/13 @ 3:29 pm

    I have an ipad mini and itunes 11. I am trying to sort my apps in itunes but the columns you have in your video don’t show up. I’ve tried every which way to locate them. I have my ipad device plugged into my computer, shows my device in itunes 11, but with a lot less options and no three lights on the top left. I simply don’t have required columns to be able to move apps into folders.
    Thank you Jade

      4/5/13 @ 7:44 pm

      It sounds like maybe you are looking at the apps in your iTunes library, not the apps on your iPad. Select the iPad and you should see Summary, Info, Music, etc. across the top.

        4/6/13 @ 4:19 pm

        Thank you Gary, now I see. At first this opened automatically and then it didn’t, always easy when you know how.

    4/7/13 @ 8:24 pm

    Hi Gary, I just restored my iPhone. I synced with apps I want on the iphone. Now I need to put them into folders. Is there not a third party application that can make the interface easier than doing it in iTunes. I find the iTunes interface setup for this restricting.

    Thanks and I look forward to your reply.

      4/7/13 @ 8:56 pm

      It doesn’t get any easier than doing it in iTunes. It is just drag and drop. Seems pretty optimal to me.

    5/17/13 @ 9:58 pm

    How can I use iTunes to get the last played date for each app for each device?

    I want to know if the 338 apps that iTunes tells me I have updates for today are even installed and if they are installed if they are played otherwise I’ll delete them and save my time and bandwidth.

      5/18/13 @ 7:49 am

      You can’t. It doesn’t have that information. Just go through them in small groups when you have a minute here and there and remove ones that you no longer use.

Comments Closed.