Here’s how to get the app store back in iTunes

Alex Kidman 10 October 2017 NEWS


If you were annoyed by Apple's slicing away of apps from iTunes, there's a way to get it back.

Apple's recent shift to iOS 11 saw the removal of 32-bit apps from the platform, something that Apple had signalled all the way back at its WWDC conference earlier this year, but it also saw an update to iTunes that removed the iOS App Store entirely from the iTunes interface.

While iTunes has become somewhat bloated in recent years, the removal of the App Store meant that it was no longer possible to load apps already downloaded onto a PC or Mac direct to an iPhone or iPad, meaning extra data downloads when setting up a new device. It also meant that there was no way to load apps that Apple had previously approved but that had since been pulled from the App Store, even if they were 64-bit and you'd paid money for them.

Apple, it appears, has had a slight change of heart, albeit not a complete reversal of its position with regards to the iTunes App Store, releasing a business-centric version of iTunes, specifically iTunes 12.6.3 with the App Store still intact. The core idea here is that businesses that need to deploy specific applications to a fleet of devices will be able to do so, but Apple doesn't limit downloading iTunes 12.6.3 to just businesses. From Apple's download page, you can download the application for Macs or PCs in either 32-bit or 64-bit variants.

Installing iTunes 12.6.3 will overwrite the newer iTunes if you've already upgraded, and it will also remove any prompts to upgrade to a newer version when it becomes available. If you're still keen on loading up apps from iTunes it's a decent workaround, although there is always the risk that a future iOS upgrade might make it non-compliant.

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