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How to Download Older App Versions in iOS

Sometimes you may not like the latest version of an iOS application at all . One of the most radical changes in the App Store has been Instagram’s, which has not only changed its interface, but also given a complete facelift to its logo, leaving aside the classic retro camera.

If you’re one of those who didn’t like the change of Instragram or any other application you have on your iOS device, you should know that there is a possibility to download old versions of apps quite easily . However, you don’t have to use the App Store to do this, you have to use your computer (Windows or Mac).

How to Download Older App Versions in iOS
How to Download Older App Versions in iOS

On the other hand, it must be said that the process is slightly different between OS X and Windows. In the case of Windows you will need an app called Fiddler, while if you have a Mac computer you will need the Charles application , which we will talk about next.

Today on iPadizate we’re going to focus on the process of using a Mac computer, that is, using the Charles app . You’ll have to perform several steps, dig through some XML files and do a few more things to get the older version of an application, but it’s worth it.

Before we dive into the step-by-step approach we invite you to watch the video below, as it might help you out of many doubts and save you a lot of time in the process . Next, download the Charles Proxy tool to your Mac and you’re all set to download older versions of iOS applications from iTunes.

  • Step 1: Download, install and start up Charles Click to grant privileges and enter the administrator password in case you are prompted.
  • Step 2: Download the application you want to download from iTunes and watch the download activity in the “Structure” section on Charles. You should see a “buy” server.
  • Step 3: Right click on the “buy” server and then click on “Enable SSL Proxying”.
  • Step 4: Stop the iTunes download
  • Step 5: Search for the application again in iTunes to display the details page and download the application again. Then cancel the download again.
  • Step 6: Click on the “buy” server triangle to expand the folder and clip to buyProduct.
  • Step 7: Click on the “Response” tab, right click on buyProduct and then click on “Export”. Select the desktop as the location for the export, select the XML format, and then click “Save”.
  • Step 8: Open the XML file with a text editor and scroll down to find the next line:

< key> softwareVersionExternalldentifiers

Below this line you should see a list of numbers similar to this one:

< integer> 1862841

< integer> 1998707

< integer> 2486624

< integer> 2515121

< integer> 2549327

< integer> 2592648


< integer> 2767414

These are all the versions of the application, from the oldest to the most recent. Copy the version number you want to download , here you will have to guess and check in case you are looking for a specific version.

  • Step 9: Again in Charles click on buyProduct and select “Edit”.
  • Step 10: Click on “Text” and find the next line at the top of the page:

< key> appExtVrsId

Below this line of text you will see a numerical value within the tags . Here you will have to replace the numbers with the ones you copied from the version you copied in step number 8 , and once you have done that, click on “Execute” at the bottom of the screen.

  • Step 11: Scroll down to the “Response” tab and the bundleShortVersionString should be visible. Below you will see the current version number of the application you entered, here you can repeat the process until you find the version you are looking for.
  • Step 12: Right-click on the last buyProduct in the list below the “buy” server and finally click on Breakpoints.
  • Step 13: In iTunes find the application again to refresh the page and download it again.
  • Step 14: Go back to Charles, where you may see the welcome screen of the app appear briefly. Click “Edit → XML Text” and paste the version ID you copied in step 8 under < key> appExtVrsld < key> and click “Execute” again.
  • Step 15: Soon you will see another interruption and you will have to click on “Execute” again.
  • Step 16: Check iTunes, the download should start and complete
  • Step 17: Click the My Applications tab and you’ll see the downloaded app. If everything went well, you should see the previous version of the application, the one you chose. To make sure, right-click on it and click Get Info to verify.
  • Step 18: Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac and drag the application icon onto your device. Make sure the latest versions have been uninstalled from your iOS device so you can install the older version.


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