If you’ve upgraded to iOS 5 and lost all your apps in the process, don’t panic right away.
After a day of permission issues, including download issues, the dreaded error 3200, and issues verifying iOS 5 installs, you might have been thrilled to see iOS 5 ready to go, bypassing the final step of app sync.
How can I know? I almost did this morning. Once the iOS 5 update is complete and it appears that you can remove your iPhone or iPad, you should not do this.
In about a minute, iTunes should start syncing with your device, fetch your apps and app data like game saves.
If you’re worried about losing your data, I recommend listening to Dale Strauss and copying your iPhone or iPad backup to an external location.
Resync with iTunes
If your iOS 5 upgrade deleted all your apps, the first step is to plug your iPhone back into your computer and sync it. If all went well and you have transferred your apps to your computer, this should sync them to your iPhone or iPad. This process may take some time, but it will easily put your apps and app data on your device.
This strategy may not work for everyone. If you need to get your apps back but can’t sync them, you can download them from the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately this does not include your app data and is a painful process.
Download Manually from App Store
To download your apps again from the iTunes App Store, you need to open the App Store on your device.
Tap on the Purchased Tab at the bottom of the App Store.
On this page, you can manually install all the apps you have purchased and installed in the past. Unfortunately, you cannot install all your apps at once. This is further complicated by the fact that you will be returned to the main home screen every time you install an app. If you have a lot of practice, sit down and prepare for a long run.
You can search for purchased apps, view only apps not on your device, and narrow the view to iPhone or iPad apps only, but even with these tweaks, it will take a long time.
Once you find the app you want, simply tap the little cloud icon with the down arrow to download it. You won’t be charged again for the app, and free apps you’ve installed are also included here.
Do any of these solutions help you recover your lost apps after upgrading to iOS 5?