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Installing Apple Apps on old iOS

At home we use an old iPhone (version 4) as it is both green to use old stuff and not just throw it away, but it is also a lot less expensive if it gets stolen (school bags are not he most secure of places to have equipment).

Recently Apple just messed up iTunes (again!!) and removed the ability to download apps from inside of iTunes Windows app and only allowing you to download apps from app Store on a device. Unfortunately the Apple 4 has a maximum iOS of 7.1.2 and Apple wil not let that iOS App Store interact with its app store and download apps.

What this means is that unless you have the app already downloaded you cannot get new apps. We wanted Spotify on the iPhone. We now have Spotify on the iPhone 4.  Here is how we did it.

  1. Uninstall iTunes if you have it. There is a lot of mess happens between 32bit, 64 bit and other versions of iTunes.
  2. Also uninstall Bonjour and any other installer that starts with Apple from your computer.
  3. Download iTunes Version iTunes64Setup12.6.4.  This version is a special release that lets you downlaod apps (unlike the new versions)
    1. Official Page Here https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208079
    2. We downloaded the 64 bit version here:  iTunes64Setup12.6.4  (We zipped it to get around WordPress security)
  4. Install it. DO NOT let it do auto updates.
  5. Connect your device. Go through the normal process of connecting it, authorising it etc.
  6. Download the App you want using iTunes on your PC.

At this point you cannot install it onto your device. it will tell you your iOS is too old.  But there is a way around this.


  • Go to the App Store on your iPhone.
  • Press Updates and then press Purchased.
  • When you get there, it should show your Apple account and it will say My Purchases.
  • Press that and it will show you all of your apps (including the one you downloaded in Windows iTunes that wouldn’t install)
  • Click the app and / or the cloud symbol next to the app and try to download it. If an older version of the app that is compatible with your version of iOS is available on the App Store, it will let you download it to your phone.
  • You will get asked if you want to download an older version. YES YOU DO!!!

Hopefully that will let you down load the app and run it.


So far we have installed

  • Spotify
  • Reddit
  • Discord

We failed with

  • Whats App Messenger (needs iOs 8.0 with no older apps available)