How to fix iOS home sharing bugs without losing app data

Recently, a bug from home sharing features from iOS and iPad OS prevented users from running apps they already own on their devices, according tomedia outlet Apple Insider. Here’s how to fix the problem when Apple isn’t rolling out a patch. On Friday, a bug affected a large number of Apple users, mainly those who updated the iPhone or iPad to the just-released iOS 13.5 and iPad OS 13.5. The bug displays a prompt on the screen, claiming that the app is “no longer shared with users” and advising users to purchase the app from the App Store to continue using it.

How to fix iOS home sharing bugs without losing app data

Because sharing is mentioned in the prompt, the bug appears to be related to the home sharing feature in Apple’s account system, which allows a few people to share apps and other content. In theory, this could save a family money because the app doesn’t need to be purchased multiple times. Although primarily used for paid apps, home sharing bugs also seem to affect other free-to-buy apps stored on your device. Popular apps, including YouTube, Facebook and Discord, can also be blocked by the bug.

Given the high number of complaints about the bug, Apple is likely to be working on some form of patch to fix it in future operating system updates, although this may take time. Apple also seems to have tried to make a temporary fix in the form of a re-release of the app update, although it won’t necessarily work for every app affected by the issue, nor necessarily for all users.

The solution to this problem is essentially to remove the app from the device and then reinstall it. Although users can simply manually delete the app and then get it back from the Store, this may result in data loss to the app or at least recertification the app itself.

There’s a way to do the same thing while keeping app data, which involves uninstalling the app. Uninstalling the application removes the application from the device, but retains any user-specific data, including application-created files, so once the application returns to the device, it will run from the state it was last used.

App uninstalls can be set to run automatically, which is a great way to save the storage capacity of an iPhone or iPad, but the solution here requires a manual route.

Manual uninstall

Once you know that an app is affected by the bug, go to the Settings app, then go to Universal, and then go to iPhone Storage or iPad Storage. Scroll down the page to find the app in question, and then select it.

How to fix iOS home sharing bugs without losing app data

Find the app you want to temporarily uninstall in the Settings app.

On the new screen, the size of the app and the size of the document and data are displayed, and you choose to uninstall the app. A confirmation dialog box will appear and you will be asked to uninstall the app again.

When selected, the app will be deleted.

Uninstalland reinstalls require a few taps, but unlike normal deletions, your data will not be deleted.

How to fix iOS home sharing bugs without losing app data

Stay on the same page, select the new reinstall app option, and choose to reinstall the app where you previously uninstalled the app. This will re-download the app to the device.

Further considerations

Given the large number of applications that may be affected, it is recommended that you do this when using Wi-Fi instead of using a cellular data connection.