Spent a long time playing your favorite game? You don't need to lose all your progress when you reinstall it - here're two possible ways to keep it safe.
Save progress to iCloud
If a game enables you to save progress to iCloud (check the app Settings), take advantage. That makes saving and restoring a cinch.
Some games will provide the option to do so manually, a few will entirely automatically save your progress to iCloud. All you need to do to get your progress back is reinstall and launch the game. (You can also switch progress between devices just by relaunching!)
For most games, though, iCloud isn't an option, and you'll need to use iExplorer. You don't need to jailbreak your iPhone to use iExplorer and it's easy to pull data from your iPhone to transfer it to your new device. Here's how to do it:
Backing up your iOS game data in iExplorer
- Install iExplorer and plug your device into your Mac via its USB cable;
- The device will load into iExplorer, and you'll see it appear in the sidebar;
- Select the device and open the Apps list;
- Select the app you'd like to back-up data from;
- You'll see a bunch of folders, including Documents and Library;
- Somewhere within Documents and Library will be the high score data, and the location and filename vary by game. To be on the safe side, we recommend saving both folders for every game where you want to back-up the data;
- Create a folder in Finder with the name of the game; the device it was taken from; and the date (such as Bit Pilot iPhone - 20200610).
- In iExplorer, select the Documents and Library folders (Command-click each in turn), Control-click the selection, and select 'Export to Folder'.
- Choose your previously created folder as the save location for this data.
Restoring your iOS game data in iExplorer
- To later restore your data, install a fresh copy of the app on your device, and then connect the device to iExplorer.
- In your Finder data back-up, locate the save file, and then drag it to the equivalent location in iExplorer, replacing any existing file if you need to.
- If the app on your device had previously been launched, you might need to force-quit it in order for the new save data to be loaded. To do this, double-click your Home button, locate the app, and swipe it upwards.
- In rare cases, this might cause problems with the app (such as if you're restoring very old data to an app that's been updated several times since), but this is very rare.
- The method outlined in this tutorial isn't entirely foolproof — it's not guaranteed to work with every single iOS title. If feeling a bit paranoid about a particular game, you can always try a fresh install to any second device you own and then move the data across, to see if it works.