Restore An Older Version Of An App After A Bad Update

Restore An Older Version Of An App After A Bad Update

Software updates can be exciting. Every now and then, however, an app goes rogue and pushes out a bad update that either breaks functionality or makes using the app a bad experience. The Verge’s editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky’s solution? Grab an older version from your backup.

We’re big advocates of a backup system. We like Crashplan because it’s easy to use and stores everything both online and locally. The other benefit, as Topolosky points out, is that Crashplan (and other online backup solutions) also store multiple versions of your software. This means when an app pushes out an automatic update that destroys the functionality, you can easily restore to the old version, even if it’s not available online anymore.

With Crashplan, the process is easy:

  1. Hop into your Crashplan and click the restore tab.
  2. Change the date at the bottom of the panel to a time before the app updated.
  3. Search the backup for the application you want to restore.
  4. Check the box to the left, and click restore. Crashplan can then overwrite the new app, or you can save it in a new place.

Most other backup services should be able to do the same. If you’ve ever automatically downloaded an update that ruined your favourite app, this is a lifesaver.

Joshua Topolsky [Twitter]


  • Copying my comment from the US lifehacker article here. There are some caveats to this process:

    This is a great article! I worked for three years in CrashPlan support, and there are some caveats to this.

    1. Depending on the application, this may or may not work. Many apps on the Mac consist only of their application packages, so this will work fine. Other apps make other changes to other files on your OS, so as Jaster mentioned in another comment, YMMV. This is more of a problem on Windows/Linux though, since most of those apps make changes all over the system. Restoring the main program executable is not the same as reinstalling the software.

    2. Because of the above, the /Applications/ folder is not selected by default on Macs, so if you want to do this, you’ll need to add that folder to your backup selection in advance.

    3. More of a tip than a caveat, but in addition to changing the date to restore a specific version of a file, you can also click the arrow next to the file to see all the past versions of that file you can restore.

    If you have any questions, feel free to reply here, or contact our Customer Champion team at

    -Ryan at Code 42 (makers of CrashPlan)

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