iOS 12 + El Capitan + iTunes 12.6.5?

I’ve searched Apple for the macOS requirements to support iOS 12 to no avail so far, possibly because iTunes version is the only thing that matters.

Just checking to see if anyone is using this combination, especially El Cap. I need to upgrade to ios 12 this weekend, because my watch should get here early next week, whee!

The phone is an 8. I only sync via itunes, so I have some trepidation. I could move my syncing to a Sierra mac, but that one doesn’t get full backups, and won’t until november. I expect it will work, but reassurance is always welcome (especially when it’s my own stuff!)


This probably doesn’t help, but I have exactly that same setup available to me and have verified that I can see both iPhone 7 and iPad Pro, but have been using High Sierra to sync/backup.


No problems here with iPhone 7, iOS 12, iTunes 12.6.5 and low Sierra as I backup and sync only via USB to the Mac.


A friend who has an old iMac of mine is running El Cap and an iPhone 6 Plus, seemingly without issue (I’d hear if there were problems). However, now that I’m typing this, I realize he is still using iOS 11 because I didn’t have time to hand-hold the installation of iOS 12 that iTunes was offering. I guess I should check back in with him, and report back…

El Cap, iTunes 12.6.5, iPhone 8, upgrade to ios 12.

Everything worked out fine. Made an archival backup, then downloaded ios 12 overnight and installed it. No problems other than the usual hour or two fixing all the settings that got changed behind my back, and my hatred of dark mode crap creeping into what’s no longer actually ‘light’ mode. (Mojave is not even in my medium-long range future, largely due to not being able to stand the sight of it.)

I’ve never been offered the strange iTunes update either for whatever reason.

Now I just have to wait for the watch to get here!

That’s because iTunes 12.6.5 includes the update, both of which were released on the same day.


I’m using iTunes because I understood that it was the newest version that let me save old versions of apps and revert to a previous version of an app if I desired. (I save the old versions in a separate Finder folder.) Does 12.6.5 do that? If so, should I update? If so, where would I find 12.6.5? Thanks.

As far as I know it does, but I’ve never found a need to revert apps nor do I know anybody who does. I don’t know of any way it can be updated from within the app and it’s definitely not available from MAS Software Updates so you are on your own to download updates any time you hear about one.

It is available again at and note that it cannot be used with Mojave.


I’m away from home right now but I have El Capitan running on my iMac along with iTunes 12.6.5 (IIRC; it may still be 12.6.4). When I get back later this week I’ll see what happens after I put iOS 12 on my iPad Mini (I’m not trusting it on my iPhone 10 yet).

OK, I’m home now and have synced my iPhone 6 running iOS 12.0 with iTunes successfully installing the 40+ app updates that came out while I was gone. iTunes is on a mid-2011 iMac running MacOS 10.11.6 (El Capitan).

I have exactly the same setup and confirmed all that earlier, but William wants to know if he can save older app versions in order to revert when necessary, something I’ve never felt the need to do.


I never manually backed up older versions because I figured I get that for free with TM. I always assumed that all my iPhone apps were copied back to the Mobile Apps folder in iTunes preferences when the iPhone synced, just as newer app versions downloaded with iTunes were pushed to the iPhone at the next sync. And I knew that that folder and its contents were being backed up to both my TM disks. So I thought.

But when I once went back to find an older app version, I realized that not all apps on my iPhone were actually also present in the Mobile Apps folder in iTunes preferences. I never figured out what the reason for that was, but at that point it became very clear to me what “walled garden” also means.

How often have you reverted to an older version of an iOS app?

I’ve never even thought of doing that because the release notes for iOS apps are usually so minimal that there’s no way of knowing what has been changed or fixed, either for good or ill. And, frankly, I’ve never had an iOS app that I rely on fail in a sufficiently major way that I was tempted to revert.

I actually used to do that and it was easy-peasy:

After iTunes downloads updated apps, the replaced .ipa files are in the MacOS Trash. I created a folder named “Old iOS Apps” and would drag the files from the Trash to the folder. Of course, unless you can downgrade to an iOS version that will run 32-bit apps, those aren’t worth keeping.

One iOS app where I would frequently have to replace the latest version with the old version, was Numbers because the newer iOS Numbers app versions would not work with the desktop version I had on my iMac at the time.

This was a few years ago, but I did it once, when the iOS app associated with the newspaper I read had a pretty bad update (it was quickly reverted, and just recently - years later - they finally updated to that same use paradigm with all of the problems gone.) I’m on iTunes 12.9 now and I actually don’t even bother with iTunes syncing anymore - I just back up to iCloud and use cloud syncing wherever possible (and use Apple Music and iCloud Photo Library.) So I won’t even bother trying to revert an app again. If a similar thing happens again, I’ll just wait for an update or switch to a different app.

I’ve had several apps updated in ways I didn’t like. I was happy to be able to revert this way since iOS (unlike macOS) doesn’t really otherwise provide for that.

Never. On the other hand, I use few apps, and (as Dennis Swaney explained) it is relatively painless to keep the old version around against the possibility of wanting to revert. As noted, the release notes are so minimal that one would likely have no warning of a change that one would want to avoid.

I think that’s an excellent point. Since release notes often do not contain enough detail, it’s very nice if you can roll back. I’ll happily install an update if I know I can roll back should I encounter trouble. On macOS this is usually very easy to do. In fact, even when there’s an installer and it fails to give you a nice listing of what will be installed, I use a simple script that dumps a file tree before and after and does the diff to show me what got touched. On iOS everything is supposed to be far more “hands-off” (especially when it comes to OS updates), but it was very convenient (and reassuring) when we at least had that possibility for iOS app updates. Now it’s kind of pick your poison: go for the update and get burned when it’s bad, or hold off updating, but then open yourself up to security vulnerability (or miss out on improvements you’d actually enjoy).