Q: Hi. We just restored my grandson’s iPod touch and now all his purchased games and applications are gone. How do I get them back at no cost?
A: If your grandson’s iPod touch has been synchronized with iTunes since those applications were purchased, they should normally have been transferred back to iTunes automatically. Note, however, that this only occurs if the computer that you are synchronizing with is also authorized for the iTunes Store account that was used to purchase those particular applications.
You can check to see if the applications are in your iTunes library simply by looking at the “Applications” section in the iTunes Source list on the left-hand side. If so, you should be able to transfer these back to the iPod touch simply by selecting them from the “Applications” tab in the iPod touch synchronization settings.
If for whatever reason these applications cannot be found in your iTunes library, you will need to download them again from the iTunes Store. The good news here, however, is that Apple allows you to re-download any applications that you have previously purchased at no additional cost.
Simply attempt to purchase the application as you normally would, either through iTunes or on the iPod touch directly, and you should be notified that you have already purchased this application and be offered the opportunity to download it again for free.
In the future, simply ensuring that the iTunes library on your computer is authorized for the same iTunes Store account as the iPod touch will allow you to have your purchased applications backed up to your iTunes library when you sync the iPod touch. You can manually authorize iTunes for your iTunes Store account simply by choosing Authorized Computer from the Store menu in iTunes and entering your iTunes Store user ID and password. Note that you can authorize your computer for more than one iTunes Store account as well.