Downloading a purchased app

What do users see when you drop support for an older version of iOS?

In this article, I show you the experience users on older versions of iOS get when you release an app update that drops support for their version of iOS. I provide screenshots of the App Store product page for an app that has dropped support for iOS 13. I also cover some other situations and exceptions you may run into when increasing the minimum iOS version required to run your app.

Why even drop support for older versions of iOS?

Many useful frameworks like SwiftUI or even features within frameworks (like NavigationStack) are only available on newer versions of iOS. Apple consistently works to improve the iOS SDK with optimizations and security patches. Supporting fewer and newer versions of iOS helps your apps run on a more secure operating system with less crashes. Eventually, you will need to drop support for certain older versions of iOS.

App Store Product Page if the user has purchased your app

User has purchased your app.
Users can download an older version of the app if they purchased it before you dropped support, or if they purchased the app on a different device that is able to run the currently for sale version.

App Store Product Page if the user has not purchased your app

Users can’t purchase the app (or download it) if their device isn’t able to run the currently for sale version of the app.

Users can still find your app even if their device can’t run your app

Users can still find your app in App Store search, and App Store links will also still show users your product page. If the user’s device is running a version of iOS that’s lower than the minimum required for your app, then your app product page will show a banner at the top specifying the minimum required version of iOS. 

If the user hasn’t purchased your (paid or free) app they won’t be able to purchase or download the app. However if a user has purchased your app using their currently signed in Apple ID, then they’ll be able to install or update to the last version you released which supported their device’s version of iOS.

You can make a specific version of the app unavailable if you don’t want users to be able to download it. You do this by unchecking the version you don’t want under the “Last-Compatible Version Settings” in App Store Connect. This will make it unavailable for download, but doesn’t uninstall it from devices that already have it.

Please reach out to me if you ever see different App Store behavior 

Apple may change this functionality in the future, so please reach out if you ever notice that this behavior has changed – it will help me make sure this article is up to date! Please leave a comment below if this helps you out or if you have any additional questions.