How to Delete an App From Your iPad

A confirmation button for deleting an app on the iPad. screenshot


Whether you've downloaded so many apps that you now have to navigate a half-dozen screens to find the app you want, you downloaded the wrong app, or you simply need to free up some storage space, at some point, you will need to delete an app from your iPad. The good news is that Apple has made this incredibly easy. You don't need to hunt through settings or drag the icon to a special place. Deleting an app is as simple as one-two-three.

  1. Place the tip of your finger down on the app you want to delete and hold it until all of the apps on the screen start shaking. This puts the iPad into a state that allows you to either move apps or delete them.
  2. A gray circular button with an X in the middle appears in the top-left corner of the app. This is the delete button. Simply tap it to uninstall the app from your iPad.
  3. A message box will pop up asking you to confirm that you want to delete the app. This dialog box contains the app's name, so it is always a good idea to read it carefully to ensure you are deleting the right app. Once confirmed, tap Delete to remove the app.

And that's it. You can delete as many apps as you want while the app icons are shaking. You can also move them around the screen. When you are done, click the Home Button to leave the Home Screen edit mode and return to normal use of the iPad.

What about Apps That Do Not Have an "X" Button?

You are now able to delete most apps on the iPad, including many of those that came pre-installed on your device. However, there are a few like the Settings, App Store, Safari, Contacts, and others that cannot be deleted. These are apps with core functionality that may create a poor user experience if deleted, so Apple doesn't allow these apps to be uninstalled. But there is a way to hide many of these apps.

If you turn on parental restrictions by opening the Settings app, tapping General from the left-side menu and choosing Restrictions, you can enable restrictions. Once you set up a passcode for restrictions -- the passcode is used for changing or disabling restrictions in the future -- you can take away access to Safari, the App Store and a few of the other apps that can't be totally uninstalled. 

Oops! I Deleted the Wrong App! How Do I Get It Back?

One great aspect of the iPad is that once you have bought an app you own it forever. Just go back into the App Store and download it again—you won't have to pay a second time. And an app that has a cloud next to it with an arrow pointing down has been previously purchased and can be freely downloaded.

When you open the App Store, you can tap the Purchased button at the bottom to see all of your previously purchased apps. If you tap the button at the top that reads Not on This iPad, the list will narrow down to those apps you have either deleted or purchased on another device and never installed on this iPad.