How to Delete Apps From Your iPhone

Get rid of all that clutter on your iPhone or iPod Touch

With over 1 million apps in the App Store and many more being released every day, it's never been easier or more appealing to try out some new iPhone apps from time to time. However, downloading apps also means you'll find a lot you don't like and that you'll eventually want to delete.

Whether you just don't like the app or you've found the perfect new app to replace an old one, you should clear out apps you no longer use to free up storage space on your phone.

When it comes time to remove apps from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, the process really couldn't be easier. There are three techniques you can use to remove apps; you can even delete apps that do come with your iPhone, if you want.

Person using an iPhone with several apps on the screen with delete icons atop them
Lifewire / Maritsa Patrinos

Since iOS devices run the same operating system, virtually all iPhone tutorials also apply to the iPod touch.

How to Delete Apps From the iPhone Home Screen

This is the fastest and simplest way to delete apps from your phone:

  1. Find the app you want to uninstall on your iPhone's home screen.

  2. Tap and hold the app icon until all the apps begin to wiggle.

    This is the same process you'd follow to re-arrange apps. If you have a phone with a 3D Touch screen, don't press too hard or you'll active a menu. It's more like a tap and light hold.

  3. If you're running iOS 12 or earlier, skip this step and go to step 4. If you're running iOS 13, a menu will pop out from the app icon. You can either tap Rearrange Apps or keep holding the app icon until your apps start wiggling.

  4. Tap the X on the top left of the icon.

  5. A window pops up asking if you really want to delete the app. If you've changed your mind, tap Cancel, otherwise tap Delete to delete the app.

    App icon, X button, and Delete confirmation on iOS

    If the app stores some of its data in iCloud, you'll also be asked whether you want to remove your data from Game Center/iCloud or leave it. If you expect to ever use the app again, leave the data there.

  6. The app is now uninstalled. You can repeat the process for other apps or press the home button (or tap the Done button on iPhone X, XS, XR, and 11 series) to go back to normal operations.

If you change your mind about deleting the app, you can't "undo" the uninstall to undelete the app. However, there's good news: you can always install the app again by re-downloading it.

There's one scenario in which your apps might seem to be deleted but actually are still on your iPhone. If that's the case, you can get missing apps back on your iPhone.

How to Delete Apps From the App Store App

This option is only available on devices running iOS 13 and up. On those devices, you can also choose to delete apps from the Update screen in the App Store app by following these steps:

  1. Tap the App Store app to open it.

  2. Tap your photo or icon in the top right corner.

    Screenshot of the iOS 13 App Store app
  3. Scroll to view your list of Available Updates.

    The Account screen in the iOS 13 App Store app
  4. For any app that has an update that you want to delete, swipe right to left to reveal the Delete button.

    Screenshot of deleting apps in the iOS 13 App Store app
  5. Tap Delete.

  6. In the pop-up window, tap Delete to remove the app from your phone.

    Screenshot of the confirmation to delete apps in the iOS 13 App Store app

How to Delete Apps From iPhone Settings

This method of deleting apps definitely isn't the easiest — and probably not even one most people have considered — but it does work. This approach is especially helpful if you want to uninstall apps that are using a lot of storage space.

These directions work for modern iOS versions but should also be relevant for older ones, too, like iOS 10, 9, and 8.

  1. Open the Settings app.

  2. Go to General > iPhone Storage.

    If you're not using a modern version of iOS, you won't see this menu. Tap Usage instead.

    In older versions of iOS, tap Manage Storage to see all the apps on your phone and how much space they take up.

  3. Select the app you want to delete, and then tap Delete App.

    Three iOS screens showing iPhone Storage button in General Settings, the app to delete, and a Delete App button

    Beginning in iOS 12, you're given the option to offload the app instead. This will remove the app itself but leave any associated documents or data intact. That way, you can clear up space by deleting the app but not actually completely remove all the data. Just reinstall the app to get everything back up and running.

  4. In the confirmation menu that pops up from the bottom of the screen, tap Delete App to continue with the uninstall.

How to Delete Apps Using iTunes

Just like how you can use iTunes to add apps and other content to your iPhone, iTunes can be used to remove apps.

This technique doesn't work if you're running iTunes 12.7 or higher since those versions of iTunes no longer support the App Store. Another way to use your computer to delete apps from your iPhone is with a third-party iPhone manager like Syncios.

  1. Sync your iPhone to iTunes. Syncing over USB or syncing via Wi-Fi both work just fine for this.

  2. Select the iPhone icon from the top left corner of iTunes.

  3. Choose the Apps tab.

  4. In the left-hand column, you'll see a list of all the apps installed on your iPhone. Scroll through it and find the one you want to get rid of.

  5. Select Remove next to the app. Repeat this process for as many apps as you want to remove.

  6. Use the Apply button at the bottom right corner to sync iTunes and your iPhone. Any changes you made in iTunes will now be reflected on your iPhone, including removing the apps from your phone.