Can You Delete the Apps That Come With the iPhone?

Yes, but only if you're running iOS 10 or higher

Most of the apps that come pre-installed on every iPhone are useful. From Music to Calendar, Camera to Phone and beyond, they're great apps for what most people want to do. But there are more apps that come pre-installed on every iPhone—like Compass, Calculator, Reminders, Tips, and others—that many people never use.

Why show apps on your phone if you don't use them, especially if you're running out of storage space on your phone? In that case, you may have wondered: Can I delete the built-in apps that come with my iPhone?

Deleting Pre-Installed Apps Depends on Your Operating System

Whether you can delete the pre-installed apps on your iPhone depends on what version of iOS you're running.

If you've got iOS 10 or higher on your device, you can delete most pre-installed apps. iOS 16 doesn't expand the number of removable Apple apps so much as give you ways to hide them from your home screen. Users with iOS 9 or earlier cannot delete the default apps that Apple pre-loads on the iPhone.

While this is frustrating for iOS 9 users who want total control over their devices, Apple does it to ensure that all users have the same baseline experience with a simple OS upgrade.

How to Delete Pre-Installed Apps in iOS 10 and Up

To delete built-in apps that come with iOS 10 and up:

  • Tap and hold the app you want to delete until it starts shaking, then tap the X on the app, and tap Remove
  • In iOS 14 and up, you can also tap Remove App from the pop-up menu and then Delete App.

Not all default iPhone apps can be deleted. The ones you can get rid of are: 

Apple Books Calculator Calendar Compass Contacts
FaceTime Files Find My Friends Home iCloud Drive
iTunes Store Mail Maps Music Measure
News Notes Podcasts Reminders Stocks
Tips Videos Voice Memos Watch Weather

Other pre-installed apps that can be deleted in iOS 16 include Clock, Health, and Magnifier. If you change your mind and want an app back, you can reinstall built-in apps by re-downloading them from the App Store.

Apps for the App Store, Camera, Messages, Phone, Photos, Safari, Settings, and Wallet are locked-in and can't be deleted—though you can hide them.

How to Hide Pre-installed Apps in iOS 14 and Newer

With the release of iOS 14, Apple introduced the option to hide unwanted apps from your Home screen. The process is similar to deleting an app, but with a different menu selection.

In iOS 14 or later, tap and hold an empty spot on the home screen until the app icons start to wiggle. Next, tap the minus sign (-) in the upper-left corner of the app icon, then select Remove from Home Screen. The app icon will disappear and won't be back to bother you unless you decide you want it to.

To return hidden apps from your App Library, go to the App store and search for the hidden app, then tap and hold the app's icon and select Add to Home Screen.

Removing pre-installed apps from your home screen does not actually delete them from your iPhone. They will still be installed, accessible via your iPhone's App Library, and take up storage space.

How to Hide iPhone Apps Using Restrictions in iOS 9 or Older

OK, so if iOS 9 users can't delete the default apps, what can they do? The first option is to turn them off using the iOS's built-in Restrictions feature. This feature lets you control what apps and services are available on your phone. It's most often used with kids or company-issued phones, but even if that's not your situation, this is your best bet.

Using Restrictions doesn't remove the apps from your phone; it just hides them. So, the apps still take up storage space, but at least you don't have to see them.

To use this option, turn on Restrictions. With that done, you can hide the following apps: 

AirDrop App Store Apple Books Camera CarPlay
FaceTime iTunes Store Mail News Podcasts
Safari Siri Wallet

When the apps are blocked, they'll disappear from the phone as if they've been deleted. In this case, though, you can get them back by turning off Restrictions or changing your settings.

How to Hide iPhone Apps in Folders

If you'd rather not enable Restrictions or tuck apps away in your App Library, you can also just hide them in folders. To do that:

  1. Create a folder and put all the apps that you want to hide in it
  2. Move the folder to its own home screen page (by dragging the folder to the right edge of the screen until it moves to a new screen), away from all the rest of your apps.

This approach doesn't help if you want to delete the stock apps to save storage space, but it's pretty effective if you just want to declutter.

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