How to Delete Game Center on Your iPhone

Remove Game Center, or at least hide it, on your iOS device

Deleting unwated files to recycle bin illustrated in blackboard

Chunumunu/Getty Images 

Apple's Game Center, which comes pre-installed on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, lets you post your scores to leaderboards or challenge other players head-to-head in network games. If you're not a gamer you may prefer to hide or even delete Game Center from your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. But can you?

The answer depends on what version of the iOS you're running.

iOS 10 and Later

Prior to the release of iOS 10, the only option you had with Game Center was to hide it in a folder (more on that later). That changed with iOS 10 when Apple ended Game Center as a standalone app, so it is no longer present as an app icon on any device running iOS 10 and later. Game Center's features are now integrated into the phone as functions apps can use if a game developer chooses.

So, if you want to completely get rid of Game Center rather than just hide it, upgrade to the latest version of iOS. 

iOS 9 and Earlier

Game Center can't be deleted in the usual way apps are deleted on iOS devices. To delete most apps, simply tap and hold the app tile until your apps begin shaking. Then tap the X icon on the app you want to delete. For Game Center and other pre-installed Apple apps, such as iTunes Store, App Store, Calculator, Clock, and Stocks apps, the X icon doesn't appear. You can hide the Game Center app, however (see below).

The easiest solution for eliminating Game Center on devices running older versions of iOS is to simply update to the current version. This not only removes the Game Center app, it also fixes any security flaws that have been discovered, making your device more secure.

Jailbreaking to Delete Game Center

You can delete Game Center if you jailbreak your device, though this comes with all the consequent caveats, issues, and considerations associated with jailbreaking Apple devices. If you're an advanced user willing to take some risks, jailbreaking your device can do the trick.

Apple secures iOS by blocking changes to certain fundamental parts of the operating system. This includes deleting pre-installed apps. Jailbreaking removes these blocks and controls, granting you access to the entire iOS, including the ability to delete apps and browse the iPhone's file system.

Jailbreaking and removing files or apps can cause larger problems for your device, or even render it unusable. It should only be attempted by advanced users.

Hide Game Center on iOS 9 and Earlier

The next best thing to deleting Game Center (if you do not want to update your iOS version) is to hide it. This doesn't remove it from your device, but it does put it out of sight. The simplest way to do this is to stash it away in a folder.

In this case, create a folder for your unwanted apps and put Game Center into it. Then move that folder to the last screen on your device where you won't have to see it unless you want to.

How to Sign Out of Game Center

If you are hiding the Game Center app, it's a good idea to sign out of the app so none of its features are active while not being used. Follow these steps to sign out of the Game Center app (iOS 9 or earlier).

  1. Tap Game Center.

  2. Tap Account.

  3. Tap Sign Out.

    Game Center app sign-out process

Disable Game Center Notifications

As we've seen, you can't easily delete Game Center. But you can make sure that you don't get any notifications from it by using the Restrictions feature built into iOS 9 and older versions. This is often used by parents to monitor their kids' phones or IT departments that want to control company-issued phones, but you can use it to block Game Center notifications by following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap General.

  3. Tap Restrictions.

    iOS 9 and older, Enable Restrictions
  4. Tap Enable Restrictions.

  5. Set a 4-digit passcode that you will remember. Enter it a second time to confirm.

  6. Swipe down to the very bottom of the screen to the Game Center section. Move the Multiplayer Games slider to off/white and you'll never be invited to multiplayer games. Move the Adding Friends slider to off/white to prevent anyone from trying to add you to their Game Center friends network.

    iOS 9 and older, select restrictions Multiplayer Games and Adding Friends

If you change your mind and decide you want these notifications back, just move the slider back to on/green or turn off Restrictions entirely by going to Settings > General > Restrictions and tapping Disable Restrictions at the top of the screen.