How to Delete Game Center From Your iPhone

iPhone showing apps


Apple's Game Center, which comes pre-loaded on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, makes gaming more fun by letting 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.

Delete Game Center: Upgrade to iOS 10 and up

Prior to the release of iOS 10, the best you could do to get rid of Game Center was to hide it in a folder (more on that later). That changed with iOS 10.

Apple ended Game Center's existence as a standalone app in that version of the iOS, which means that it's no longer present on any device running iOS 10 and up. (Game Center is now a set of features that apps can use, or not, as developers prefer.) If you want to completely get rid of Game Center, rather than just hiding it, upgrade to iOS 10—or whatever the latest version of the OS is—and it will be gone automatically. 

Delete Game Center on iOS 9 and Earlier: Can't Be Done (With One Exception)

To delete most apps, simply tap and hold until all of your apps begin shaking and then tap the X icon on the app you want to delete. But when you tap and hold Game Center the X icon doesn't appear. The question is, then: How do you delete the Game Center app?

Unfortunately, if you're running iOS 9 or earlier, the answer is that you can't (generally; see the next section for an exception).

Apple doesn't allow users to delete the apps it pre-loads on iOS 9 or earlier (it's an option on iOS 10 and up, though). Other apps that can't be deleted include the iTunes Store, App Store, Calculator, Clock, and Stocks apps. Check out the suggestion for hiding Game Center below for an idea of how to get rid of it even if the app can't be deleted.

Delete Game Center on iOS 9 and Earlier: Use Jailbreaks

There is one potential way to delete the Game Center app on a device running iOS 9 or earlier: jailbreaking. If you're an advanced user willing to take some risks, jailbreaking your device could do the trick.

The way Apple secures the iOS means that users can't change the most fundamental parts of the operating system, like deleting pre-installed apps. Jailbreaking removes Apple's controls and gives you access to the entire iOS, including the ability to delete apps and browse the iPhone's filesystem.

But be warned: Both jailbreaking and removing files/apps could cause larger problems for your device or render it unusable.

Hide Game Center on iOS 9 and Earlier: In a Folder

If you can't delete Game Center, the next best thing is to hide it. While this isn't really the same as getting rid of it, at least you won't have to see it. The simplest way to do this is to stash it away in a folder.

In this case, just create a folder of 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.

If you take this approach, it's a good idea to make sure you're signed out of Game Center, too. If not, all of its features will still be active even if the app is hidden. To sign out:

  1. Tap Settings.

  2. Tap Game Center.

  3. Tap Apple ID.

  4. In the pop-up window, tap Sign Out.

Block Game Center Notifications With Restrictions

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 the iPhone. 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.

  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.

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.