How to Erase an App From the iPhone

By Diana V. Faustmann

Erasing an app from your iPhone is a simple process, even entertaining as you watch colorful icons quiver nervously before you hit the "Delete" key. Besides this straightforward method, iTunes provides several other easy ways to delete apps from your device. In fact, iTunes provides an option that the iPhone does not -- you can erase apps permanently and simultaneously on both your iPhone and the iTunes library. Consider erasing apps directly from your phone for a quick removal and use iTunes for a more comprehensive spring cleaning.

Step 1

Delete an unwanted app directly from your iPhone. Locate the app on the iPhone's home screen. Press and hold the app until all the app icons on the screen begin to jiggle. An "X" badge will appear in the upper-left corner of each app. Tap the "X" on the app that you want to remove and then select "Delete" when prompted. This will erase the app from your iPhone.

Step 2

Delete the unwanted app from your iPhone using iTunes instead. Launch iTunes and connect the iPhone to your computer. Select your iPhone from the "Devices" list on the left sidebar and select "Apps" from the tab bar on the right. Locate the app in your list of apps and click to uncheck its box. Click "Apply" in the lower-right corner to begin syncing your iPhone. Select "Remove" when prompted to confirm that you want to delete the app from your iPhone.

Step 3

Dispose of the unwanted app permanently. In iTunes, select "Apps" under the "Library" listing on the left sidebar to display your entire app collection. Click on the app that you want to remove and press the "Delete" key. Select "Remove" and then "Move to Recycle Bin" when prompted in the next two pop-up windows. Select your iPhone from the "Devices" listing on the sidebar and click the "Apps" tab on the right pane. Click "Sync" to begin the sync process and choose "Don't Transfer" when prompted. ITunes will erase the app from your Apps library and iPhone. If you want to reinstall the app at a future time, you will need to download it again from the App Store.

Tips & Warnings

  • You cannot delete the factory-installed apps on your iPhone but you can pseudo-erase them by moving unwanted apps to a distant home page that you'll rarely visit.
  • You won't be able to erase apps from your iPhone if you've switched off "Deleting Apps" in your "Restrictions" setting.
  • If you accidentally delete a purchased app, even permanently, don't panic. The App Store remembers your purchases and will not charge you again for the same app.