How to Remove iPhone Apps From Phone Applications Library

By Aaron Parson

Remove apps on your iPhone, in the sync settings in iTunes or from your iTunes library to declutter your phone and recover space.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone 3G Phone
  • Too many Apps
  • Desire to delete

When you've had enough of an iPhone app or game, delete it to free up space in your phone's memory for the next app you want to try. There are a few ways to remove apps from your iPhone and one way to delete them from your computer's iTunes app library.

Warning

No matter which method you use, removing an app from your phone permanently erases its data, such as game progress. As of iOS 8, there is no way to preserve this data when removing an app, unless the app itself offers a way to export data or saves its data to iCloud.

You can't delete built-in iOS apps such as Passbook, Apple Watch and Newsstand. Your best option is to place unwanted native apps into a folder and move the folder to the last page of your home screen.

Remove Apps Using Your iPhone

To delete apps on your iPhone, tap and hold an app icon for a couple of seconds until all the icons begin to shake. Tap the X icon on each app you want to remove and confirm the deletion in the pop-up screen that appears. If an app doesn't have the X icon, the app came with iOS, and you can't remove it. After you delete all the apps you want to remove, press the Home button to stop the shaking.

This method removes apps from your phone, but if the app is also in your computer's iTunes app library, it won't erase it from your computer. The app will still sync with other iOS devices, and you can resync it to the iPhone from iTunes later.

Tip

If you use the Deleting Apps Restriction, you won't see X icons on any apps. Open the Settings app and tap General and then Restrictions to see your settings. Either disable restrictions entirely or switch on Deleting Apps to allow app removals.

App Restrictions

Remove Apps in iTunes Sync Settings

An alternate method uses iTunes to remove apps from your phone. Plug in your phone to your computer, click the iPhone icon in iTunes 12 and open the Apps tab. Click Remove by each app in the list that you want to remove from your phone and then click Apply to sync.

Removing an app from the list

If you like the convenience of using iTunes to remove apps but prefer the iPhone interface to the app list, use the home screen images on the Apps tab. Double-click a home screen page or folder page to open it, mouse over an app and click the X on its corner.

Removing an app in a folder through iTunes

Delete Apps From iTunes

Removing apps from your phone doesn't delete them in iTunes. If you don't think you'll want to use the app again on any iOS device, delete it from your iTunes library to recover drive space on your computer. Open the Apps tab in your library, right-click an app and choose Delete or select the app and press the Del key. When prompted, choose Move to Recycle Bin to erase the app and recover space.

Deleting apps from the library

Tip

Even if you remove an app from your iPhone and delete it from your iTunes library, you can still reinstall the app later by downloading it from the App Store again. ITunes won't charge you a second time for apps you've purchased before as long as you use the same Apple ID both times.