How to Delete Apps on an iPhone Permanently

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How to Delete Apps on an iPhone Permanently

Key Points:
  • There are multiple ways to uninstall apps from an iPhone or iPad. The easiest method is to press/hold.
  • Games and apps store files on your device whenever you install them. When uninstalled, the cleanup process can take care of those, but there are often folders and files left behind.
  • To rapidly remove the largest apps from your device, go into your phone’s Settings menu and access iPhone Storage. From there, you can remove apps that are cluttering your device.

If you have an iPhone, you know that eventually, you’ll run out of space on the device when you have enough apps, videos, and photos. When you reach this point, it’s important to understand how to remove apps to free up space.

Fortunately, there are many ways you can delete apps on an iPhone permanently. When you understand a few of the most common methods available to you, you’ll know the steps to take to clear unwanted apps off your device fast.

Use the simple steps below to help you permanently delete apps from your phone screens, the App Library, the Settings menu, the iCloud, and the App Store. You can remove apps in each of these different locations, and when you understand how the methods work, you’ll never be stuck with an unwanted app again. 

Let’s get started!

Delete from Your Phone Screens

The simplest and most accessible way to delete an iPhone app is right from your phone screen where you typically access it. While on the screen that contains the unwanted app, press and hold your screen (anywhere on the screen) until a small minus symbol appears above each of your apps and your screen begins to lightly vibrate. 

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Press down on your screen until your apps vibrate and a minus sign appears on the upper lefthand corner of each app.
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Conversely, if you press and hold down on the app you want to delete, a menu will appear with options like, “Edit Home Screen,” “Share App,” and “Remove App.” Select Remove App.

If you press and hold your screen, when you see the minus symbol, you can tap on an app that you wish to remove and you’ll be presented with a few different options from a drop-down menu. Choose “Delete App” to permanently remove the app from your iPhone. Choosing “Remove from Home Screen” will take the app off your phone’s current screen but preserve it within the App Library. 

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After tapping on the minus symbol, you have the option to delete the app or to remove it from the home screen (which keeps the app in your App Library). To completely delete your app, select Delete App.

If you follow those simple instructions you can effectively remove most apps from your iPhone for good.

But, what happens when you don’t have the app on one of your phone screens? If the app’s icon isn’t on the screen of your phone, you’ll have to travel to the App Library to remove it from your device, or go to your phone’s Settings and manage the app. The next two sections cover both of those methods and how you can use each to help you manage which apps are on your iPhone. 

Delete from the App Library

Even when you don’t have an app icon available on the home screens, you have options. The app could still exist on your device. You will have to venture to your iPhone’s App Library to remove the device for good. Begin by swiping right on your phone until you finally reach the App Library page. 

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Swipe all the way right on your iPhone screen until you reach the App Library, which looks like this (pictured above).

Once on the page, you can search for the name of the app you wish to remove. You can also scroll down and look for the app’s icon in one of the many different folders within the library. 

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Search for the app you want to delete in the App Library, and press and hold on it. A drop-down menu will appear. Select Delete App.

Once you locate the app you wish to remove, hold your finger down on its icon until a drop-down menu appears. You’ll have the option to Share App or Delete App. Choose the Delete App option and you’ll remove the app from your iPhone permanently. It will now be off your device unless you go to the App Store and install it once again.

Even if you delete the app from your iPhone, you may still have data files for the app stored within iCloud. We’ll discuss how to remove app data from iCloud as well in another section below. 

Delete from Within Settings

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Navigate to Settings and head to General. Then, navigate to iPhone Storage.

If you’re searching for a way to rapidly remove the largest apps from your device, you should go into your phone’s Settings. From within the Settings menu, you can quickly access iPhone Storage. From there, you can begin removing apps that you don’t want cluttering your device any longer. 

Quickly Remove Unused Apps with Offload Unused Apps

For an automatic approach to clearing data from your device, you can tap Offload Unused Apps from the Storage tab in the General section of Settings. Doing this will offload all the data required for these apps to run on your device. It also maintains any user files you have for the app. By pressing this button, you rapidly remove extra clutter from your phone, but you keep the files you need to use the app as normal if you ever install it back on your iPhone again. 

Delete One App at a Time

If you want to remove specific apps from your device, you can do so by scrolling down in the storage management section. When you scroll, your devices will be listed in the order of the largest size to the smallest size. This makes it easy to rapidly determine which apps you can remove to clear as much storage space on your phone as possible. 

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Your apps will be organized in the Storage section based on how much space they take up in your iPhone.

When you decide on an app to remove, click on the “>” next to it and you’ll be transported to the page where you can permanently delete it. 

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Click on the arrow (>) next to the app you want to remove, which will bring you to a screen where you can delete it. Select Delete App at the bottom of the screen.

Choose Delete App and your app will be removed once and for all. This process is rapid, and you can use it on as many apps as you like throughout your phone to free space for new apps. 

Clear Apps from iCloud

The iCloud can be used to save backup copies of the apps you use most on your iPhone. Even after you remove the app from your iPhone itself, it may still be alive and well in iCloud. To remove all traces of the app, you’ll have to go into your iCloud storage and remove the app from your backup storage. 

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From your iPhone’s


, navigate to your contact card at the top of the screen, then press iCloud. This will bring you to

Manage Storage


Begin by going to Settings -> your Name -> iCloud -> Manage Storage.

Once you do that, you’ll have a list of different apps you can remove from your backup storage. 

Select an app and delete the stored data for it. 

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Select an app, then choose Delete data.

Follow these simple steps to remove any data you’re storing for each app that’s contained within the iCloud. Be careful which apps you remove data for, though, because once the data is gone, you can’t get it back. 

Remove from Your Apple Account Completely

Even after you’ve removed an app from your device and the iCloud, there’s still a record of you having it in the past. To hide this record, you must go to the App Store on your iPhone. Open the App Store and click on your User Icon. 

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Navigate to the App Store and click on your User icon. Then, select Purchased.

Now, choose Purchased, and you’ll be taken to a list of the apps you purchased on your phone and when you purchased them. This is where you can conveniently hide your record of purchasing apps. Use this if you don’t want that visible. Your purchase history will still show that you bought the app in the past. The App Store itself will no longer show any indication that you’ve had the app in the past. 

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From your list of Purchased apps, swipe left from the right-hand side of the screen on the app you want hidden, and select the red button that reads Hide.

To hide the app, swipe left on it and select the red Hide button. That’s the only step you must complete to remove your record of having an app from the iPhone App Store itself. Continue this for any additional apps you want to hide as well. 

This video from GuideRealm shows you how to delete apps from your home screen, the app library, and the Settings menu.

App Removal is Fast and Convenient

Removing apps from your iPhone is a fast and simple process when you understand all the different methods available to you on your device. Now you know how to delete apps on an iPhone permanently. You can clear up that precious storage space and use it for new apps, or use it to hold more photos and videos!

Up Next…

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove an app completely from my iPhone?

To completely remove an app from your iPhone, hold the icon on your screen, select the minus symbol that appears, and select Delete App.

What's the difference between Delete App and Remove from Home Screen?

When you go to delete an iPhone app, you’ll be presented with the options to “Delete App” or “Remove from Home Screen.” Choosing Delete App removes it for good, while removing it from your home screen takes it off the current screen and sends it to the App Library.

How do I bring back an iPhone app I’ve removed from my home screen?

If you remove an app from your iPhone home screen, you can swipe right to reach the App Library. Here, you can access the app and drag it back to any screen you like.

How do I remove an iPhone app from the library?

From within the App Library, you simply tap and hold an icon and select Delete App to remove it from your iPhone.

How do I remove the iPhone app without the icon?

Even when the icon for an app isn’t on your iPhone screen, you can swipe right and find the app within your App Library. Here, you hold down on the icon and choose to Delete App when the option shows up.

How do I remove old apps from my iPhone?

As apps age, you can select their icons, hold them down and choose Delete App to remove them. You can also visit Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage and select Offload Unused Apps to quickly remove the least used apps on your device.

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