Installing apps to iOS is easily done through the App Store, but uninstalling apps from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is probably even easier. Yes, many users will know how to do this, but it always surprises me how many people don’t know how to remove an app from their iOS device. Fortunately, Apple has made app removal remarkably simple on the iOS platform, and it’s no exaggeration to say that you can completely uninstall an app in just a few seconds flat.
You only need to learn to do this once and you’ll get it, it’s that easy (I promise, Mom!). For the purposes of this walkthrough we will cover the fastest method possible to delete an app, and that means uninstalling apps through the home screen, where all the app icons are, using the tap-to-wiggle trick. This works the same on all versions of iOS and all devices, whether it’s an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
Uninstalling an iOS App from the Home Screen
- From the iOS device Home Screen (meaning where all the icons are), locate the app icon that you wish to uninstall from the device
- Tap and hold on the app icon you wish to uninstall, keep holding until all the icons start wiggling around
- Tap the little (X) icon that appears in the upper left corner of the app icon that you want to uninstall
- When the “Delete AppName – Deleting Appanme will also delete all of it’s data” message box appears, confirm the removal of the app by choosing “Delete”
- To uninstall more apps, tap on the (X) buttons of those and repeat the process
- When finished, hit the Home button to stop the icons from wiggling
In the below screenshot example, we’re using the above method to delete the app called “Emojli” from an iPhone:
This process really is very fast, as demonstrated in the animated GIF below which shows the same task used to uninstall the “Snapchat” app from iOS:
(If the animated GIF isn’t working, the video embedded below shows the same thing; removing an app with the tap-and-hold trick)
You may notice that some apps can’t be deleted, like the ones that come preinstalled on the iOS device from Apple. This includes apps like Camera, Safari, Phone, Music, Photos, Calendar, App Store, Game Center, and quite a few others. Since you can’t choose to uninstall those apps, an alternative solution is to hide them instead, making them invisible and inaccessible on the iPhone or iPad.
What if I deleted an app that I didn’t mean to?
Don’t worry if you accidentally delete an app while doing this, because you can easily restore the app back to the iOS device again. That’s because while deleting an app this way removes it from your iOS device, the app itself is still tied to your Apple ID.
Basically this means if you bought the app or downloaded it while an app was temporarily free, it will always be re-downloadable again through the App Store using that same Apple ID. There is no limit to how many times you can delete and re-install apps this way.
Perhaps even better, you can even delete an app from one iOS device, say an iPhone, and then re-install it later onto a completely different device, like an iPad. The simplest way to do that is by removing it as instructed above, then browsing Purchased App history for apps not installed on the active iOS device – even if it was a free app it will appear in this purchased list, and you can quickly download it again to the new device.