How to Uninstall Apps from iPhone & iPad in Seconds

Aug 30, 2014 - 38 Comments

Uninstalling an app from iPhone with a tap and hold trick

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

  1. From the iOS device Home Screen (meaning where all the icons are), locate the app icon that you wish to uninstall from the device
  2. Tap and hold on the app icon you wish to uninstall, keep holding until all the icons start wiggling around
  3. Tap the little (X) icon that appears in the upper left corner of the app icon that you want to uninstall
  4. 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”
  5. To uninstall more apps, tap on the (X) buttons of those and repeat the process
  6. 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:

How to delete an app icon from iOS Home Screen

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:

How to Delete an iPhone App in Seconds

(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.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

38 Comments

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  1. Greg Walters says:

    Would be nice if we could delete cache too. Other space onniphone takes up so much capacity. And how much space do junk default apps eat? More reason to have 32gb minimum iPhone

  2. Mz says:

    Omg! Can you write an article about making phone calls in seconds? It is so helpful. 😱

    • Aksy says:

      Add people to your “Favorites” list in the Phone app, that’s the fastest way to make a phone call. Or ask Siri to call someone for you. That’s fast too.

    • DCJ001 says:

      You can press the Home button on an iPhone 4s or later. Then, after one second, you can say, “Call John Doe at home,” and Siri will initiate the telephone call to John Doe’s home telephone number.

      It is important to ensure that everyone’s telephone numbers and addresses are marked as home or work (or mobile, etc) so that this option and others work as they are expected to work.

    • bp says:

      LOL. I guess I’m the only one who got your sarcasm. It was funny on it’s own until I read the responses of people who actually replied to you like you were serious. Now that was funny.

  3. Michelle says:

    Can you create a tutorial on removing “other” data from iphone? ^^ is right, it takes up way too much space and there seems to be no way to find out what/where it is.

  4. Scott says:

    Tap = a quick touch and release.
    You might rephrase your “tap” as “press and hold” or “press down “… Until… the icons jiggle.

  5. Paul says:

    What the? You actually wrote this? Lol!

    • GerpDerp says:

      You actually left this comment? LOL

    • Yes, of course! As the second sentence states “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”

      We try to provide information that covers a wide range of knowledge about Apple gear, so while many people know how to do this, I regularly encounter users who don’t – the article is aimed at the latter, not the former.

  6. Mike says:

    Is there a way to delete all of an app’s data (e.g., old copies of magazines) without deleting the app itself?

  7. Ben says:

    Is there a way to delete this article in seconds? It’s a waste.

  8. Ghost says:

    It does not work. No x appears on the main page and no delete option exists under settings. Now what, please?

    • Pu says:

      It works this is how you uninstall an app in IOS, you have to tap and hold on an app to make them all jiggle, then the (x) appear so that you can delete it from the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

      The only way it wouldn’t work is if permissions are locked down and don’t allow app removal.

  9. Ghost says:

    Thx, but no x appears on any app, either oem or downloaded.

    • Zubaer shimul says:

      you says “The only way it wouldn’t work is if permissions are locked down and don’t allow app removal.”
      at this time how can i remove or delete apps, or how can i unlockd down and do allow app removal.

  10. Pete says:

    This is not answeing the question.
    The answers supplied DO NOT remove the apps from the PURCHAISED history in the app store
    For example– before i found out that they were completely useless without microsoft 360, i downloaded exell, powerpoint and word.
    These are stuck in my ipad and i have tried sliding the icon to the left so that the ‘hide’ icon appears. I tap this, close and re- open the app store purchaised section and , lo and behold, there they all are again !

  11. Pete says:

    This is not answeing the question.
    The answers supplied DO NOT remove the apps from the PURCHAISED history in the app store
    For example– before i found out that they were completely useless without microsoft 360, i downloaded exell, powerpoint and word.
    These are stuck in my ipad and i have tried sliding the icon to the left so that the ‘hide’ icon appears. I tap this, close and re- open the app store purchaised section and , lo and behold, there they all are again !
    What we want is a way to remove all record of these apps from our ipads PERMANANTLY !

  12. Tripti says:

    My problem is that I have an iPhone 4, iPod Touch, IPhone 6 and an iPad all connected to each other and for some reason I am unable to delete apps from any of my Devices. Please help!!

  13. Shand says:

    I have a iPhone 5c Safari back on my phone it’s gone just happened this afternoon

  14. martin says:

    how can i uninstall a icloud in my iphone or ipad?
    i really need help

  15. Priscilla says:

    I have the same problem as Pete when he mentions about how he cannot permanently remove unwanted apps…on my iPad I have downloaded a game called Zenonia and after I thought I removed it ( from my home screen) I literally thought it was gone!!
    I was wrong..after looking thru my settings and scrolling thru my apps I still did not see it..
    It was brought to my attention that I am paying for it still through an email from my credit card! I no longer play that game and it is taking money from me! 😕
    Will someone Please help me and explain how or what I can do as far as completely removing Zenonia off my iPad??? Thank you for taking the time to read this 😊

  16. Sarah says:

    I am having trouble with the HSBC on- line banking app. If I delete the app as described above can I then install it again and start from scratch or will my details still be live?

  17. Paul Gary says:

    i am probably the most illiterate person, when it comes to computers, and how to work them. I just got a iPhone, and do not have a clue all its capable of. I accidentally deleted Facebook app, and don’t know how to get it back. Could someone tell me what to do, to get it back?

  18. Geniegal says:

    I want to free up some memory space by deleting some of the preinstalled apps that came with my IPAD. I am still using 8.0
    I am a senior cit and find it difficult to understand a lot of tech talk. I do know how to delete the apps I have downloaded. Thank you.

  19. Salman says:

    its worked like a charm and thanks for sharing this.

  20. Yesenia says:

    Is there a way to clean up deleted apps? Not only delete them from the phone itself but from the Apple ID as well?

  21. Susan says:

    I uninstalled Pintrest. Then it went in the cloud. It had an update, which I didn’t care about because I deleted it. When the update happened, the P icon appeared back on my home screen and it says installing. Is this app possessed? Go away. I don’t want you! What should I do?

  22. Steve says:

    What if when the aps are wiggling no delete x is shown?

  23. Benn says:

    While using a Battery app, I found an invisible app in Chinese running in the background.
    OMG!!!
    How can I remove this from my iPhone 6?
    Has anyone else seen this before?

  24. Pam says:

    The app I am trying to delete is not responding. It’s shaded on the home screen not bright like the others and when I press delete it wobbles, delete button and cancel display but it doesn’t delete when I press the delete button!

  25. Leon says:

    Can I tell me if I uninstall app from my iPhone. Will I lose contacts and will I disappear from my friends contacts in their cover me? Thank you

  26. Amy says:

    No Leon it won’t nice try

  27. Sandeep says:

    I have 5C phone, and to delete an app when I keep that app pressed for few seconds I don’t get the x mark on top left side. I tried so many time, not able to delete an app like that. whats the way out to get it done.

  28. Joanna says:

    This doesn’t tell you how to stop apps from getting reinstalled the next time you connect your iphone to your mac :-(

  29. Sue says:

    I don’t get the cross to delete my apps any more can you help . This has happened since the last up grade in which I don’t like ..

  30. Gina says:

    Try touching the icon lightly instead of firmly. That worked for me.

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