Apple’s iOS comes with several built-in apps, some of which you’ll never use. Here’s how to quickly give them the heave-ho (and restore them if you delete by accident).
Your iPhone and iPad come with a lineup of built-in apps, some of which you might never use and therefore may like to remove.
Such apps take up very little storage space, so deleting them won’t earn you much extra space. However, since they can crowd your home screen, deleting them will free up some real estate for other apps. If you’re running iOS 12 or higher on iPhone or iPadOS 13 or higher on iPad, you can remove most of these built-in apps.
These include Activity, Apple Books, Calculator, Calendar, Compass, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Find My Friends (iOS 12 only), Home, iTunes Store, Mail, Maps, Measure, Music, News, Notes, Podcasts, Reminders, Stocks, Tips, TV, Videos, Voice Memos, Watch, and Weather.
Apps that you can’t kick out include the App Store, Camera, Clock, Find iPhone, Messages, Phone, Photos, Safari, and Settings.
Note that deleting some of the aforementioned apps might affect the functionality of other apps. If you delete the Books, Maps, Music, or Podcasts apps, for example, you won’t be able to effectively use CarPlay. Deleting the Music app will affect playback of audio content in your library using Apple apps or third-party apps on some car stereos or stereo receivers. If you try to remove the Watch app and your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, you’re asked to first unpair your watch. And if you delete an app from your iPhone that also exists on your Apple Watch, the app is removed from both devices.
If you get rid of the Contacts app, though, your contact information remains in the Phone app. If you delete the FaceTime app, you can still make and receive FaceTime calls via the Contacts and Phone apps. Further, deleting a built-in app also removes your user data and any configuration files.
Delete an App
The way you delete and otherwise manage apps on your home screen varies based on the version of iOS your device is running. You can delete an app in iOS 12 by pressing down on an icon until they all start jiggling and tapping the X in the upper-left corner to remove the app.
If you’re running iOS 13 or iPadOS, press down on an icon until you see a pop-up menu. Tap Delete App. You can also either 1) select Edit Home Screen or 2) keep holding down on an icon. Either way, your icons will start jiggling and you can delete apps by tapping the X in the upper-left corner.
Remove an App
Whichever method you use, you’ll then receive a prompt confirming that you want to delete the app. Tap Delete. To stop the apps from jiggling, press the Home button, if your device has one. If not, tap Done in the upper-right corner, or swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The icon disappears from your screen. Continue this process until you have removed the apps you no longer want.
Find an App
Now let’s say some time has passed and you miss the apps you jettisoned, or perhaps you deleted a built-in app by mistake. Rest easy, because you can revive them. Open the App Store (which you can’t remove). Tap the Search icon and start typing the name of the app you wish to restore.
Download an App
Select the name of the app from the search results and tap on the cloud icon next to the app you want to bring back.
Restore an App
Wait in suspense for the app to download. You can then open the app from the App Store or return to your home screen to see the app back again.
Re-Download an App
Wait in suspense for the app to download. You can then open the app from the App Store or return to your Home screen to see the app nestled safely in place once again.
Originally published at https://www.pcmag.com.