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How to delete apps on the iPhone

how to delete apps on the iphone
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As delightful as many iOS apps are, sometimes they outlive their usefulness. Or, in starker circumstances, you've decided they never should have found a place on your iPhone to begin with. Whatever the reason, you want to delete an app from your iPhone and you want to do it now.

There's some good news. Deleting apps from your iPhone is an easy process that Apple's even streamlined in recent iOS updates. And the process won't change that much when iOS 14 arrives later this fall, though there are some tweaks to interacting with apps in Apple's upcoming iOS that you should be aware of.

Here's how you delete apps from your iPhone currently and how it will work in iOS 14. We'll also tell you how to reinstall an app if you've deleted it but have second thoughts.

How to delete an app from your iPhone in iOS 13

For this exercise, we're going to assume you're running the latest version of iOS. After all, iOS 13 works on phones dating back to 2015's iPhone 6s, so these instructions should be all you need to delete an app.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Find the app you want to delete on your home screen.

2. Press and hold on the app's icon.

how to delete apps from the iphone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. In the old days, this would make all the apps on your screen shake and shimmy, and there would be a little X you'd have to tap to delete the app. Things are much simpler now. A pop-menu will appear — select the option that says Delete App.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. A pop-up menu will appear asking if you're sure you want to delete the app and reminding you that any data you've got saved in the app will be wiped out. Confirm if you're ready to see the last of that app.

how to delete apps from the iphone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Once you've confirmed, the offending app will disappear, and your home screen icons will re-arrange as if that app was never there.

How to delete an app from your iPhone in iOS 14

The process of deleting an app from your iPhone doesn't change much in iOS 14, which is coming out later this fall. However, based on our iOS 14 hands-on time, there are a few differences related to the addition of the App Library feature, which streamlines the number of apps appearing on your home screen.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

You delete apps from the home screen the same way you did before — press and hold the app icon. In iOS 14, though, the verbiage changes. You'll be asked if you want to remove the app rather than delete it; the subsequent pop-up menu gives you the option of simply removing the app from your home screen or deleting it from your phone entirely.

If you opt to remove the app from your home screen, the icon will disappear, but the app will still live on your iPhone — only now you'll have to go to the App Library to access it. The App Library lives to the right of your home screens, and it organizes your apps by category, with additional folders for recently added apps and recommended apps based on your usage patterns.

Here's how to delete an app from the App Library.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Find the category for the app you want to delete, and tap on the cluster of icons in the category's folder. All the apps in that category will fan out across your iPhone screen. Tap and hold the icon of the app you want to delete.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Now the pop-up menu will only give you the options of deleting the app or sharing it. Select Delete App.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Confirm your choice, and wave goodbye to the app as it's removed from your phone.

How to restore an app you've deleted

What if you've given an app the heave-ho only to decide that it needs to be pack on your iPhone? Restoring a deleted app is as simple as going to the App Store and downloading the app again. You can even re-download paid apps without being charged a second time, though if there's a subscription, you'll still be on the hook for that.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. Tap on the App Store app.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

2. Go to the search tab, and type in the name of the app you're looking for.

how to delete apps from the iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. If you've previously purchased and downloaded the app, it will appear with a cloud icon. Tap the cloud icon to reinstall it.