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How to delete apps on an iPhone (and save their data)

apple iphone 7

  • When you delete apps on an iPhone, you can also choose to save your app’s data beforehand.
  • While the process of simply deleting an iPhone app is straightforward, you can also archive your app’s data before you delete it by using the “Offload App” feature.
  • If you delete an app accidentally or you decide you want an app again later on, you can redownload apps from the App Store.

Certain iPhone apps sound great in theory, but once you’ve download them, you realize they’re not as good as the reviews made out, or that those pesky “in-app purchases” are necessary for any level of real functionality.

Maybe you’ve just stopped using an app because you’ve found something better and now you’re scrolling through seven screens worth of apps when you really only use about two. If this sounds like your situation, it might be time to delete some of the iPhone apps that you don’t want or need.

Doing so is a quick and painless process that should take you a few seconds or less. You don’t need any special tools or even a lot of technical know-how to be able to complete the process.

If you want to save the data within an app before deleting an app you can do so through the iPhone’s “Offload App” feature.

How to delete apps on an iPhone

app delete

1. Press and firmly hold the icon of the app you want to delete. It may take one or two seconds, but wait for all of the icons on your screen to begin shaking back and forth and little Xs appear at the top of each one.

2. Press the X which appears at the top left corner of the app you want to delete. Doing so will launch a prompt which asks you to confirm your deletion of the app in question or to cancel.

3. If the app you’ve chosen to delete was the right one (a slip of the finger happens from time to time!), go ahead and click on “Delete.” Otherwise, click “Cancel” and repeat the process with the correct app.

4. And voila! You’ve just deleted the app you no longer want.

If you accidentally delete an app that you actually wanted, don’t worry — you can easily visit the App Store on your iPhone and redownload the app quickly and easily.

Given that your past downloads are stored in the cloud, redownloading has the added advantage of not requiring you to re-enter your iTunes account username and password before restoring the app to your phone.

Note that if you do need to redownload an app you deleted, you’ll likely have to re-enter any app-specific login information or reconnect the app to Facebook or any other social media apps you’d previously integrated. 

But if you’re looking to remove an app and retain its data so you can redownload it later, you’ll want to try a different method.

How to save an app’s data on an iPhone before deleting it


If you want to delete multiple apps at once, or you want to “Offload” an app — removing it from the iPhone but archiving its data, allowing you to pick up where you left off if you reinstall the app — you should go through this process instead of the tap-hold-jiggle-X deletion.

1. Open your iPhone’s settings (the icon looks like black gears on a gray box).

2. Tap the “General” tab.

3. Tap “iPhone Storage.”

4. Scroll down to find a list of apps and tap the one in question.

5. Tap “Offload App” then confirm by hitting “Offload App.” This will delete the app, but keep its documents and data.

6. Alternately, hit “Delete App” and then confirm by hitting “Delete App,” which will remove the app completely.

offload app

Note that this same deletion process will work for apps on iPad and iPod Touch as well. 

Related coverage from How To Do Everything: Tech:

  • How to restart and force-restart any iPhone model

  • How to hide apps on your iPhone’s home screen and search function

  • How to record a phone call on your iPhone using third-party apps

  • How you can easily delete all the photos on your iPhone at once

SEE ALSO: The best iPhone for every type of person and budget

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