How to delete apps from your smartphone

A smartphone is a handheld personal computer. Having extensive computing capabilities, its features go way beyond making a phone call or sending a text. As a matter of fact, studies show that smartphone owners are using their devices less and less for regular telephony and texting purposes, and more and more for other activities.

Whether these are playing games or keeping in touch, at the end of the day, what makes a smartphone a smartphone is its ability to run applications. From the browser to your email client, from a game to a fitness coach, from a photo editor to dating apps, you name it. It just so happens that there is no longer a race between Google Play and Apple iTunes on which ecosystem has more apps. Chances are there an app for whatever you want already out there, if not more.

While installing an app is as easy as hitting a button in your favorite application store, uninstalling it is just as simple, though it might differ from operating system to operating system, and, within the same OS, from manufacturer to manufacturer. Whichever the case, there are simple steps you need to take in order to remove an app from your phone.

It doesn’t matter the reason why you want to get rid of an app. Whether you got bored of it, you are no longer using it, or you’ve blasted through the levels of a game, an app eats up your storage and home screen real estate, and you should remove it if you are no longer using it. We’re going to show you how to delete apps from your smartphone, regain some of your storage space, as well as home screen real estate.

How to delete apps from your Android

While very similar, removing apps from stock Android is just a little bit different, if at all, from getting rid of an app on a manufacturer customized smartphone (running a custom UI).

Method 1: If you are running stock Android

1. go to Settings (either by launching the app or tapping the icon from the notification shade);
2. go to Apps & Notifications, hit See all apps;
3. find the app you want to delete and tap on it;
4. hit the Uninstall button

Alternatively, on some phones, you can long tap on an app’s icon, and tap the small “i” in a circle to jump over steps 1 through 3 above. This will take you straight to the app page that has the Uninstall icon.

delete apps

Bonus: another alternative is to delete apps from the Google Play Store app. This is as simple as firing up Google Play Store, go to Settings, My apps & games, select the app from the list, and hit the uninstall button.

Method 2: If you are using non-stock Android (manufacturer customized)

Smartphone manufacturers are constantly striving to make devices their own. That often implies shipping phones with custom user interfaces (skins, UIs) on top of Android. More often than not these customizations can be deep, and they imply changing and even relocation icons, shortcuts, and commands. Regardless if you have a Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, Motorola, you name it, chances are it has a custom UI running on top of the OS.

Method 1 above (referring to stock Android) will always work. That part of the settings is almost always untouched by manufacturers, and you will always be able to access your app list that way.

Additionally, you can try one of the following, as an alternative shortcut:

– tap and hold the app icon you want to delete and select uninstall from the pop-up menu;
– find the app icon you want to delete, tap and hold on it, and select the “i” in a circle;
– tap and drag the icon to a “Remove” or “Uninstall” section of your home screen that appears once you start dragging;
– some custom UIs might have an Apps screen where you can find your app and drag it to an Uninstall command;
– removing apps on some Android devices is similar to the iPhone procedure: tap and hold the app icon and select the “X” corner overlay that pops up.

How to delete apps from your iPhone

Method 1: Tap and hold

There are several ways to delete an app from your iPhone (or iPad, iPod, for that matter). The easiest way is to tap and hold.

1. find the icon of an app you want to delete;
2. tap and hold on it until all icons start to wiggle;
3. tap the small X overlay on its top left;
4. confirm the deletion in the dialog box that appears.

Note: this action not only deletes the app, but it also deletes all of the app’s data. This means that if you have any settings, stored data, level information, etc., this will be deleted as well.

Method 2: From Settings

1. find the settings icon and tap on it;
2. go to General, iPhone Storage;
3. from the list of all the apps installed on your iPhone, select the one you want to delete;
4. tap Delete App.

Note: this action deletes all of the app’s data as well. If you think you will need the app data in the future, you can use the Offload App option instead. It will delete the app, but not the data associated with it, so when you reinstall the app again, data is restored

Method 3: From iTunes

This method only applies if you are using an older version of iTunes, namely earlier than 12.7. At the time of this writing, the most up-to-date version of iTunes is 12.8. Apple removed iOS app management as of iTunes version 12.7, but if you have an older version, you can do the below:

1. fire up iTunes;
2. go to Library, Apps;
3. from the list of Apps, select the one you want to delete;
4. either hit the Delete key on your keyboard or Secondary Click on its icon and select Delete from Library;
5. confirm the deletion in the dialog box that appears.


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About The Author
Anton D. Nagy
Anton is the Editor-in-Chief of Pocketnow. As publication leader, he aims to bring Pocketnow even closer to you. His vision is mainly focused on, and oriented towards, the audience. Anton’s ambition, adopted by the entire team, is to transform Pocketnow into a reference media outlet.