Removing built-in applications from iPhone or iPad

By , Sep 20, 2016

Delete stock apps iOS 10 iPhone screenshot 001

Just like you probably do, I have a folder on my iPhone whose sole purpose is to store all of Apple’s apps that I don’t use. Stocks, Compass, Voice Memos, Tips, etc. They’re all in there because I can’t get rid of them. But this is changing!

Beginning with iOS 10, Apple now allows you to delete some built-in applications from your iPhone or iPad to help you tidy things up and bit and rid you of apps you don’t actually use.

This comes with some minor strings attached. For one, apps aren’t technically deleted from your device. That said, the process to remove them and get them back on the Home screen is similar to how you handle other apps. We’ll have a look at all this right now.

Can I delete Apple’s apps I don’t use?

The answer is yes, but not really. As Christian wrote a few months back in his post about the fine print of deleting stock apps on iOS 10, what you’re actually doing is hiding apps from the Home screen rather than deleting their binary from the device.

In the confirmation messages showed when trying to remove a stock application, Apple makes it clear that all you’re doing is effectively “removing” the app from the Home screen. You’re not actually deleting it as you would delete an app you have downloaded from the App Store.

Ultimately, you should think of it as “hiding” rather than “deleting.”

What happens to the data of these apps that I remove from the Home screen?

When you delete remove a first-party application from the Home screen, all its data will be removed from the device. However, if this application has data synced with iCloud, this data will remain on iCloud.

Delete stock apps iOS 10 iPhone screenshot 002

For instance, if you choose to remove the Notes application, your Notes data will be removed from your iPhone, but any documents and data stored in iCloud will not be deleted from there. Your notes will be gone from your iPhone, but they will still be available for you from iCloud should you decide later on to add the Notes app back on your Home screen.

Should I remove stock applications?

If you want to remove stock apps to save storage space on your device, then this is probably not the best way to do it. Apple itself notes in a support document that all of these apps combined take less than 150MB of storage space on your phone. If you really want to save space, then check out our post highlighting 40+ ways to save storage space on iPhone and iPad.

Now if you want to clean up your Home screen and remove some of the clutter created by these applications, then sure, go ahead and do it.

What apps can be removed?

You can remove pretty much every Apple application, except for a few exceptions, such as Clock, Wallet, Find My iPhone, Health, Safari and a handful of other apps. Here is the full list of applications you can remove:

  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Compass
  • Contacts
  • FaceTime
  • Find My Friends
  • Home
  • iBooks
  • iCloud Drive
  • iTunes Store
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Music
  • News
  • Notes
  • Podcasts
  • Reminders
  • Stocks
  • Tips
  • Videos
  • Voice Memos
  • Watch app
  • Weather

How to remove a built-in app?

Removing a built-in application from your iPhone or iPad is just as simple as removing any other app. Simply tap and hold your finger on any app icon. Wait for them to get into wiggle mode, then tap the X mark in the corner of any app icon you want to delete. Apple will then ask you to confirm the removal of the app.

How do re-install a previously removed application?

Delete install stock mail ios 10

Again, this is as simple as the process to download apps from the App Store. Just launch the App Store app on the device, search for the app you want to add again (i.e. Mail, FaceTime, etc) and install it from there. As we said before, since the app itself is just hidden from your device to begin with, you aren’t technically downloading an app here. You’re simply un-hiding it.

Are you removing any app?

Now that iOS users have the ability to hide certain built-in applications from their devices, is that a feature you are taking advantage of? Personally, I have removed a few (so long, Tips!), but I kept the vast majority of them in my Apple apps folder.

Share your set up with the rest of us down in the comments section.

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  • AMB_07

    For Android users: this is the same exact process as “disabling” an app.

    I think the proper wording here should also be “disable” and not “hide” because “hiding from the homescreen” could suggest to some people that the app is still accessible elsewhere.

    I am glad Apple is finally doing this, the next natural step is to change default apps to access mail, web browsing, etc.

    Also I really want to disable that useless Photo Booth app on my iPad.

    • NanamiAsuri

      Oh boy, remember when that Photo Booth app was a selling point of the iPad 2? Haha

      • AMB_07

        That thing was a selling point?!

        I weep for humanity…

  • I know my question isn’t about the post, But, there’s a way to fix Touch ID after jailbreak 9.3.3 ? I’ve tried a lot of things but maybe some1 have the fix over there thanks if some one read this and help 😉

  • If only we could set default apps on iOS.

    • Chris Wagers

      Yea because I removed/disabled mail app and was using alto email app. Clicked email addy in a message and it said I didn’t have an app associated with email or whatever. So that sucks.

  • Noohar

    I removed “Home”.

  • Bugs Bunnay

    I’d like to see an article about the jet black iphone and the horror stories on how easily scratched it is and ask the readers to upload their own photos as well!

    • Rowan09

      You own one? Why does that need an article when it’s already common knowledge?

      • Bugs Bunnay

        I don’t own one, but I wouldn’t say it’s common knowledge. Eg. I spoke to my co worker who’s thrilled about getting the jet black soon, but when I told him about the scratch problem he kinda flipped. It also wouldn’t hurt just to have a place where people can come and upload photos/videos and share their opinions/stories all in one place.

      • Rowan09

        Really even Apple made it clear about the Jet Black version.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Well it seems like some things are just too hard for some people to grasp. You do not need to comment further about your justifications.

      • Rowan09

        There’s nothing complex about what you are saying. You want an article for people to post pics about an issue know with a phone and then you go on to say “horror stories”. Dude you are overexarating. Later man I’m done now.

      • Bugs Bunnay

        Well like I said some things are just too hard for some people to grasp. I gave an example why it wasn’t a known issue. The “horror stories” part is my exaggeration yet other people had no idea.

  • NanamiAsuri

    I’ve removed Compass (what’s the point of it?), stocks (does anyone even look at it? If you’re serious about stocks you’d probably go to a 3rd party app), contacts (duplicate feature of the phone app? Lol) and tips (why does this exist?)


    So the apps can now be updated via the app store like stock google apps on android.

    • Rowan09

      That’s would be interesting. Apple however sends updates to maps for example all the time.

    • No. please take a few minutes to read the post. Apps aren’t deleted and they aren’t installed from the App Store either. They’re just un-hidden via the App Store.

      • Impreza

        If the title of this article had ‘Removing’ changed to ‘Hiding’, would that over simplify the explanation contained herein?
        Writing any blog to the masses will always be frustrating for in the end some just will never get it. Does wine help to alleviate headaches you must get; or add to them? 🙂


        This is kind disappointing. Think of all the the improvements to stock apps apple could release like safari and camera/pictures with out requiring a complete OTA. I think the main reason google did it was to avoid carrier restrictions to fix key apps. I don’t see any negatives in using this method.

      • Rowan09

        Apple already send updates without a complete software update all the time with maps. I think you made a good observation since it’s on the AppStore then maybe they can release an update from the AppStore app itself.

      • NO THEY CAN’T. When you remove a first-party app from your iPhone on iOS 10, you are not deleting anything. You are just hiding it. Likewise, you are not downloading anything at all from the App Store once you want to have the app you deleted on your iPhone again. You are basically unhiding. Again, you are not downloading anything at all.

        Maps is totally different. Apple doesn’t update the Maps app over the air. The update some of the data that Maps uses. This is very much different. Apple wouldn’t be able to add new features to the Maps app without releasing a software update. They could however add business and what not without releasing an actual update.

      • Rowan09

        Got you. It’s just that when you search for the apps it shows them along with iBooks, etc.