How to prevent apps from being installed or deleted on your iPhone and iPad

With Screen Time, parents can impose restrictions on what their child can do with their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. For instance, after setting up my nephew’s iPad with his favorite apps, I then disabled the ability for him to delete or download them from the App Store.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to do that on your iOS device to prevent accidental app deletions or stop people from downloading new apps.

Two iPhones with one showing the option to delete an app while the other doesn't have that option

How to prevent iOS apps from being installed and deleted

  1. Open the Settings app and tap Screen Time. If Screen Time is disabled, tap Turn On Screen Time and complete the setup. Don’t forget to set a Screen Time passcode, which is different from your device passcode.
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. Make sure the switch for Content & Privacy Restrictions is enabled.
  3. Touch iTunes & App Store Purchases and enter your Screen Time passcode to get inside.
  4. To prevent apps from the App Store from being installed on this device, tap Installing Apps and pick Don’t Allow.
  5. To prevent apps from being deleted, go back and tap Deleting Apps > Don’t Allow.
Block installing and deleting apps on iPhone

Disabling the ability to delete apps from the device removes the Delete App button from the Home Screen when you tap & hold an app and pick Remove App.

Disabling app installations removes the App Store icon from the Home screens and Spotlight Search.

To reverse this, simply follow the above steps and choose Allow instead of Don’t Allow. You can also turn off Content & Privacy Restrictions, which will disable all such limitations.

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