Keep having to redownload apps on iPhone or iPad? Disable “Offload Unused Apps”

If you’ve noticed apps that show a cloud icon next to the app’s name on your screen, forcing you to download these apps over and over again, the explanation could be a very simple one. It’s because of the Offload Unused Apps feature on iOS 11 and later.

The intent of this feature is to help save storage space by offloading apps you don’t use. You might have this feature enabled on your iPhone or iPad and don’t even realize it. Here’s how to find and disable Offload Unused Apps.

Some offloaded apps on iPhone Home Screen

What Offload Unused Apps does?

As Ankur explains in his article about the feature:

As opposed to deleting an app, which nukes its binary and data out of orbit, offloading ensures that app data, along with user settings and documents, remain on your device.

So if an app is offloaded and you reinstall it from the App Store (assuming it’s still available), the data will go right back where it was for you to use the app as you did before.

An offloaded app should still remain on your Home screen as well. But it will have the cloud icon next to it. To reinstall it, just tap the app icon.

Offloaded app iPhone

How to disable Offload Unused Apps

To prevent this from happening automatically, follow these steps to disable the feature:

  1. Open your device Settings.
  2. Select App Store.
  3. At the bottom of the next screen, turn off the toggle for Offload Unused Apps.
Turn off Offload Unused Apps on iPhone

Once you disable this feature, you can still offload apps manually to save on storage space if you like, and our tutorial shows you how easy it is.

Does this solve your mystery of the disappearing apps? If so, let us know below! And if you decide to disable the feature but offload apps manually, do you think you’ll ever reinstall those apps?

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