Compared to Android, iOS offers a simple way to manage and delete applications. Instead of going to settings and other menus, you can remove applications from the home screen. On most days, this process does work so well. You can bring the home screen into the jiggly mode and remove almost any app you no longer want on your iPhone.
However, there are times when you can’t delete apps on your iPhone as you usually do. This may occur due to many issues about different aspects of your iPhone or the iOS installation. Sometimes, problems with an Apple ID and iCloud backup can cause the situation. At the same time, issues with iOS software can also be responsible for the error.
Regardless of the issue, the “can’t delete apps on iPhone” error can trouble you. For instance, you might be trying to free up the storage or remove some sensitive information from the device. You don’t have to worry about this much, though. In this article, we will talk about how you can fix the can’t delete apps from iPhone error with ease.
Why Can’t I Delete Apps On My iPhone?
Some of the reasons why you cannot delete apps on your iPhone are as follows. You have to remember that different reasons or combinations may affect various applications and categories.
- You have not correctly installed the application on your iPhone. Because of this, the app may be on a waiting list, where you cannot delete the app.
- Your iPhone is stuck. This might happen due to an app that you installed or one settings change that didn’t go through.
- You are launching the 3D Touch menu instead of the home screen editor. This may happen when you press too hard on the app icons.
- You have set some restrictions on your iPhone. The iPhone in question may have disabled the option to delete apps for specific accounts.
- You have an employer-provided iPhone. In that case, your company’s IT team may prevent you from deleting a specific app from your iPhone.
- Some internal issues with iOS or iPhone can also cause the problem. This may happen if you happen to be running an old/buggy version of iOS.
While there is an ultimate solution that can fix all of these issues, you would not have to go that far. There are simple steps that can solve the problem before taking the device to professional service.
How to Fix “Can’t Delete Apps on iPhone” Error?
You have to follow these methods one by one to fix the situation where you can’t delete apps on your iPhone.
Method 1. Avoid Launching the 3D Touch Menu
Some iPhone models in the market use a technology called 3D Touch if you didn’t know. Your iPhone uses it to understand the sensitivity and duration of the pressure you apply on the screen and trigger actions as per that level. It is available on the following devices.
- iPhone 6s
- iPhone 6s Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone X
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XS Max
If you own one of these devices, pressing hard on the icon for less than 2 seconds would launch the 3D Touch menu. This menu mostly consists of quick actions and other shortcuts. You have to make sure that you aren’t applying too much pressure on the screen to launch the home screen editing interface.
Instead, to see the X icon near individual apps, you have to gently press and hold the app icon for more than 2 seconds. Doing so should launch the option to edit home screen elements.
On devices launched after the iPhone XS Max, Apple has used Haptic Touch, which is more intelligent. Even if you toggle the Haptic Touch menu, you can choose an option called Edit Home Screen. This should launch the home-screen editing interface.
Method 2. Restart Your iPhone
Sometimes, apps may face errors and become stuck. You cannot delete the apps from your iPhone using the edit home screen interface in this situation. To get rid of this problem, you will have to restart your iPhone. If you cannot restart the iPhone using the menu, you should check out Force Restart options as well.
Confusingly enough, you need multiple ways to restart a device depending on the iPhone model you have.
For iPhone X, 11 and 12
You have to press and hold both the Volume down and Power buttons for a few seconds. This should open the power off slider. Then, you have to drag the slider and wait for up to 30 seconds. You can press and hold the power button to turn on your device again.
For iPhone 6, 7, 8, and iPhone SE (2nd Gen)
In this case, you can press and hold the Power button on the side for a few seconds. You should see the power off slider, and you can drag it as you’d typically do. Repeat the first step to turn your device back on.
For iPhone SE (1st Gen, 5 or Earlier)
On these devices, you can find the power button on the top of the device. So, you have to keep pressing the Power button for a few seconds. The rest of the steps are the same.
With these steps, you can restart your iPhone. If your device had a stuck app, it should be back to normal by now. Now, you can press and hold the icon of the app that you want to remove from your device. It should work without any hassle.
Method 3. Disable Restrictions for Deleting Apps on iPhone and iPad
If you still can’t delete apps from your iPhone, a restriction-related feature may be responsible. If you didn’t know, the iPhone allows you to set up feature restrictions, which come in handy when giving a phone to a child. However, if you have enabled this feature by accident, it may prevent you from deleting an application.
To check if you have set up this restriction, you have to:
- Open Settings on your iPhone and choose Screen Time
- From the upcoming menu, you have to choose the option called Content & Privacy Restrictions
- Here, you should be able to see a list of all the possible restrictions and their status
- Now, you have to go to iTunes & App Store Purchases
- Ensure that you have enabled the option to Delete Apps
Alternatively, if you are an adult who knows how to get around iOS, you can turn off all content and privacy restrictions as well. Either way, you would bring your iPhone back to normalcy, and you can delete the app using a recommended method.
Method 4. Delete Waiting Apps
Waiting apps are applications that have not been entirely installed on your iPhone. This may occur due to an unstable internet connection or some internal issues. While you can remove most of these waiting apps via the standard steps, it may not work at times.
If you have trouble deleting waiting apps from your iPhone, you can try the following steps.
- Make sure that you have an unstable internet connection. If possible, you can connect to a secondary network and see if your iPhone can finish the downloading process. Once the downloading process is complete, you would be able to delete it like a regular app.
- If you cannot finish downloading the app, you should try restarting your iPhone. Doing so would clear the cache and temporary files. After this point, you won’t be seeing the particular app icon on your home screen.
- Even if you cannot find the X button while editing the home screen, you can press and hold the app icon and choose the ‘Delete App’ button. This may ultimately work as well.
These steps should be able to delete waiting apps from your iPhone. By the by, you can try the steps we’ve mentioned above if you are unable to delete regular apps as well.
Method 5. Delete Apps from Settings
In case you didn’t know, the X button while organizing the app drawer is a shortcut for deleting an app from your iPhone. The standard method would want you to go to Settings and remove the app. There, you can also avail of other options like offloading and storage management.
So, if you cannot delete apps from your iPhone using the X button, you can delete them from the device’s Settings. To do this,
- Go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage.
- You can see the list of apps that you have installed in order of storage consumption.
- Select the app you want to remove, and you can see the individual app menu.
- On the next screen, you can choose the ‘Delete App’ option.
Confirm your action, and iOS would permanently remove the app from your iPhone. Even if you have a non-functioning app with many errors, this method should help you out. As you can see, there is an option called Offloading, which will erase the storage data but retain documents and data. This is temporary, though.
If you plan to get rid of the app forever, you should choose the ‘Delete App’ option.
Method 6. Delete Apps in Bulk with an iPhone Cleaner
Let’s say you have installed more than 100 third-party apps on your iPhone. Even if you choose the easy method of the X button, it will take a long period for you to finish removing them all. In between the process, you might encounter several errors as well.
That is why we recommend using an iPhone cleaner if you want to remove iPhone apps in bulk. In this case, we do suggest an app called iMyFone Umate Pro. This software suite will help you to remove a variety of elements from your iPhone, including apps.
Using iMyFone Umate Pro is an intuitive task as well. Once you have connected your iPhone to a PC or Mac where you have installed the tool, the app would detect your device. You can then go to the one-click clean-up option and choose to remove apps from the device.
The tool also helps you categorize apps based on your usage patterns, storage consumption, and a few other criteria. Even more impressive is that you can remove apps that you could not eliminate using the in-built options on iOS.
Altogether, we recommend choosing iMyFone Umate Pro to fix the can’t delete apps on iPhone issue and remove applications in bulk, thereby saving time. You also get some additional options in the package, such as removing sensitive information from social media and instant messaging apps. Read iMyFone Umate Pro Review here.
Some Other Things to Note While Deleting Apps from iPhone
You should keep the following things in mind while trying to delete apps from your iPhone.
- You cannot remove certain apps from your iPhone, no matter what you try. And you probably should not. These apps are considered necessary for the smooth running of iOS. For instance, although you may see an option, you should not attempt removing apps like App Store or Settings. If you do that, you may have to reset your iPhone altogether.
- Similarly, if you have received the device from your employer, they may have set some restrictions on the device. For instance, you may not be able to remove apps that help your employers track your activities. Removing these restrictions would require extreme measures like jailbreaking, which may cause further issues.
- You should also ensure that there is nothing wrong with your Apple ID. Sometimes, problems with Apple ID integration can prevent you from seamlessly removing apps from the device. You should try to log out of Apple ID and log in again before checking out extreme options like resetting your iOS device.
- In case all the steps we have mentioned earlier don’t work, your best bet is resetting your iPhone. By doing so, you can bring your iPhone back to the factory state, where only the essential apps from Apple will be present. As we said, this is an extreme measure and would cause data loss. However, it can solve not just this error but many others. You can find more details about iPhone reset here.
These steps will help you to keep your iPhone running without trouble while removing the apps.
The Bottom Line
We hope these steps help everyone who wonders why iPhone won’t let me delete apps. As we said, please follow the steps in the order we have provided. I mean, you don’t have to factory reset your iPhone the very next second you fail to see the X button. Instead of panicking, follow the steps until something works out.