Why Can’t I Delete Apps on My iPhone or iPad?

If your device isn’t letting you delete apps, you may need to fix this common setting.

I tap the X icons to delete apps, but my iPhone or iPad won't let me delete them! It's a common problem, and it's often fixed with a very simple solution. We'll show you how to delete apps on an iPhone or iPad in this situation.

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How To Fix Issues with Deleting Apps on an iPhone or iPad

If you're here, you probably already know how to delete apps the standard way, but it's not working. There's an often-overlooked setting that may be to blame. Here's how to remove apps from an iPhone or iPad that won't let you delete apps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap on Screen Time.

    Tap on Screen Time
  3. Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions. You may be prompted to enter your Screen Time passcode.

    Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions
  4. Select iTunes & App Store Purchases.

    Tap on iTunes & App Store Purchases
  5. Tap on Deleting Apps.

    Tap on Deleting Apps
  6. Tap on Allow.

    Tap on Allow

You'll see a blue check mark appear next to Allow, and at this point you can leave the Settings app and try deleting apps again. It's a simple solution, but most of the time this is all it takes to fix the issue. Still having trouble? Try restarting your iPhone or iPad and give it another go. If you're having trouble finding apps on your iPad, they may not be listed on your Home screen, but you can find them in your iPad app library

Related: How to Uninstall Apps on the iPhone from the App Store

How to Disable Content & Privacy Restrictions

Alternatively, you may not care to have any restrictions in place for content, in which case you can simply disable the feature altogether using the following steps:

  1. Open the Settings app.

    Open the Settings app
  2. Scroll down and tap on Screen Time.

    Tap on Screen Time
  3. Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions.

    Tap on Content & Privacy Restrictions
  4. Tap the toggle next to Content & Privacy Restrictions.

    Tap the toggle next to Content & Privacy Restrictions to turn it off
  5. When the Content & Privacy Restrictions feature is disabled, the toggle will be gray. 

    The Content & Privacy Restrictions feature is disabled when the toggle is gray

These are two very simple ways to fix the common problem with not being allowed to delete apps. Now you should have the freedom to delete apps as you see fit! If you want to delete apps because you're worried about the data they are collecting on you, you can learn how to prevent apps from tracking you without having to delete them.

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Author Details

Erin MacPherson's picture

Author Details

Erin MacPherson

Erin is a Web Editor for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around nine years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.