Shortly after Apple’s big Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week, in which they announced the next version of iOS, and its subsequent release to those signed up to Apple’s software beta programme, users began reporting the functionality.
Apple’s since updated its support site with additional information on how deleting Apple’s built-in apps will work, alongside a full list of those you can delete.
Notable exceptions include Messages, Phone, and Settings. Naturally, without these the iPhone’s key functionality would be compromised.
Apple also notes that users removing the apps with the intention of saving space might be disappointed – the apps altogether only take up 150MB of space. However, for neat freaks that don’t want unused apps (*cough* Stocks *cough*) cluttering up their home screen, the ability to remove them will be welcomed.
iOS 10 is available to users that sign up to Apple’s software beta program. Any user can do this, though we’d note that the software won’t be stable and it’s uncertain how the software will behave with other apps on your device as they’re not yet optimized for iOS 10.
How to sign up to Apple’s iOS 10 beta
However, warning aside, if you’d like to give it a try, follow our guide on signing up to the Apple beta programme from last year.
Once you’ve installed iOS 10, to delete native apps you simply perform the same action you would to delete a regular third-party app:
- Touch and hold the app until it jiggles
- Tap the x on the app, then tap remove
- Press the Home button to finish
To reinstall built-in apps, simply follow the same process of installing a regular app.
- Go to the App Store
- Search for the app
- Tap the cloud icon to restore the app
- Wait for it to install and reappear back on the Home Screen
Does it actually delete the apps?
Actually, no. According to TechCrunch, which picked up on an interview with Apple’s software lead Craig Federighi, the apps are just removed from the Home Screen and associated user data deleted. The apps continue to be baked into iOS. TechCrunch writes:
“Deleting the apps does remove them from the home screen and trash associated user data but, because these pre-loaded services are baked into iOS, the application binary remains present. The apps are part of the binary for security signing reasons and that structuring also explains why built-in apps only receive feature updates when iOS itself is updated.”
Read more about Apple’s recent announcements at WWDC in our roundup article.