How to Remove (and Restore) Built-In iOS Apps

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Apple’s iOS comes with several built-in apps, some of which you’ll never use. Here’s how to quickly give them the heave-ho (and restore them if you delete by accident).

Your iPhone and iPad come with a lineup of built-in apps, some of which you may never use. Though such apps don’t take a lot of disk space, they can crowd your home screen. Removing them can free up real estate for other apps.

With iOS 10 or higher, you can remove most of the built-in iPhone and iPad apps (iOS 11 added a few new ones). These include Calculator, Calendar, Compass, Contacts, FaceTime, Find My Friends, Home, iBooks, iTunes Store, Mail, Maps, Music, News, Notes, Podcasts, Weather, and Stocks.

Apps that you can’t kick out include the App Store, Camera, Clock, Find iPhone, Messages, Photos, Safari, and Settings.

Note that deleting some of the aforementioned apps might affect the functionality of other apps. If you delete the iBooks, Maps, Music, or Podcast apps, for example, they won’t work with CarPlay. Deleting the Music app will also affect playback of audio content in its library using Apple apps or third-party apps on some car stereos or stereo receivers.

If you try to remove the Watch app and your Apple Watch is paired with your iPhone, you’re asked to first unpair your watch. And if you delete an app from your iPhone that also exists on your Apple Watch, the app is removed from both devices.

If you get rid of the Contacts app, though, your contact information remains in the Phone app. If you delete the FaceTime app, you can still make and receive FaceTime calls via the Contacts and Phone apps. And if you delete an app accidentally or want it back later, you can re-download it from the App Store. Let’s look at how to remove and restore built-in apps from your iPhone or iPad.

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