Unable to Delete Apps on the iPhone: Here’s How To Fix This Problem

Can't delete apps or are they stuck on installing on your iPhone or iPad? Check out these best tips and tricks to troubleshoot these issues quickly.

Are you unable to delete apps on the iPhone? Or are your apps stuck on “Waiting” or “Loading”? Chances are, if you recently restored your iPhone or if you updated a bunch of apps at a time, there might be a bunch of apps that are stuck on “Waiting”. Also, if you press and hold on an icon, the usual “x” to delete an app might not appear. Though this is not a frequent issue, it can be resolved easily.

First off, you’re not alone in this. A lot of users face this problem. The hardest thing about this issue is trying to figure out what’s causing the issue. Usually, this is:

Can't Delete Apps from iPhone-iPad

  • Apps synced through iTunes but disconnected midway leading to partially downloaded/installed apps.
  • Problem with faulty apps.
  • Errors in restoring from backup.
  • Insufficient memory while updating apps.

There’s a bit more than that but let’s jump to solving the issue now.

You should also check out our post for more fixes when apps are stuck on “Waiting”.

Hard Reset

More often than not, I am able to fix some minor issues like app freezing by just doing the hard reset of my device. Hold on the on/off button and Home button at once for about ten seconds until Apple logo appears on the screen.

How to Restart-Reboot iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Check Download Queue

In case you’ve got apps stuck on waiting or loading, this might also be due to a long download queue. You can fix this problem easily.

  • Make sure to download and install apps using Wi-Fi.
  • If you are installing apps using cellular/mobile data, make sure to install one app at a time.

Step #1. Open the App Store → Tap on Updates → Tap on Purchased

Step #2. If there are a bunch of apps stuck on “Installing”, you need to turn off Wi-Fi or Cellular. (Settings → Wi-Fi/Cellular). Then, tap on the apps which are being installed to stop them. Now, turn Wi-Fi/Cellular back on and then try to download app one by one.

If the issue hasn’t yet been fixed, make sure to check your internet connection. Try resetting the network settings. (Settings → General → Reset → Reset Network Settings.). Once you have reset the network, connect your device with Wi-Fi connection or turn on Cellular. And, try to install the app again. It should be alright now.

Reset All Settings

Not known to work all the time, but resetting everything might just help you fix the issue of apps stuck on waiting.

It will reset all settings. However, no data or media will be erased.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iPhone → General.

Step #2. Scroll down and tap on Reset Reset All Settings.

Tap on Reset All Settings on iPhoneConfirm Reset All Settings on iPhone in iOS 10

Complete iTunes Sync

The apps that you’ve installed on your iPhone must also be on iTunes if you’ve synced before. In this case, what you can try to do is remove the app in iTunes, re-sync with iPhone so that the app gets removed from iPhone as well and then install the app via iPhone again.

Step #1. Connect your iPhone to the PC and open iTunes.

Step #2. “Remove” apps that are stuck in “waiting” or not able to be deleted on the iPhone via iTunes. To do this, just click on your iPhone from the sidebar, click on Apps tab and from the list, against the app that’s causing the issue, click “Installed” – this will change to “Will Remove.”

Step #3. Sync your iPhone via iTunes. The app should now be removed from the iPhone.

Once you’ve removed apps this way, you can re-install them if need be. For the apps that are stuck on “waiting”, you can just remove them this way and then re-install them on the iPhone (not through iTunes).

Do a fresh Restore from Backup

As with everything, a restore is usually the easiest and the cleanest way to fix things on the iPhone. Incidentally, if you’ve got a good backup, you can clear things faster.

A fresh restore from a backup you did recently is a good way to restore things back to normal. If you have a backup on iTunes, you can use this backup to solve the issue.

You can restore from an earlier backup by clicking on the Restore option in iTunes. This will prompt you to choose a backup (if there is one).

If not, the restore will upgrade your iPhone to the latest iOS version along with removing all the apps. If you are not particular about data at this point, you might do a fresh restore too. It’s like starting from scratch but you can get all the apps back via the App Store → Purchased section.

Try Third Party Security Software without iTunes Restore

A company called Tenorshare makes a software called iCareFone, which is designed to manage iOS Apps and files. When you can’t undelete Apps or stuck on installing Apps in iPhone and iPad, this usually helps. I’m not affiliated with Tenorshare but I have used it in the past with some success. You can download the Windows and Mac version on their website free. Good news is it is totally FREE for “File Manager” option.

To fix this issue, select File Manager, click App, in the next window, click uninstall button.

Click on Apps in iCareFoneSelect App and Delete it from iDevice using iCareFone

Hopefully, these tips and tricks and help you in resolving the issue. Do share your feedback with us in the comment, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Also, download the iGB app for free in the App Store.