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Smartphones & gadgets

Remove pre-installed app icons from your iPhone or iPad home screen

We all have apps on our phone that we don’t use. When you start to run out of storage space, a useless app should be the first thing to go since they take up so much space.

But Apple doesn’t seem to like its users messing with its design and tends to limit what you can do. For most people, that becomes clear when they try to get rid of pre-installed apps.

For a while, iPhone and iPad users weren’t able to delete several apps that came with their devices, such as Pages, Numbers, Stocks, and Calendar. But then they released an update that helps users make room.

To delete an app, just tap and hold the icon until it starts shaking. An “X” will appear in the top left-hand corner. Tap that X and the app disappears forever. You may want to close down any accounts associated with that app before you delete it.

If an X does not appear, then, unfortunately, that app can’t be removed. These apps include Camera, Photos, Clock, App Store, Wallet, Safari, Phone, Messages, Find iPhone, and Find Friends. However, the majority of these apps are pretty integral to using the phone so you probably wouldn’t want to get rid of them anyway. It’s possible to delete the Maps app but if you do then it can mess with your phone’s GPS function.

A shaking app also means that you can move it around. This is helpful if you want to rearrange the order on your home screen or create folders. To create a folder, tap and hold an app icon until it shakes and then drag it on top of another app. You can give the new folder a name and add more apps by dragging them on top of the folder. Storing all the apps that you don’t want but can’t delete in one folder could be a way to declutter your home screen.

Psst: Another way to free up space on your phone is to store your photos in the cloud.

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