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How to delete apps on an iPad

If you'd rather fill your homescreen with widgets, you can clear it up without permanently scrubbing apps.

Published onMarch 29, 2023

It’s important to trim unwanted apps from your iPad from time to time. While most of the info here is going to seem obvious to tech veterans, it’s not necessarily intuitive for newcomers, especially given the way Apple changed deletion with iPadOS 15 in 2021.


To remove an app, tap and hold on its icon. Tap Remove App in the following pop-up menu, then either Delete App or Remove from Home Screen. The latter leaves apps on your iPad, so if you want to actually delete them, you'll need to find them again in the App Library.


How to delete apps on an iPad

To delete an app, find its icon anywhere in the homescreen interface, then tap and hold on it. Tap Remove App in the pop-up menu, then Delete App to confirm.

How to remove apps from the iPad homescreen without deleting them

Tap and hold on an app’s icon, then pick Remove App in the pop-up menu. Instead of tapping Delete App, though, choose Remove from Home Screen. The app will remain installed on your iPad, just no longer cluttering your homescreen.

Why would you do this? In some cases you may only need an app’s functions running in the background, or as-needed when triggered by another app — once you’ve configured the app’s settings, you might not need to launch it again.

iPadOS 15 and later also include something called the App Library, which is where all apps can be found, whether or not they’re on the homescreen. The App Library is included in the iPadOS dock by default, so no app is more than a few taps away.

How to delete apps that were removed from the iPad homescreen

If an app is absent from the homescreen, you’ll have to delete it via the App Library. You can access the Library by tapping on its dock icon (a stack of app folders), or else by swiping past the right-most page on the homescreen.

If the app you want to delete isn’t immediately visible, you can find it by using the Library’s search bar or exploring its folders.

Why can’t I delete apps from my iPad?

Apple considers some of its own apps so important that you cant delete them, such as Messages and Safari. The latter is especially crucial, since if you don’t have a third-party browser like Chrome or Firefox, iPadOS still needs a way of accessing web services.

As third-party apps go, the only reason you might not be able to delete them is if Apple parental controls are active and they’re set to prevent app deletion. You’ll have to disable parental controls entirely on your device, or else go to Settings > Screen Time > Content and Privacy Restrictions > iTunes and App Store Purchases and flip deletion back on.

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