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How to delete built-in iPhone apps

People usually criticize Apple for keeping its ecosystem closed and not allowing too many freedoms to its users. That might be true, depending on how you look at it, but there are certain aspects of iOS that are simply designed to be better or at least more convenient than on other platforms.

One of the things I think Apple does best in the business is managing built-in apps. In an era when manufacturers are keeping their phones flooded with bloatware, Apple allows you to stay in control of the stock apps. Not in full control, though, but certainly more than competitors do, with an exception of Google.

If you’ve ever owned an Android phone not made by Google, you were certainly annoyed by the number of pre-installed apps that you can’t delete. With all due respect, but who uses Galaxy Store?

You won’t have to deal with such annoyances on your iPhone. Believe it or not, you’re allowed to delete most of the built-in apps that come out of the box. And those you can’t delete are essential for using your phone anyway. For example, you can’t delete Messages, Safari, Phone, etc.

The reason why Apple and Google are different is that, unlike most of the other companies, they don’t have (need) any partnerships with third-parties. All of the apps that come pre-installed are Apple’s own. What’s even more important is that you’d use most of these apps anyway, so there’s no need to shove apps down your throat.

Now that you know a little background, let’s see which apps you can delete and how to do it.

These are the stock iPhone apps you can delete

Here’s a full list of the built-in apps you can delete from your iPhone:

  • Activity
  • Apple Books
  • Calculator
  • Calendar
  • Compass
  • Contacts
  • FaceTime
  • Files
  • Find My Friends (iOS 12 only)
  • Home
  • iTunes Store
  • Mail
  • Maps
  • Measure
  • Music
  • News (where available)
  • Notes
  • Podcasts
  • Reminders
  • Stocks
  • Tips
  • TV (where available)
  • Videos
  • Voice Memos
  • Watch app
  • Weather

And here’s a much smaller list of the apps you can’t ever delete from your iPhone:

  • App Store
  • Settings
  • Health
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • Safari
  • Clock
  • Find My
  • Wallet

As you can see, most of the apps on this list are either incremental for the functioning of your phone or the ones you wouldn’t delete anyway. There are no third-party apps whatsoever.

How to delete built-in apps on iPhone

To cut to the chase, you can delete a built-in app just like you would delete any other app. Just long-press the app you want to delete, and tap Delete App. And that’s it, the app is gone.

There are, however, a few things you should keep in mind when deleting built-in apps that you used before. For example, if you delete the Contacts app, all your contacts will remain on your phone but will be stored in the Phone app. There are a couple more of these rules, which you can check on Apple’s support page.

What are your thoughts on the current built-in apps situation? Are you satisfied with it, or you want to be able to delete even more first-party apps? Let us know in the comments below.

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