For Adults

Remove Apps: Save Space & Gain Speed


07/07/2021 | tech & mobile skills

Overview

If you have apps that you don’t need or want, you can usually remove them from your device. An app, short for the word “application,” is a software program that’s specifically designed for a smartphone or tablet. All new devices have some selection of apps preloaded onto them. Over time, most users find that they need to add additional apps to their device as well as get rid of apps they do not use. Most unwanted apps can be removed or disabled.

Why is this Skill Important

Unwanted apps can take up space and hog resources on your phone or tablet. If your device is running low on storage space, often removing apps is part of the solution. Reducing the number of apps on your device down to just the ones you actually use can potentially improve your battery life and make your device faster.

Over time, you may find that apps you once used frequently are no longer helpful. Sometimes apps are created for temporary purposes such as limited time programs or events, meaning that the app stops working after the event is over. A company or organization might discontinue a program or service, making the app they once offered obsolete. Your needs may change over time, too, and you might choose to replace an app with a competitor that you like better. Any time there is an app on your device that no longer works for you, for whatever reason, you should consider removing it.

Android

Different models of Android devices may have different methods for removing apps. Here are 4 of the most common ways to uninstall an app from your Android phone or tablet. If one method doesn’t seem to work for you, try another one. Remember that some built-in apps cannot be uninstalled, only disabled or stopped.

  1. From the home screen, hold your finger down on the app icon of the app you want to remove. This action is called a long press. Several shortcut options should appear on the screen. From these options, tap “App Info” or the information symbol-- the letter i in a circle-- ⓘ Next, tap Uninstall.
  2. From the home screen or the app drawer, hold your finger down on the app you wish to remove. Next, drag the app icon into the Uninstall area that appears on your screen and let go. Tap OK when prompted to confirm that you want to uninstall the app.
  3. Open your Settings section and navigate to the list of all apps installed on your device. This is usually located in a section called Apps or Apps & Notifications. Tap on the name of the app you want to remove and choose Uninstall.
  4. Open the Google Play Store app and navigate to Settings. Find the list of My apps & games and go into the Installed section. Scroll through the list to find the app you want to remove and tap Uninstall.

For more help removing and disabling apps on Android, check out this guide from Google.

iPhone

Most apps can be removed from iPhones and iPads by holding your finger down on the icon of the app you want to remove. Then, a menu will pop up and you can select the Remove App option. Alternately, if you hold your finger down on the background of your home screen, the app icons will begin to wiggle and a minus sign will appear over the upper left corner of the app icons; tap the minus sign for any apps you wish to remove.

You can also remove apps from the Settings section. Open Settings, tap General and then tap iPhone/iPad Storage. Scroll through this section to find the app you want to remove and tap it. Finally, tap Delete App.

Not every app can be deleted; a small selection of built-in apps cannot be removed. To see a list of which built-in apps you can remove and learn more about how that can affect your device, check out this resource from Apple.

For more information about removing apps from iPhones, iPads, and iPods, check out this guide from Apple.

Smartphone Basics

Use the recommended titles here to explore the features of your smartphone. Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, these recent books can help you learn to make your device work best for you! Many of the skills and topics covered here would also apply to Android tablets and iPads. IndyPL_Tinker_Station

Android

Gookin, Dan

Let this friendly guide show you the ins and outs of your Android device— master the basics and get the most from your Android phone or tablet!

IPhone

Baig, Edward C.

This simple walkthrough will help you to quickly pick up the basics of using your iPhone. Explore the most important features and learn more about what your device can do!

Android Phones for Seniors

Vandome, Nick

This is a guide to using the Android interface specifically aimed at seniors. This books explains some of the different versions of Android and models of phones that are available. You can also find information about the relationship between Google and the services that can be used with an Android phone.