With iOS 16, Apple allows you to uninstall even more applications that come as stock apps or are preloaded on your iPhone.
For years, iPhone owners were forced to keep Apple’s standard applications even if they didn’t use them — a relic of the first iPhone before the App Store when it wasn’t even possible to rearrange apps on the Home Screen.
To make matters worse, there was no App Library back then, so users had to come up with various creative methods to hide such programs — generally by putting them in a folder labeled “Unused Apps” or relegating them to an unvisited home screen page.
It wasn’t until iOS 10 that Apple made it possible to remove any of these first-party Apple apps. That first version included the majority, but not all, of Apple’s third-party apps. The exceptions were mainly apparent — deleting the Settings app would be a terrible idea — but there were a few others, such as Safari, Camera, and Photos, that Apple just did not want customers to remove.
The good news is that iOS 16 is increasing this list even more, and while you’ll still be trapped with a handful, iPhone owners who wish to avoid Apple’s first-party applications and services will be in a better position to do so.
In particular, iOS 16 now permits the removal of the Clock and Find My applications. It’s easy to see why they were required — Clock regulates the built-in alarms and timers, and Find My is an integral element of the Find My Network experience. However, Apple has recently accepted that some people may simply have other options for these.
It’s also now easy to uninstall the Health, Fitness, and Watch apps if you don’t have an Apple Watch. If you attempt to delete them while an Apple Watch is attached to your iPhone, you will be prompted to first unpair your Apple Watch.
Aside from that, you can uninstall almost any other first-party software. The list is so big — roughly 30 stock apps in all — that it’s probably simpler to focus on the ones you can’t get rid of.
As previously stated, Settings is the most apparent one on our list since, without it, you wouldn’t be able to configure anything on your iPhone. However, here are the others that Apple still requires you to maintain, listed in the order of their usual Home Screen placements:
Here are the stock apps you cannot delete – you need them for iPhone to work
- App Store
It’s also important to remember that removing a stock apps does not always delete its underlying data. Apple’s support article, for example, states unequivocally that your Contacts will remain on your device even if you uninstall the Contacts app since they are still used by the Phone app.
Similarly, even if you delete the standard FaceTime app, you’ll be able to make and receive FaceTime calls because that’s a basic feature available through the Phone app.