How to: Delete Apple’s Apps from your iPhone

OK, I teased briefly about the Hidden 10th iPhone app screen that would allow you to get past the 148 app limit on the iPhone, and I will reveal its secrets here in a tip I know many of you have been waiting for someone to tell you – namely, How to delete Apple’s official apps from the iPhone?

We all know that holding down an application’s icon on the iPhone will cause them all to wiggle – thus allowing you to rearrange the icons on your screen as well as delete 3rd party apps from your iPhone (by clicking that the little “X” icon in the corner). Apple’s official iPhone apps, however (Calculator, iTunes, Stocks, Phone, etc.), lack this button, and until now most of you likely just figured Apple’s default set of apps were undeletable – destined to stay on your home screens forever, taking up valuable real estate and mocking you with their “We ain’t going anywhere” smugness.

Well, this is not entirely true, as I have discovered that yes, removing these apps IS possible (sort of), and it involves invoking the iPhone’s hidden 10th Home page. Here’s how to do it:

OK, first things first. In order to get rid of an Apple-sanctioned app, you will need
1 – An iPhone
2 – A Wi-Fi connection and iTunes account
3 – About 5-10 minutes of time
3 – 9 pages of apps on your iPhone

What?! Yes, you read right. You see, the main trick in deleting Apple’s apps is that you need to first fill the final page (page 9) on your iPhone with applications. This isn’t as hard as it sounds as there are thousands of free iPhone apps on the app store now that you can temporarily use to pad out your iPhone (remember, you can always delete them later) and you needn’t have 9 FULL pages of apps. (In fact, you can in theory do it with as few as 25 – you can have just 1 app per page for the first 7 pages – but the more apps you have the more apps you can delete). Only the last page (page 9) needs to be full, and page 8 should be mostly full if possible.

Step 1: Move any Apple-branded apps you do NOT want on your iPhone (such as the iTunes Store, the Camera, the Phone (who needs a Phone on their iPhone?), Weather etc. to the 9th page.

Step 2: Arrange the apps so that the ones you wish to delete are the bottom right-most apps on the page

Above: By dragging Urban Spoon from page 8 to Page 9, I have moved the “Phone” app to the hidden page 10.

Step 3: Now, the key to deleting these apps is that you are not really deleting them so much as you are “banishing” them to the hidden 10th page on the iPhone. Kind of the iPhone version of Superman’s Phantom Zone, this 10th page is a virtual storagearea that Apple includes for holding apps that you download if you happen to already have all 148 spaces (9 pages) full of apps. In order to banish apps to the Phantom Zone, you simply need to start “pushing” the icons off the screen. As you may have noticed in the past, when you drag an application from one page to another, it pushes all the apps on that page down to the right 1 space. Well, that’s what we are going to do here. Begin by making sure Page 8 has at least 1 more application on it than the number of apps you want to delete on page 9. Now, press and hold an application on page 8, causing the apps to wiggle, and then begin dragging applications from page 8 to page 9. As you release each application, you will see the bottom right-most app disappear. Keep moving apps over, bumping apps to the hidden 10th page until you have gotten rid of all the apps you do not want.

Above: Who needs Phone, Stocks, Weather, Contacts, Calendar, App Store or iTunes?

Above: You can now consolidate pages.

Step 4:You can now rearrange your apps the way you’d like, consolidate pages back to a more normal number, and the Apple apps will not reappear.

OK, so, how do I get them back? Do I have to restore?

Oh, so now you wish you COULD use your iPhone as a phone, or you deleted “Camera” and now you want to take a picture? OK, well the good news is you need not restore your iPhone to get your apps back. All you have to do is power the iPhone off (hold the sleep button on top of the iPhone until the “Slide to Power Off” message appears, turn it off, then turn it back on (pressing the same button). All the banished official Apple apps will reappear back on the first available open apps slots on your iPhone. The only caveat would be if you had a full 148 apps on your iPhone, and no open slots for them to return into, in which case you’d need to delete a few apps and power off/on the iPhone to get them back. A sync in iTunes will also bring them back.

Above: Just turn your iPhone off and on or sync it to make the hidden apps reappear.

So, why would I want to do this?

Well, normally you wouldn’t, but there are some situations where you might. Number one is of course to screw with your friend’s iPhone by “deleting” the Phone app (incidentally, you can still receive calls when the phone app is hidden, and you could in theory make them if you have a double-tap of the Home button set to bring up your phone favorites). Other times this may prove useful is if you wish to restrict app store access or hide your e-mail or Phone access while lending an iPhone to a child or other untrustworthy individual.

Sadly, this hiding of apps is not permanent, as the odds are you will sync your iPhone or turn it off at some point, causing the Apple apps will reappear, but if you go long periods without doing so and you for some reason hate seeing the Calculator or any other Apple app on any of your screens (and are scared of Jailbreaking your iPhone to achieve similar results), this work around should do the trick.

i take NO credit.
Use at own risk, please.
if YOU mess up your iphone it’s your fault and only your fault.


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