iPhone: Can’t Delete Apps, ‘X’ Doesn’t Appear

A common problem that occurs for users of the Apple iPhone is the inability to delete apps. When you tap and hold the screen, an ‘X’ doesn’t appear in the upper-left corner of the icon as expected.

What usually causes this problem is a restriction setting. Perhaps this setting was accidentally set and forgotten about.

1. Open Settings.

2. Select General.

3. Choose Restrictions.

4. Enter the password set for restrictions.

5. Set the Deleting Apps setting to On so that it is allowed.

Deleting Apps restriction on iPhone

Once you ensure this setting is on, you should be able to remove apps without a problem.

Another reason the X may not appear is that it is an app that is built into Apple iOS. Apps such as Notes, Newsstand and Calendar cannot be removed.


  1. Tiffany says

    Thank you SO much! It had been driving me crazy. I somehow had the apps downloading on my iPad synching on my iPhone as well. Even after checking the settings on iCloud and on iTunes I couldn’t unsync them. This is the only thing that has worked for me. Thanks!!

  2. alican says

    hello guys i really need help i cannot remove and cannot move my aplications when i press and hold one of my app it dont shakes pleaze help me i also dont have restrictions and passcode lock PLEAZE HELP ME PLEAZEE!!! i have iphone 4s black ios6.1.3 pleazee

  3. Rachel says

    After Deleting Apps setting to On, no “X” appears at the top left corner of the app when I hold it…they start to shake, but no “X”. It didn’t work!!!… There is anything to suggestions? Please… Thank you.

  4. Jo Ann Brou says

    I have an app that has been installing for twent hours. When I try to delete it it doesn’t let me. HELP
    Thanks Jo Ann Brou

  5. Helping Hands says

    @ Help meee. Winterboard is an app instaleld from CYDIA. You need to go into CYDIA and uninstall from there.

  6. Miodrag says

    I have the same problem like Nick does. I don’t have restrictions menu on my iphone too. Settings->General and there is missing Restrictions. I have iOS 6.1.2 on my iPhone 4s.

    Please help me.

  7. Luke says

    I hi I have same problem. Have you managed to solve it yet? I have tryed everywhere :s thanks.

  8. Help meee says

    Help me, I can’t find that menu called delete app… Install app is there but delete isn’t… I want to delete an app called Winterboard !!!

  9. Nick says

    Hello, I’ve searched at many places but I can’t find the answer i need. The problem is that I don’t have restrictions menu on my iphone. That’s not actually the main problem. The thing is I can’t delete any apps from the phone. When I hold down any icon it doesn’t even start shaking don’t mention about the little “x” on top of it. I saw lot of topics how to fix that and all I found is including Restrictions menu. But when I go Settings->General there isn’t such a menu. Help please :(

  10. teddy says

    You can not delete any apps on first page like clock, stock, notes which i kind of understand but I do not need passbook and can not delete it which drives me nuts.

  11. Bob says

    I also followed the above instructions several times and no x appears at the top left corner of the app when I hold it…they start to shake, but no X. any more suggestions? Thanks.

  12. John says

    Thanks for the post and taking the time to try and help but nothing you suggested worked for me. I have an iPhone 4 updated to the new 6.0 OS. Followed your instructions to the letter (several times) and nothing works. Any Ideas. Just give up perhaps? Thanks

  13. Dusty says

    I only have one app that won’t delete, Kindle. It has been trying to update for a week or so and won’t do anything. I’ve done a soft and hard reset, app deleting was always on (I can delete any other apps).
    Any other suggestions?

  14. Simon says

    Thank you very much I put an app on my phone and I just couldn’t get rid of it and didn’t change those settings. But you’ve made me happy and made my day. So once again thank you so very much. : )

  15. Tom says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! The app I was trying to delete (VLC) didn’t even show up in my App List. That was driving me mad, and I believe it was draining my battery as it always showed up as “Waiting” to download.

    Sync didn’t help. Hard re-set didn’t help. Restore didn’t work. But your solution worked. Thanks!

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