A common problem that occurs for users of the Apple iPhone or iPad 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. Here is a list of possible resolutions to this common problem.
Resolution 1 – Tap Lightly
If you are using an iPhone that detects the pressure of your tap, be sure that you lightly touch and hold the app icon for about 2 to 3 seconds, then the “X” should appear. When you’re done, press the “Home” button to return to the normal Home screen. This seems to be the most common issue.
Resolution 2 – Restart
I personally experienced this problem with the “Yelp” app. I had two icons on my home screen for Yelp. I deleted on of them, but the other remained. I could not get the “X” to appear on the second icon. A simple restart solved this for me.
- Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until an option to “slide to power off” appears.
- Slide the power icon to the right, then wait for your device to power down.
- After about 15 seconds, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn the device back on.
I hope the icon is now gone as happened for me.
Resolution 3 – Restrictions
Another common reason there is no “X” is a restriction setting. Perhaps this setting was accidentally set and forgotten about.
- Open “Settings“.
- Select “General“.
- In iOS12 and higher choose “Screen Time” > “Content Privacy & Restrictions” > “Content Privacy” > “iTunes & App Store Purchases“. In iOS 11 and lower, choose “General” > “Restrictions“.
- Enter the password set for restrictions.
- Set the “Deleting Apps” setting to “On/Allow” so that it is allowed.
Once you ensure this setting is on, you should be able to remove apps without a problem.
Resolution 4 – Profile
A profile may be on your device that is enabling certain restrictions on your device. This could be a profile provided by your employer or school. You can usually remove profiles under “Settings” > “General” > “Profiles“.
If you are unable to remove the profile and your device was provided by an employer or school, contact the IT department for assistance.
Resolution 5 – Not All Apps are Removable
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. Other apps may be removed from “Settings” > “General” > “Storage and iCloud usage” under “Storage” select “Manage” > “Select App” > “Delete App“.