How to fix an Apple iPhone XR that cannot delete apps [Troubleshooting Guide]

When Apple pushed the iOS 12 platform, many people have found trouble deleting apps after updating their iOS device. Most of those who encounter app deletion problems were those who have turned on restrictions to delete apps before when they were still in iOS 11. It then turned out that the option to turn off restrictions to delete apps has been changed. In case you are among those who have trouble deleting apps on the new iOS 12 platform, particularly on the new iPhone XR handset, then you may have to consider reading this context and get some help.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

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First solution: Turn off your iPhone restrictions to delete apps.

One of the most common reasons as to why apps couldn’t be deleted on an iPhone using the usual methods is because restrictions to delete apps are turned on. If this is the case, then all you need to do is turn the restrictions off so as to allow apps deletion on your iPhone XR. So here’s what you can try doing first:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on Screen Time.
  3. Select Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Tap iTunes & App Store Purchases.
  5. Go to Store Purchases & Redownloads menu
  6. Then set the option to allow delete apps. Simply toggle the switch to turn off restriction to delete apps on your iPhone XR.

Alternatively, you can go to Settings-> General-> iPhone Storage menu. Then find the app that you want to delete, select the app then tap on Delete App.

Second solution: Restart your iPhone.

Minor software errors and glitches can also cause the iPhone’s app management system to fail. As a result, app deletions could not be done. To deal with such problems, performing a soft reset on the iPhone is recommended. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

Alternatively, you can force restart your iPhone XR to forcibly end all apps and services including those that have gone rogue and cause the phone system to glitch. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

As soon as your phone boots up, retry deleting apps on your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. Unlock your iPhone to access the Home screen.
  2. From the Home screen, tap and hold on the app icon that you want to delete.
  3. Wait for the app icons to start jiggling.
  4. Then tap the X on the top-left edge of the app icon to delete the app.
  5. Tap Delete when asked to confirm deletion of the app from your iPhone XR.

If that still doesn’t work, proceed and try the next method.

Third solution: Update to the latest iOS version available.

You can also resort to updating your iPhone software if your device isn’t yet updated. This can potentially fix the problem if malwares and software bugs are to blame.

  • To check for new iOS update, head over to Settings-> General-> Software Update menu.

If an update is available, you will be prompted with an update notification highlighting the update details and system requirements. Read and review the information then follow the onscreen instructions to download and install new update.

Fourth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

To rule out invalid system settings or incorrect configuration from the possible causes, you can try resetting all settings on your iPhone XR. Unlike a factory reset, this reset does not affect any stored information on the phone memory so you won’t lose any critical data from doing so. If you wish to give it a shot, then simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to proceed.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

After the reset, your iPhone will reboot automatically and then loads up the default values and options. This means that you need to enable individual features that you want to use on your phone including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks.

Fifth solution: Restore factory default settings on your iPhone (master reset).

With this reset, all your downloaded apps and services will be wiped out completely. This can be considered among the last options if none of the previous methods solved the problem. Just be sure to back up all your personal information including contacts to iCloud or iTunes beforehand so you can just recover them after the reset. Once you’re all set, follow these steps to factory reset your iPhone XR through settings:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all content and settings.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to continue.
  6. Finally, tap the option to confirm full system reset.

Software-related issues that could not be resolved by the first workarounds are usually dealt with by a factory reset. If you still cannot delete apps on your iPhone XR after resetting and restoring factory default settings, then that’s when you may have to consider performing system restore. Your next options would be a recovery mode restore or DFU mode restore.

Other options

  • Delete apps through iTunes. Aside from updating and restoring devices, iTunes can also be used to manage apps. Having said that, you can use iTunes as an alternative solution to delete your iPhone apps. To get started, connect your iPhone to your computer using the supplied USB cable/Lightning cable. Then open iTunes on your computer. Select your iPhone XR when it appears in iTunes. Then navigate to the Update section to view a list of your apps. Right-click on the app icon then select the option to Delete from Library. The app will then be uninstalled from your iPhone thus you will no longer see that app the next time you sync your device.
  • Use iOS app management tools. You can also try using third-party iOS app management tools as alternative solution if none of the recommended methods is able to solve the problem. While the user interface may vary, these tools typically work similar as iTunes does when managing your iPhone contents. To get started, simply download and install your preferred software on your computer and then launch it. Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB then wait until it’s recognized by the software. Then follow the onscreen commands to start deleting unwanted apps from your iPhone XR.

Seek more help

If nothing else works and you’ve already ran out of options, contact Apple Support for further assistance in performing more advanced solutions.


Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XR smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XR. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.