How to fix an Apple iPhone XS that cannot uninstall apps after iOS 12.1.2 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Deleting apps on iPhone is supposed to be as easy as holding down and tapping on an app icon from the Home screen. But due to some factors, simple things like this can become a bit more complicated and just won’t work as intended. The underlying causes are generally software-related and therefore can be resolved by end-users.

Highlighted below are potential solutions to a pertinent issue on the new iPhone XS following the recent iOS 12.1.2 update rollout. Read on to find out what to do if apps won’t delete or uninstall on your iPhone XS after installing the most recent iOS 12 update.

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.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS that can’t uninstall apps

The updated built of iOS 12.1.2 was officially rolled out by Apple on the 20th of December 2018 for iOS devices, three days after the the previous iOS 12.1.2 with the eSIM bug fix patch for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR was released. The update was also pushed to fix a bug that’s affecting cellular connectivity features of these new iPhones. But similar to prior iOS versions Apple has released, the latest version also has its fair share of bugs as some iPhone XS owners ended up facing various issues including failure to delete or uninstall applications. A definite solution is yet to find and this leaves affected users to resort to any applicable workarounds. If you’re among those who are experiencing the same post-update dilemma on the same device, then feel free to try any of these outlined procedures.

First solution: Restart your iPhone (soft reset).

If this is the first attempt you’ve made and you failed to uninstall or delete apps on your phone, then it could be just another random iOS glitch. Minor software errors like this are often resolved by a soft reset or device restart. This helps clear out errant caches from the internal memory and refreshes the operating system without affecting internal data. Thus, if you haven’t already, soft reset your iPhone XS with these steps:

  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.

After the phone reboots, retry deleting apps from the Home screen and make sure you’re not activating the 3D Touch menu this time. To do so, gently press and hold the app for more than 2 seconds or until you see X on top of the app icons.

Second solution: Switch to cellular data connection then retry deleting app.

There are times that the app you are trying to install or update gets stuck on waiting and if this happens you can’t delete that app. In that case, the problem is likely attributed to an unstable network connection. Thus this is what you need to deal with first. As resolution, try switching from Wi-Fi to WLAN or cellular data connection instead. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap WLAN to connect to a stable Wi-Fi.
  3. Or Go to Settings-> Cellular menu, then tap to enable Cellular Data.

After switching to a different network connection, retry deleting the app and see it is successful.

Third solution: Delete apps from your iPhone storage menu.

If you cannot delete apps through the Home screen, then try heading of to the iPhone storage and use the given option to delete apps. Here’s how to access this menu and delete apps from your iPhone XS storage menu:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Select iPhone Storage.
  4. Locate the apps that you want to delete.
  5. Tap to select the app. Doing so will open the App screen.
  6. From the App screen, scroll down and select the option to Delete App.
  7. Tap Delete App again when asked to confirm.

Follow the same steps to delete other apps that you can’t delete from the Home screen.

Fourth solution: Disable restrictions to delete apps on your phone.

Another possible reason as to why you may not be able to delete apps on your iPhone is simply because deleting apps is restricted in the first place. To make sure this isn’t what’s giving you such a headache, head over to your iPhone settings and turn off restrictions for Deleting Apps. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Select the option to Turn on Screen Time, if necessary.
  4. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  5. Enter the correct passcode twice when asked to confirm,
  6. Scroll down to and find Deleting Apps from the given items then tap the switch next to it to the OFF position.

Go back to the Home screen after turning off restrictions to delete apps then retry deleting the app. If that doesn’t work still, then completely disable Restrictions on your iPhone instead and then retry deleting the apps.

Fifth solution: Reset and restore factory default settings on your iPhone (master reset).

If you suspect that this is a complex system error that needs to be rectified, then you may consider opting for a master reset as your last resort. This will wipe everything from your iPhone system include downloaded apps and contents, saved contacts, personal information and other saved data. Hence, all third-party apps are abruptly deleted. To master reset and restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS through settings, simply follow these steps:

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

Your iPhone should reboot automatically when the reset is finished and then loads up its factory default settings. All third-party apps and downloaded contents are then deleted and factory settings are restored. To use desired features and services, follow the setup wizard to configure your iPhone as new.

Alternatively, you can use iTunes to manually erase and restore factory default settings on your iPhone XS on your computer. After the reset, iTunes will install the latest software version for your device. You can also use iTunes to restore your iPhone XS in recovery mode. It’s a more advanced method of wiping and restoring iOS and get rid of major system errors.

Seek more help

Contact Apple to escalate the problem if none of the aforementioned solutions is able to fix the problem and you still end up unable to delete apps on your iPhone XS. Let them know exactly of what happened and what you’ve done so far to fix the problem on your end. The problem could be attributed to the Apple server and if that’s the case then there’s not much you can do on your end but to wait until the server is back up and running properly again.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS 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 XS. 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.