How To See Recently Deleted Apps on the iPhone
Deleting an app on an iPhone is a walk in the park. You lightly press on the app you want to get rid of and all the apps start wobbling, you tap the “x” icon, and the unwanted app is gone.
But is there a way to keep track of all the apps you removed?
Yes, there is, and it’s very easy to do. The following sections will show you how to preview the deleted apps and also restore them if you want. Without further ado, let’s dive right in.
Previewing the Deleted Apps
Once you hit the “x” icon and confirm by tapping on Delete, the app, along with its data, is gone. However, it’s not gone for good. Remember that all your apps (deleted or installed) live inside the App Store. You are only a few steps away from accessing them at any given point.
To view previous downloads, follow these steps:
- Open the App Store and tap on your profile picture in the upper right corner.
- Tap Purchases.
- Tap My Purchases.
- Tap Not on this iPhone.
If you select the “All” tab, you can see every app on your account. The installed ones have the Open button on the right, and the ones you deleted have a small cloud icon.
How to Restore the Apps
After a while, you might figure out that you want to go back to some of the apps you’ve deleted. Unsurprisingly, there are a few different ways to restore apps to an iPhone, and all of them are easy.
You already know how to get to the “Not on this iPhone” tab, so there’s no need to repeat the steps. Once you reach the tab, browse the list of the deleted apps and tap on the cloud icon to reinstall it. You’ll need to enter the Apple ID password to confirm and download the app.
The small blue circle indicates the download status. When done, you’ll see the Open button next to the app. A great thing about this feature is that you don’t need to pay twice for the apps you purchased. Restoring the app is enough.
It might be quicker to type the app’s name in the App Store search bar and find the app this way. The store, of course, remembers your purchases, and the process is pretty similar to the one described above. Hit the magnifier icon at the bottom right in the App Store, type the name, and select the app from the results.
The cloud icon appears under the name of the app; just tap on it to reinstall the app.
Perform a Restoral Using iTunes
For some reason, Apple decided to remove the Apps tab/icon from iTunes 12.7 onwards. But if you haven’t updated iTunes for a while, you might still be able to restore the apps. In that case, click on your iPhone, choose Apps, and click Install next to the ones you want to use again.
On the other hand, you can use the Restore from Backup feature on any version of iTunes. However, this might be too much to get a few apps. You need to make sure to update the iPhone in a timely manner, and there’s always the risk of losing some of your data. Therefore, it’s best to stick to the previously described methods.
Apps Gone Missing
You might notice that some of your apps are nowhere to be found even though you haven’t deleted them. But there’s no need to worry – these apps are not gone for good. As of iOS 11.0, Apple introduced the Offload Unused Apps feature, which removes the apps you don’t use.
All of the offloaded apps can be reinstalled via the App Store. If you dislike this automatic feature, it’s simple to turn off. All you need to do is this:
- Go to Settings and tap on iTunes & App Store.
- Scroll down to Offload Unused Apps.
- Toggle the switch to turn off the function.
Tip: Use the Spotlight Search to find missing or deleted apps. Type the app’s name and select the App Store icon if the app has been downloaded or offloaded.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most frequently asked questions about finding deleted apps on the iPhone.
If I delete an app from my phone that I paid for, will I have to pay to download it again?
As long as you’re using the same Apple ID and password, you will not have to pay to download the app again. Simply visit the App Store on your phone, click on the cloud icon, and download the content.
You may see a button that says ‘Buy’ rather than the cloud. If you’re using the same Apple ID and password, you shouldn’t need to pay for the app. If it’s a lower-cost app and you don’t mind, go ahead and download it because oftentimes, you’ll get a pop-up that states ‘You’ve already purchased this app.’ Unfortunately, that isn’t a guarantee, so you may need to contact Apple.
How do I know if I’ve downloaded an app before?
Some apps give you special perks for creating an account. Others are apps we don’t use often so we re-add them only when necessary. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to find out if you’ve ever had a specific application before.
Go to the App Store and type in the name of the app. If it has a cloud icon, you’ve downloaded it using your iCloud account before. If it says ‘Get’ or ‘Buy,’ you haven’t had that app before.
If I change my Apple ID, can I still recover my Apps?
Unfortunately, no. If you delete or lose access to your Apple ID, you will also lose access to all saved information and your purchases. The only workaround to this is if you had Family Sharing set up.
Reactivate Family Sharing with your new Apple ID and see if your purchases become available. If you deleted your Apple ID, this may not work because you also deleted all purchases. Alternatively, if you or someone in your family made the purchases and your account is still active, it’s certainly worth a shot.
How do I get an offloaded app back?
If you manually offloaded an app, or iOS did it for you, you can easily retrieve the application. As opposed to deleting an app, offloading one means the app’s icon is still on your home screen. Here’s what you can do to identify and get your offloaded app back:
1. Scroll through your home screen looking for an app with the download icon.
2. Tap the app and wait for it to redownload.
The Apps Are Always Out There
In short, the easiest way to see your deleted apps is via the App Store Purchased tab. From there, you can quickly restore several apps at a time by tapping on the cloud icon. The other important takeaway is that the Offload Unused Apps feature automatically deletes apps. Turn it off to avoid temporarily losing some of your apps.