How to free up internal space on iPhone and iPad by uninstalling apps without erasing your data

How to free up internal space on iPhone and iPad by uninstalling apps without erasing your data

Internal storage on the iPhone is something that always concerns us, because no matter how much we have chosen a model with a lot of capacity, the evolution of the system and applications makes the device more and more full over time.

Erasing apps can be a solution to free up space, but what to do when we have data written to these apps and we don’t want to lose them? IOS 11 brought the possibility to “uninstall” the app you want, without deleting its content. And in this article we’ll show you how to do that.



The function gained a translation into Portuguese that can confuse users a lot. The system in our language gives you two options: uninstall or delete an app. But what is the difference between these two modalities?

Delete is when you completely delete the app from the device, without leaving any trace of it, including its content. If you decide to reinstall it again, it will start from scratch, only recovering data from iCloud when (and IF) it has backed up to the cloud (something that not all apps do).

Uninstall is what Apple calls the act of deleting just the app, keeping all your data on the system. In this case, when you reinstall the same app, it will be in exactly the same position it was in since the last time you used it.

So, if you have an application that you use only occasionally, but you don’t want to delete it so you don’t lose what’s in it, choose the option “Uninstall”Can be a good solution to free up internal space in the system. Large games, for example, can be uninstalled if you don’t play for a while, without the evolution being erased, and reinstalled again only when you play again.


Uninstalling applications

To uninstall an application without deleting the data on it, follow the steps:

Step 1: Open iOS Settings.

Step 2: Select the “General“.

Step 3: Choose the option “IPhone storage”(Or iPad, if applicable).

Step 4: Find the application you want to uninstall.

Step 5: Touch “Uninstall App“.

In this way, the application is uninstalled without the data being deleted. In many cases, the content size is much larger than the application. Even so, it can already make a difference in the internal space.


You can configure the system so that it automatically uninstalls applications that you almost never use. To do this, go to Settings> iTunes and App Store and activate the option “Uninstall Unused Apps“.




Reinstalling applications

The application icon that was “uninstalled” (not deleted) remains on the iPhone or iPad screen, with a cloud symbol next to the name.

To bring the app back, just tap the icon and the download will start immediately.


The downside of this method is that if you need the app but don’t have access to the internet, you won’t be able to use it. It happened to me when trying to use the TomTom Go app while traveling; without me realizing it, he had automatically uninstalled the app and when I went to use it, I had no internet. For this reason, evaluate well whether it is convenient for you to activate automatic uninstallation or if it is better to uninstall the one you do not intend to use from time to time.


Did you like what you read? There are several other very cool tips on iPhone and iPad here on the blog, all organized in our iPhone Tips section. Check out!