Digital Declutter Day #9: Unused Apps

The Digital Decluttter

Today in the Digital Declutter Challenge, our focus shifts to your smartphone. The goal for this task is to remove any icons for apps that you are not using.

Apps on a smartphone. remove any icons for apps that you are not using
Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Apps (a shortened form of “application”) are wonderful tools because they offer great functionality at a low (or zero) price point. Apps enable us to do all kinds of fun and useful tasks from our phones, and are also helpful for synching desktop functions to the mobile environment. Typically, apps end up on our phones in a couple of ways:

  • They come pre-downloaded
  • We select them to meet a need
  • We download them on someone else’s recommendation
  • Someone else on a shared account downloads them

Typically, we end up with more apps on our phone than we actually use. Maybe we tried once and it didn’t work the way we had hoped. Or perhaps we downloaded a better tool and never get around to deleting the old one. On shared accounts, family members are likely to have different interests and requirements.

As with all clutter, unused app icons crowd your display and make it harder to access the apps you regularly open. Removing apps from your screen is fairly simple, but be aware of the following:

  1. This task is not about uninstalling apps, but rather about removing dormant icons from your screen. Permanently uninstalling the apps from your account is bit trickier, and differs by device. Furthermore, if you are part of a family share plan, you don’t want to remove any apps that someone else may be using.
  2. Some apps come preloaded on your phone and cannot be easily removed. We will work on moving these “out of the way” on another day.
  3. When you delete an app from your screen, you will usually get a warning that all stored data will be lost. If you don’t want to lose stored data, do not delete the app.

[Note: There are many phones in use today, from a variety of manufacturers. If you are not sure about how to delete apps from your screen, or are concerned about unintentionally deleting something important, visit the website of your manufacturer for specific instructions for your make, model and version.]

In general…

For Android:

Put your finger on the icon of the app that you no longer wish to see and hold it there. The background of your phone will change, and when this happens, simply drag the icon up into the trashcan. Here is a video you can watch to see how it works:

For Apple:

Put your finger on the icon of the app that you no longer wish to see and hold it there. All of the icons on the screen will begin to wiggle, and a small “x” will appear at the upper right hand corner of the icon. Simply click the “x” of any icons you want to disappear. When you are finished, push your home screen button (at the bottom of the phone) and the wiggling will stop. Here is a video you can watch to see how it works:

Make sure to go through this same process on all your mobile devices.


Do you have any apps on your phone that you really never use? Which one(s) will you delete? Which do you use all the time?

6 thoughts on “Digital Declutter Day #9: Unused Apps”

    1. I’ll be interested to hear which apps people love and which they are deleting. Apps are like anything we own, some we use and some we don’t!

    1. Yes, it is such a hassle to scroll through screen after screen looking for the app you want. First step is always to clear the clutter, next we will organize what is left!

  1. I got a new phone this summer and have been very careful about what I add. I have one for recording my blood pressure readings so I can show it to my doctor but I haven’t used it yet – obviously I’ve slipped in monitoring my BP!
    Janet Barclay recently posted…App Review: FotoJetMy Profile

    1. Wow, that sounds like a terrific app. I didn’t even know that was possible! When we “move” (whether physically or from one device to another) is always a great time to declutter!

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