iPad Basics: Is It Safe to Delete Rarely Used Apps on the iPad?

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OK, seasoned iPad veterans look away – this is another iPad Basics tip, for those who are newer to iPad and iOS.

I was recently asked by a reader how he could archive apps that are not used regularly on his iPad. As in, he wanted to be able to delete some rarely used apps on the iPad itself in order to save storage space and clutter on home screens, without losing those apps forever.

And happily the answer is that iTunes has us well covered in this area.

iTunes does the ‘archiving’ for us. You can happily delete apps from the iPad itself but the record of your purchase remains on iTunes so at any point that you want to reinstall them it recognizes that you have already purchased them. They also remain in iTunes on the PC as long as you don’t delete them there.

One important thing to be aware of when deleting an app that does not sync its data with a desktop or online partner, is that its data will also be deleted. The same goes for games. This is a good reason to look for apps that have a good sync setup.

In iOS 4.3.5 and iOS 5, which should be released in the next few weeks, there is a new Purchased tab in the App Store on the iPad, which makes all of this even easier. There’s even a section for ‘Not on this iPad’ that shows you only apps you have purchased but do not currently have installed. And of course it’s just a single tap to reinstall any of them from there.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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5 thoughts on “iPad Basics: Is It Safe to Delete Rarely Used Apps on the iPad?”

  1. That’s nice but what about the data on those apps, will iTunes remember your game progress or notes taken?

  2. It’s also important to remember that just because Apple may keep you covered on apps you delete – at any given time an app you downloaded can be removed from the apps store and made unavailable for download ever again.

    I keep a copy my all the apps I’ve ever bought n an external hard drive for permanent storage.

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