In iOS 11 and beyond, you can allow your iPhone or iPad to manage storage for you by automatically removing apps you haven’t used in a long time. Apps that are removed in this way still display their icons on the Home Screen, and all personal data from the apps, such as documents, projects, progress, etc are unaffected, meaning that data stays on your device, or in iCloud depending on the app, and does not get deleted. Only the app itself gets deleted in order to save space, but it’s just a tap away. Should you want to use the app again, tap it’s icon (it will have a Cloud beside it), and it will immediately begin to redownload.
To enable this setting, go to Settings, General, and iPhone (or iPad) Storage. It is quite possible that the option will be in the list of “Recommendations”. If so, it will be called “Offload Unused Apps”. If it is there, you can toggle it on. If not, go back out of General and back to the main Settings screen, then tap on iTunes and App Store. Toggle the “Offload Unused Apps” switch to turn it on.
Your device will show you how much space can be gained by enabling this feature. As mentioned above, no personal data is removed. Only the apps you have not used in a while are removed. When you want to open such an app again, just tap on its icon on the Home Screen. Be sure you are connected to a reliable and fast internet connection when you tap on an offloaded app, because it will need to be downloaded again from the App Store.
If you ever want to turn this feature off and allow all your apps to live on your device, return to Settings, iTunes and App Store, and turn off the “Offload Unused Apps” setting. Stay tuned for more how-to posts and other useful tips, tricks, tutorials, and more from The Tech Juggernaut.