When you need to manage the storage space on your iPhone, some of the first things you should look for are videos, pictures, and apps that you don’t need on your device.
If you are syncing your pictures and videos to iCloud then there are ways to optimize the storage on your device so that full resolution versions are saved to iCloud while lower resolutions are kept on the phone, but that doesn’t help with app storage.
The way that you can manage storage space on your iPhone by automatically removing apps that you aren’t using is with a feature called “Offload Unused Apps.”
You can offload unused apps on an iPhone 13 by going to Settings > App Store > then enabling the Offload Unused Apps option.
Once you have switched on that setting, your iPhone will automatically remove apps that you haven’t used in a while but will keep the documents and data in case you need to use the app again in the future.
Our tutorial below will provide additional information on using the option to remove old apps from your iPhone 13 so that you can keep as much free storage on your device as possible.
How to Offload Apps on an iPhone 13 Automatically
- Tap Settings.
- Choose App Store.
- Turn on Offload Unused Apps.
Our guide continues below with additional information on offloading unused apps from an iPhone 13, including pictures of these steps.
How to Offload Apps from iPhone 13 If They Haven’t Been Used in a While (Guide with Pictures)
The steps in this guide were performed on an iPhone 13 in the iOS 15.4.1 operating system.
Step 1: Open the Settings app.
Step 2: Scroll down and choose the App Store option.
Step 3: Tap the button to the right of Offload Unused Apps to turn it on.
You will know that the setting is enabled when there is green shading around the button. I have enabled the offloading of unused apps on my iPhone in the picture below.
You can continue reading below for additional discussion about offloading unused iPhone apps.
How to Offload an Individual App on You iPhone 13
If you think this feature is useful but you don’t want to wait around for your iPhone to decide to offload an app on its own, you can offload an app manually.
To accomplish this you are going to need to go into the iPhone Storage menu to manage the app instead of doing it from the Home screen.
- Open Settings.
- Select General.
- Touch iPhone Storage.
- Select the app to offload.
- Tap Offload App.
- Select Offload App again to confirm.
Note that the iPhone Storage menu will also provide you with some recommendations on ways that you can free up storage space, such as deleting downloaded videos or TV shows.
The difference between offloading and uninstalling an iPhone app is that uninstalling the app will also remove the documents and data for the app, as where offloading will keep that information on your phone.
More Information on What Does Offloading an App Do on an iPhone 13
Using the option to offload apps from your device is a great way to stay on top of the apps that you have on your phone and how much space they are taking up.
So many different companies and organizations have apps now that it’s very easy to wind up with dozens, even hundreds of different apps, many of which can go unused for months or years.
one of the nice things about offloading apps in this manner is that your phone is still going to keep any data associated with the apps when it removes the apps themselves. So if you decide that you need to use an app in the future and your iPhone offloaded it, you can simply reinstall the app from the App Store and pick up where you left off.
To reinstall an app you will need to open the App Store, select the Search tab, search for the app, then tap the cloud icon next to it. That cloud icon indicates that you have already “purchased” the app and own it, so you are able to re-download it without any additional cost. Note that the iPhone considers an app to be purchased even if it it was free.
If you change Apple IDs however, then you won’t be able to re-download an app that you purchased with the previous Apple ID. These purchases are tied to the Apple ID account, not the device.
Matthew Burleigh has been writing technology how-to articles and tutorials for over a decade. He has extensive experience in information technology both in small business and as a consultant.
His articles have appeared on dozens of websites and been read millions of times.
He covers many different topics concerning technology, but focuses primarily on smartphones, consumer software, and consumer electronics.
You can read his full bio here.