Offload Unused Apps On iPhone: What It Means & Why You Should!

You were exploring the Settings app on your iPhone and saw the option to enable a feature called Offload Unused Apps. This new iOS 11 feature is similar to deleting apps, except data from offloaded apps isn’t erased from your iPhone. In this article, I’ll explain what it means to offload an app on your iPhone and discuss whether or not it’s a good idea to offload unused apps.

What Does It Mean To Offload Unused Apps On iPhone?

When you offload unused apps on your iPhone, the app is deleted, but the saved data from the app remains on your iPhone. For example, if you offload the Netflix app, the app itself will get deleted, but data like your login information will still be there if you reinstall the app.

If you were to delete the Netflix app rather than offload it, the app itself and its saved data (such as your login information) would be completely erased on your iPhone.

How Do I Offload Unused Apps On An iPhone?

There are two ways to offload unused apps on an iPhone:

  1. You can enable Offload Unused Apps in the Settings app.
  2. You can pick individual apps to offload.

Both of these options can be accessed by opening the Settings app and tapping General -> iPhone Storage. Under Recommendations, you’ll see the option to enable Offload Unused Apps.

enable offload unused apps

You can also scroll down and see a list of your apps organized by how much data they use. You can offload an individual app by tapping on it in this list and tapping Offload App.

offload individual apps on iphone

Should I Enable Offload Unused Apps?

The Offload Unused Apps setting is basically a “master switch” that gives your iPhone control over which unused apps get offloaded. We don’t recommend enabling this feature because you don’t want to wind up in a situation where you need to use a specific app, but your iPhone automatically offloaded it. By manually offloading individual apps, you have complete control of your iPhone and your apps.

What Are The Benefits Of Offloading Unused Apps?

The biggest benefit of offloading unused apps is the ability to quickly free up storage space. Apps can take up a lot of storage space on your iPhone, so offloading the ones you don’t use often is an easy way to free up more space on your iPhone.

How Much Storage Space Can I Save By Enabling Offload Unused Apps?

It’ll say how much storage space you can save by offloading apps underneath the Offload Unused Apps menu option. As you can see in the screenshot below, I can save over 700 MB by enabling Offload Unused Apps on my iPhone!

data saved by offload unused apps

Reinstalling An Offloaded App

Even after offloading an app on your iPhone, the app’s icon will appear on your iPhone’s Home screen. You’ll be able to tell that the app is offloaded because there will be a small cloud icon below the app icon.

offloaded app on iPhone home screen

To reinstall an app you’ve offloaded, simply tap on the app on your Home screen. A status circle will appear on the icon after you’ve tapped on the app and it will begin to reinstall.

reinstall offloaded app on iphone

You can also reinstall an offloaded app by going to Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage and tapping on the offloaded app. Then, tap Reinstall App.

reinstall offloaded app in settings

Apps: Offloaded!

We hope this article helped you understand what it means to offload unused apps on your iPhone and why you may want to start offloading apps on your iPhone. If you have any other questions about your iPhone, feel free to leave them in the comments section below!

Thanks for reading,
David L.

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I'm here to help you with your iPhone!

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The Most Common iPhone Mistakes People Make
7 months ago

[…] use taking up a lot of storage space, tap on it. You’re given the option to either offload or delete the app. Offloading the app saves all the necessary data from the app if you ever decide […]

1 year ago

This was a clear concise explanation. Thank you!

2 years ago

I’ve got the iPhone 6 and I went into settings and iPhone storage and I didn’t see the recoemdations but what can I do to free up space on my iPhone 6 I can’t even update my Apple iPhone 6.

2 years ago

After how many days of not using does this setting consider it unused?

2 years ago

I accidently deleted my downloaded music app and it’s not anywhere to be seen. Is it gone for good? I went through the above instructions and it’s not there.

2 years ago

Extremely Helpful – Stright to the point and easily Understood.
Thanks for taking the time to FYI fellow Apple Users of these benefits !

2 years ago

Do I lose my music if I offload it?

2 years ago

What if Im not able to use the Cloud? Im on my friends family plan with AT&T and she told me not to use the Cloud. She said that they dont use it but Im not sure if I believe that. I cant go ahead and use it because I dont know her husbands login. Can I still somehow get the iCloud just for myself so I can offload some of my apps? I am out of storage. I would love it if you would help me as soon as possible because its keeping me from recording a video that… Read more »

2 years ago

How can I reverse the ‘Enable’ setting?

21 days ago
Reply to  Anonymous

How can I reverse the enable setting please?