iOS 9 allows users to temporarily delete apps to free up space for software updates


A new iOS 9 feature added in beta 1 was only discovered when users attempted to update to beta 2 earlier today. This new feature will allow the operating system to intelligently delete applications if you don’t have enough free space to perform a software update. Once the update is complete, the apps will automatically be reinstalled and your data will remain intact.

[tweet align=’center’]

The feature is designed to accompany another iOS 9 tweak that was announced during the WWDC keynote that enables Apple to push out much smaller updates that require less free space.

Other space-saving features introduced in the new OS include “app thinning,” which allows developers to distribute only the necessary portions of their apps to users, and Swift libraries built-in so developers don’t have to include them with every app.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel


  1. Imay Noko (@ImayNoko) - 8 years ago

    This is great! Very intelligent move!

    • Pat Man - 8 years ago

      Soooo… now they have an excuse for another round of 16 GB iPhones…. :-/

      • Or, you know, for the millions and millions of iPhone’s already on the market that are 16 GB.

      • spiralynth - 8 years ago

        16GB iPhones are good for margins. Margins are good for AAPL. And what’s good for AAPL is good for everybody—you, me and the apple tree.

      • Greg Kaplan (@kaplag) - 8 years ago

        What about all those poor 8gb devices that apple is still selling!

    • Apple will continue to sell 8/16gb iPhones while there continues to be a market for them. Basic supply and demand.

  2. totencough - 8 years ago

    Brilliant! Automating something I have to do quite often myself.

  3. matthewpurcell08 - 8 years ago

    I used this, its very very cool idea but over half an hour since the update finished my apps are not yet reinstalling themselves.

  4. rogifan - 8 years ago

    What happens to the data? Or do they just remove apps that don’t have “documents and data”?

    • tonyadams669 - 8 years ago

      I guess it moves to “archive” folder and then compress it as smaller file size.

    • dcj001 - 8 years ago

      As stated above:

      “Once the update is complete, the apps will automatically be reinstalled and your data will remain intact.”

  5. rwo29402015 - 8 years ago

    you think backup would suffice!

  6. singlebinary - 8 years ago

    Would really help if they allowed the user to delete native apps such as Apple Watch, Game Center etc…

    • PhilBoogie - 8 years ago

      They’re ≈ 1MB each, so that wouldn’t be of much help.

      • stevelawrence - 8 years ago

        Really? So you’re saying that the iWork apps hundreds of megabytes in size, something as simple as the Remote app is 25.1MB, but the Apple Watch app and Game Centre, with all their assets, are 1MB each? Rubbish.

      • singlebinary - 8 years ago

        It’s not the question of size. I just don’t want apps I don’t use.