How to delete apps from iTunes

Just a few days, we provided readers with a guide on how to delete apps on the iPhone. One of our readers commented that it still leaves an orphaned app sitting in iTunes. In the case of paid apps and apps that you might not use frequently, this makes sense. At any time, you can always select an option to reinstall. But as our astute reader points out, what about apps that just didn’t work out. Either they didn’t work as advertised or maybe you had updated to a full version. Having this stable of apps that you’ll never use sitting in iTunes causes clutter and makes it more difficult to organize your apps. There is a way to remove them from your Mac or PC. Follow these easy steps for how to delete apps from iTunes.

Open iTunes. At the top left of your window, make sure the drop down menu is set to Apps. You should now see all of your apps in icon form. The tabs below the player window allow you to switch into List view as seen below. Whatever works best for you will do fine.

delete apps in iTunes

Select one or more apps. To select more than one app, use command-click. Once you’ve completed your list, review to make sure the list is correct. PC users will want to right click and select ‘Delete’. Mac users will use control-click.

deleting-apps

iTunes will bring up the following dialog box which warns, “Are you sure you want to delete the selected app from your iTunes library?” It’s important to know that deleting this from iTunes, also means it will delete it from any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch that synchronizes with the current iTunes library. Select Delete App to finish the job.

While deleting apps from your iPhone is handy for freeing up storage and those situations where you cannot wait to remove an app that just didn’t work out. Leaving the orphaned file in iTunes can build up quite a collection of apps that you’ll never use. This affects the storage on your computer and more importantly, the ability to scan and organize your apps.

How many apps are in your iTunes library that aren’t used?

  • Ibrahim Allaf

    This guide does not apply to the PC, there is no apps button the top left just Music, Movies, Tones Home Sharing.

    I clicked on the iTunes score icon on the top right, then I chose apps from the middle section, I saw my apps with a little X sign next to them BUT, you cannot right click and select Delete as you are saying and if you click that X button all it does is hide the apps not delete them. Is there a way to properly delete them from a Windows PC?

    Thanks

    • James

      Of course it applies to Windows … Right clicking on any app in iTunes gives you the option to delete and a pop up asks if you want to just delete from itunes or completely, it isn’t exactly hard to do, or figure out for that matter.

      • Dave

        Read again what Ibrahim, Martin and William have said – this DOES NOT WORK on Windows. Doesn’t and never has worked on my PC either. Rather than patronising people with your reply, if you have some mystical knowledge to the contrary please share it for the benefit of those of us who view EIC on a PC …

  • Martin

    I just tried this on my pc and I cannot right-click an app and get any menu.

  • William

    I am trying too rt click as well…..nothing…..some things are easy with apple and some things are like pulling teeth

  • Rick

    Christopher – This does not work on windows as noted above. Please correct or let us know what we are missing

  • brendayaziyor

    Worked just fine for me on Windows 8, just as the author said. Drop-down menu is directly under the word “File” and apps was one of the choices. Perhaps an updated iOS was needed first?

  • Doug

    “It’s important to know that deleting this from iTunes, also means it will delete it from any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch that synchronizes with the current iTunes library.”

    I thought this was the case, and I just spent about 20 minutes going through my apps in iTunes and deleting apps I don’t want anymore. When I sync with my iPhone and my iPad, the apps are not deleted from the devices. No dialog asking me if I want to delete the apps, they just remain on the device even though they are not in my iTunes library anymore. It seems that I have to go through both of those devices and delete the apps manually from them as well (which is a bit insane). Any idea how to accomplish this task?

    • VonTrousers

      The article was written before the most recent iTunes update which no longer removes deleted apps from your iDevices. It’s part of Apple moving control of your devices from iTunes to “the cloud.”

  • Mikael

    They are correct. There is no way as far as I can tell to delete old apps from iTunes on a PC

  • vale

    It works for PC/Windows, I have done it 100s of times, with all the old versions of iTunes as well.

    First delete the apps you don’t want from your phone/pad.

    Then on the left hand bar, under LIBRARY, select the APP section. Choose to see the Apps by List, then simply select and delete whatever you want (if/when it asks for it, click “delete files/move to recycle bin” if you want to get rid of it permanently)

    Remember though, that on the Apps tab for your iPad/IPhone you need to UNCHECK “Automatically sync new apps” otherwise any new apps you buy will still sync automatically.

    Also, you have to go to Edit<Preferences<Store and UNCHECK "Automatic Downloads".

    • Nicki

      Please HELP getting VERY frustrated! I have tried everything I can think of, I want to delete my unused/unwanted apps from my library. I downloaded the newest version of iTunes to my PC and I cannot find anywhere that I can view my apps. Only Music, Movies, TV shows and Home sharing. I want to delete apps that I do not want, for some reason I can’t load my updates and feel that maybe it is a space issue but I can’t get rid of all of the apps that don’t really work unless you purchase the whole thing. ANY help and direction using iTunes 11 to delete the apps form my iPad using my PC is much appreciated!!!

  • Pamela

    I wonder if the problem is that you aren’t in the correct view. I had to use the view menu from the top of the screen and select “view sidebar” in order to complete this.

    • Andrea

      THIS IS THE ANSWER THAT EVERYONE IS LOOKING FOR! Thanks!!!

    • amar

      awesome that was the trick… I literally spent an hour trying to work this out.. thanks Pamela!

  • Joseph Azzam

    SOLVED IT!
    AT UPPER RIGHT CORNER, THERE’S “LIBRAIRY” (if no librairy button you need to hit go to itunes store first)
    HIT THE SMALL ARROW NEXT TO IT AND GO TO APPS
    NOW YOU CAN RIGHT CLICK AND HIT DELETE!

    • beth

      worked perfectly thank you!!

  • HC

    I was having the same problem. Like Pamela said, you have to go to “VIEW” and select “Show Sidebar”

  • Mars

    Wow – thank you soooooooo much – i read your post after many countless others and you were spot on!! I understood in the first part where i had been going wrong with everyone else’s advice (the most important part to mention which they had all left out!!!)
    I can understand now why everyone was getting frustrated at others on how easy it was to delete!!

    So a huge thank you :)

  • http://gravatar.com/blacnoterec blacnoterecnov

    i love you pamela thks

  • norman

    i just love to read the comments it gives me such joy. I laugh visualising the expressions on peoples faces when they cant complete the task following the instructions given. Thankyou to all who submit to this web page. Try for yourselves to see this as I do. You will be surprised at how funny it is. But only after you have solved your problem.

  • Kurt

    I have tried all that you have recommended. My unwanted apps are only hidden.

  • Venkat k

    This worked for me. Thanks.