Have you noticed apps disappearing from your iPhone or iPad? There might be a simple explanation to what’s going on, a new feature that automatically offloads unused apps from your iOS devices. Follow along for how to turn this feature off.

Apple introduced the Offload Unused Apps feature with iOS 11 to help users with limited iPhone storage. All in all, it’s a useful addition, but if it’s on accidentally or without your knowledge, it can make for a frustrating experience.

While it seems that the feature is off by default, we’ve heard from some users that they found it turned on without them manually doing so. With this feature, apps are deleted, but not removed from your Home screen. It simply shows a cloud icon next to the name, indicating that it has been removed.

There’s a chance iOS 11 could enable this feature automatically when an iOS device is running out of storage space. However, there doesn’t seem to be an official Apple Support document on it for now.

Here’s how to check if this feature is turned on and how to turn it off.

How to keep apps from disappearing from your iPhone by turning off app offloading

  1. Head to Settings
  2. Swipe down and tap on iTunes & App Store
  3. Swipe down if needed and look for Offload Unused Apps
  4. Turn this feature off if you’d like to keep all of your apps permanently

Here is the description of the feature works:

Automatically remove unused apps, but keep all documents and data. Reinstalling the app will place back your data, if the app is still available from the App Store.

For more ideas on how to save storage space without using this feature, check out our post here. For more help getting the most out of your Apple devices, check out our how to guide as well as the following articles:

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About the Author

Michael Potuck

Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.