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Home / Tips and Tricks / Why you should download your iPhone and iPad apps

Why you should download your iPhone and iPad apps

ICloud download icon.

If you always run out of storage space on your iPhone or iPad, a built-in feature called offloading can free up a bit. You also do not lose any of your settings, which is why most people think that automatic unloading is ideal.

What is relief?

Offloading is an Apple-specific term that means deleting an app̵

7;s application data, but retaining any documents or settings associated with it on your device.

Once an app has been downloaded, you can download it again and it works just like it did before. For example, saved game data or documents that you created in a word processing app will remain right where you left them.

On iPhone or iPad, you can download apps either one at a time or enable automatic unloading of all unused items. When apps are no longer loaded, the icons remain on the home screen, but you’ll see a small iCloud download icon next to their name.

An iCloud download icon next to it

When you tap the icon of an app that has been downloaded, it is automatically downloaded from the App Store, provided it is still available and your device is connected to the internet.

When should you download?

If you have an Apple device with a relatively small amount of storage space, such as a 32 GB iPad, and you continue to encounter the storage limit, unloading apps is a good idea. Automatic unloading will free up a lot of space. Also, since it only removes unused apps, it’s likely that you’ll never even notice that these apps are no longer installed.

How to download apps manually

To download apps manually at a time, open “Settings” and then tap General> iPhone Storage (or General> iPad Storage on an iPad).

There you will see a list of all installed apps sorted by size. Click on the one you want to download. On the next screen, tap “Offload App.”


The app will then be downloaded. If you ever need it again, just click on its icon on the Home screen and it will download automatically.

How to automatically download unused apps

To enable auto-download, click “Settings” and then “App Store” (or “iTunes and App Store” on some versions of iOS and iPadOS). Scroll down and turn on “Unload unused apps.”


Give your device some time to decide which unused apps to charge. Depending on how many are downloaded, the process may take a few minutes or longer. When you come back later, you should have plenty of breathing space to install new apps or work on documents.

RELATED: How to free up space on your iPhone or iPad by downloading unused apps

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