Can you block certain apps on App Store?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can block certain apps from showing up in the App Store on your iPhone or iPad. There are a couple ways to do this:

  • Use Restrictions to block access to specific apps
  • Hide apps from your purchase history

The Restrictions method lets you completely block certain apps from being downloaded. Hiding apps just removes them from your purchase history – they can still be downloaded if searched for directly.

Use Restrictions to Block Apps

The easiest way to completely block apps in the App Store is to use Restrictions. This feature lets you restrict access to certain apps, content, features etc on an iPhone or iPad.

To set up Restrictions to block apps:

  1. Go to Settings > Screen Time
  2. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions
  3. Enter your device passcode if prompted
  4. Scroll down and tap Apps
  5. Choose the apps you want to block. You can block built-in apps and also third party apps.

Once the apps are blocked, they won’t show up in the App Store search results on that device. If you try to access a blocked app directly, you’ll get a message saying the app is restricted.

The advantage of using Restrictions to block apps is it completely removes the app and prevents it from being downloaded. The limitation is Restrictions apply to the entire device, for all users.

Block Inappropriate Apps

Restrictions are commonly used by parents to block inappropriate apps on a child’s iPhone or iPad. For example, you could block apps with mature content or social media apps you don’t want your kid using.

Restrictions work system wide, so the blocked apps will be restricted regardless of which user account is active. Keep in mind if you restore the device or disable Restrictions later, the apps will become available for download again.

Block Apps Temporarily

In some situations you may want to temporarily block apps – like if you want to reduce distractions or app addiction for a while. Restrictions provide an easy way to do this and disable access to certain problem apps.

Just remember to turn Restrictions off later if you want to access those apps again. Or you can selectively unblock certain apps without removing all restrictions.

Hide Apps from Purchase History

Another approach is to just hide apps from your App Store purchase history. This won’t block the app completely, but makes it less visible and harder to download again.

Here’s how to hide purchased apps on iPhone and iPad:

  1. Open the App Store and tap your profile icon in the top right
  2. Scroll down and tap Purchased
  3. Tap the X icon next to any app you want to hide
  4. Tap Hide to confirm

The app will disappear from the Purchased list and won’t show up in updates or search results. However, you can still find and download a hidden app if you search for its name directly.

Hide Old or Unused Apps

Cleaning up your purchase history by hiding old apps you no longer use can make re-downloading current apps quicker and easier. It also hides apps you’d rather other users of your device didn’t see or download.

You may want to occasionally review your purchased apps list and hide any you don’t need cluttering it up. Just remember hidden apps can still be found if searched directly.

Hide Apps from Kids

Hiding apps from your purchase history can prevent kids from easily finding and downloading those apps. For example, you may want to hide apps not appropriate for kids or certain games you consider distracting.

Of course kids could still search for and download the apps if they know the name. But combined with parental controls, hiding apps from purchase history makes unwanted apps less visible.

Unhide Apps

You can always unhide apps that you’ve previously hidden from the purchase history. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your App Store profile icon > Purchased
  2. Pull down on the screen to refresh
  3. Tap Unhide at the top right
  4. Find the app you want to unhide and tap the circle next to it
  5. Tap Unhide in the top right

The app will then show up in your purchase history again as if you never hid it. You can repeat this process whenever you need to access or re-download a hidden app.

Temporarily Unhide Apps

If you only need access to a hidden app temporarily, unhide it, download the app, then go back and hide it again later. This lets you keep your purchase history cleaned up while still allowing occasional access.

Just remember that hiding an app again doesn’t delete it – it just removes the listing from your App Store purchase history.

Restore Accidentally Hidden Apps

Occasionally you may hide the wrong app by mistake. When this happens, you can easily get it back by viewing your hidden purchases and making the app visible again.

This prevents you from permanently losing access to apps you didn’t mean to hide in the first place.

Delete Apps Completely

If you want to permanently remove an app from your device so it can never be downloaded again, you’ll need to delete it. Hiding an app only removes it from your App Store purchase history.

Here’s how to fully delete apps on iPhone and iPad:

  1. Hold your finger down on the app icon until it starts wiggling
  2. Tap the X in the corner of the app to delete it
  3. Tap Delete to confirm

The app will be removed from your home screen and also fully deleted from the device storage. The only way to get it back is to re-download it from the App Store.

Clear Up Storage Space

Deleting unused apps can help free up storage space on your iPhone or iPad. Large apps like games with high resolution graphics can take up over 1GB each. Removing them provides more available storage.

To see which apps are taking up the most space, go to Settings > General > Storage > Apps. Then delete any apps you no longer need.

Remove Unnecessary Apps

Over time you may end up with lots of extra apps installed that you don’t actually use. Deleting these can help declutter your home screen and make it easier to find the apps you need.

It also stops unused apps from sending you notifications or running in the background when you don’t expect them to.


There are a couple different options for blocking and removing apps in the App Store:

  • Use Restrictions to completely block apps
  • Hide apps from your purchase history
  • Delete apps fully from your device

Restrictions give you the most control and completely prevent access to certain apps. Hiding apps just removes them from your App Store purchase history but doesn’t prevent downloading if you still know the app name.

Deleting apps fully removes them from your iPhone or iPad storage so they can’t run or be opened. Decide which option best suits your needs for limiting access to apps you no longer want.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you permanently block an app?

Yes, you can permanently block an app from being downloaded using Restrictions. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > Apps and block the app you want to restrict. This will prevent the app from showing up in search or being downloaded, even if searched for directly.

Do hidden apps still take up storage space?

No, hiding an app only removes it from your purchase history. It does not delete the app or remove it from storage. To actually free up storage space, you need to delete the app fully from your device.

What happens if you delete an app you paid for?

If you delete an app you purchased from the App Store, you can always redownload it for free since you already paid for it previously. Your purchase history is stored in your Apple ID account. Just search for the app and download it again if needed.

Can you restrict in-app purchases?

Yes, you can restrict in-app purchases and require a password before allowing them. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content & Privacy Restrictions > iTunes & App Store Purchases. Toggle “In-app Purchases” to off to require a password for any purchase.

How do I find the storage usage of my apps?

To see the storage usage for your apps, go to Settings > General > Storage > Apps. This will show a list of all your apps and how much storage space each one is taking up. You can delete large unused apps to free up more space.

Table of Common Restriction Options

Restriction What it does
Siri Disables using Siri on the device
Safari Blocks using the Safari web browser
Camera Disables all camera features
Apple Music Restricts accessing Apple Music
iTunes Blocks all iTunes content on the device
iBooks Store Restricts purchasing books
In-app Purchases Requires approval for purchases
Adding Friends Disallows adding Game Center friends

Restrictions provide granular control over device usage. Enable only what is needed for each user to create a customized experience.


Here are some key points about blocking and restricting apps on iPhone and iPad:

  • Use Restrictions to completely block access to certain apps
  • Hide individual apps from your App Store purchase history
  • Deleted apps are fully removed from the device storage
  • Restrictions allow parents to control their kids’ access to apps
  • Temporarily blocking apps can help reduce distractions
  • Deleting unused apps saves storage space and declutters your home screen
  • Always double check before permanently deleting an app you may want later

With the ability to hide, restrict, and delete apps, you have granular control over the apps accessible on your iOS devices. Evaluate your needs and choose the option that makes the most sense.

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