Delete Apps from iCloud and Purchase History

So you bought a dating app on your iPhone 3G 3 years ago and your girlfriend happens to see it in your purchase history on your new iPhone 4S today? Kind of a problem? Oh yeah. With iCloud, Apple has a history of all your purchases which makes it super easy for you to download any app, movie, TV show, or song you have ever bought, downloaded, or been gifted. It’s great, unless you have some embarrassing app, songs, movies or TV shows you don’t want any one else to know about!

With the current state of things, there is a way to hide (not completely delete) your previous app purchases from showing up on iCloud, but there is also still a way for a technically savvy person to see what you have bought for all time. So basically, your girlfriend won’t be able to see it on the “Not on this iPhone” or “Not on this iPad” screen, but if she knows how to use iTunes, she can! Here’s what I mean.

Hiding/Removing Apps from iCloud & History

You can do this in one of two ways: either thru iTunes or thru the device itself. Here’s how you do it in iTunes. First, open iTunes and then click on iTunes Store in the left hand menu. Now click on Purchased on the far right.

purchase-history

Now click on Apps and make sure to click on All, so you can see all the apps. You can also choose between iPhone and iPad, which will have different apps listed.

hide-apps

Now to hide a app, all you have to do is hover over the icon until you see a black X appear on the top left hand corner:

hide-app-itunes

Now the app is “hidden”. What this means is that if you go to your iPhone or iPad and go to purchase history there, the app will no longer be listed and you won’t be able to download it from iCloud! Yay!  So is it gone forever? Not really. But before we get to that, let me show you how to hide an app from your iPhone/iPad.

Go to the App Store on your iPhone or iPad and click on Updates. You’ll see at the top an item called Purchased, tap on that.

hide-apps-iphone

Tap on All again to see all the apps and then simply swipe your finger from left to right over the app you want to hide. When you do that, a hide button will appear.

hide-app

That’s it! Now the app will no longer show up in iCloud. So what’s the catch here? Well if you go back to iTunes and click on iTunes Store again, go ahead and click on your email address at the top right.

itunes-store

This will bring you to your account info screen. Here there are a few important things to know about. Firstly, under the iTunes in the Cloud section, you’ll see it annoyingly lists any hidden purchases that you have made.

hidden-apps

If you click on the View Hidden Purchases link, it shows you what’s hidden!

hiding-apps-itunes

So if someone can access your iTunes and knows your password, then they could potentially see your hidden purchases. The nice thing about iTunes, though, is that even if iTunes is open, you have to type in your Apple ID password EVERY TIME you click on your email address to see the account info. So even if someone else has access to your computer and to iTunes, they have to know your password to get to this screen.

And they also need the password to get to this second screen called Purchase History, which is right below the above link:

purchase history

Clicking on that will show you every purchase you have ever made and there is no way to hide it:

itunes-purchase-history

But again, this is an account setting and can only be accessed via iTunes and using your password. If you just hated the fact that a previous purchase kept showing up in the history on your iPhone, iPad, etc and you didn’t want the option to re-download it, then hiding will be perfect for you. Hopefully, this clears up exactly what you can hide/delete from iCloud and what you can’t. Enjoy!

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Comments [1]

  1. JPaulos says:

    OK, but what if I REALLY want to DELETE the app? Supposedly, the 5 GB of free storage is plenty of room, because because my purchased music, apps, books, and TV shows, as well as your Photo Stream, don’t count against my free storage, but I haven’t downloaded or purchased ANY books or TV shows, most of my music is NOT from iTunes (it’s from uploaded CDs – why would I want to purchase from iTunes the same music I already have & like?). However, unless I drill down thru Settings/iCloud/Storage & Backup/Manage Storage/Backups/Backup Options (all of which is NOT INTUITIVELY OBVIOUS!!) I can use up almost all of that 5GB really quickly. I don’t use Photo Stream & I can control somewhat the size of the backup by going thru app by app & turning off the backup for those apps I don’t want backed up. But in that list are apps that I have deleted & don’t want but are taking up backup space (and no, I don’t want to conveniently buy more space from Apple). I have installed a lot of free apps over time just to try out & many I have deleted because I didn’t like them or found something better. I really want to GET RID OF THOSE FREE APPS forever. How do I do that??

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