Daily Tip: How to stop an app download/install iOS 4.3

Daily Tip: How to stop an app download/install

Started downloading a big game or navigation app and need to stop the install and delete the app? If you're running the new iOS 4.3 for iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad you've now got the ability to do just that. Sure you could always pause a download and you still can but sometimes you might just want the app gone, gone, gone. We'll show you how to do it after the break!

Under iOS 4.3 if you start a big app download you can now stop it, cancel the install, and delete the app without having to wait for it to finish first. You can do this with small apps as well but they're usually so quick it doesn't make a big difference. 500MB to 1.5GB downloads -- big difference! Now if you just want to pause the download you can still tap the app to do just that (and tap it again to continue the download) but here's how to nuke it completely:

  1. Tap and hold the icon (any icon really) to enter Jiggly mode.
  2. When the X badge appears in the top left corner of the app icon, tap it.
  3. A notice will pop up asking you to confirm the delete, tap to confirm.iOS 4.3 features: Cancel app download/install
  4. That's it.

Yes, it's identical to deleting an app after it's installed but the difference is you no longer have to wait for the install to finish first. Pre-emptive deletion is ours at last!

Have any questions? Any other great app management tips? Let us know in comments!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 37 comments. Add yours.

Michael Denney says:

Nice however I can't say I've ever had an issue where I started downloading an app that I decided I didn't want installed. I have however paused a large download for a long period of time until I wasn't using my wifi anymore.

Avenged110 says:

About time. I could've used this several times a while ago. Really glad they finally included it as a feature.

Bishop says:

Nope, doesn't work. Had an app try to download yesterday and it was over 20mb and wouldnt do it over 3G. Couldn't stop it or delete it no matter what I tried. Restarted and shut down 3G and turned on airplane mode. Didn't fix until I got to a wifi area and it finished downloading, then I was able to delete.

DRHughes says:

I had this sort of problem when I was updating iMovie.

sharonpeters11 says:

It does work. From what you said (couldn't stop [pause] it), it sounds like your iDevice's memory was clogged.
It does work.

uph0m35 says:

Had the same problem. I'm on iOS 4.3

Henry.L says:

Really needed feature. And I found out if I delete the app during the install and not re-download it later they dont charge me.

Ethan S. says:

Yep, I really enjoy this aspect! I will use AppShopper to find the free apps, then queue download them all on my iPhone, but pause them all and delete them. Thus, I own them, but never really need to install them.
This way, I own them if I ever want them (and can download for free), but I don't need them clogging up my storage space when I'm not using them.

greasyg2006 says:

Wish my Verizon iPhone could do this, but it can't because we dont get 4.3 :-(

Safar says:

Really? Is it unavailable for verizon IPhone?

Jabra says:

The Verizon iPhone will get 4.3 it is just delayed... Have no fear iOS is not Android... The verzion iPhone requires a different firmware for the baseband in the CDMA iPhones and are waiting on it from manufacturer of the CDMA chip before releasing the 4.3 update. You guys will get it b4 iOS 5 preview event in April

sharonpeters11 says:

No, not necessarily. The next update for the Verizon iPhone will probably be the next UNIVERSAL update. I don't think they'll release iOS 4.3 for the Verizon iPhone.

OmariJames says:

im surprised this is just now coming to us. I didnt realize the need until you guys posted about this however It will come in use some day.

really? says:

I could have done this five years ago on my sony ericsson , this changes everything , again , magical .

Greg says:

Can't w8t for my iPad2 to come.

Robot says:

Don't try to download the NASA Hubble App, it's 100 megabytes and a huge data hog once running.

Delrahim69 says:

This isn't working. Im using ipad2 with 4.3.2 and when I jiggly the app to stop download no x appears. It's been like this forever, day this article posted I tried stopping a download too. What's wrong? Is there an option in settings?? Please help

Eric says:

I am having the same issue as Delano. No X appears and it continues to read "Loading" when the item is over the max for download and it wont disappear until the download is complete. Rebooting it does absolutely no good.

Christian says:

Having exactly the same problem as Eric and Delano, and I also have the 4.3.2 version. Is there a solution to this problem apart from getting to a wifi network? It is really starting annoy me to no end. Reseted iPad even But as soon as you go onto the app store site it tries to download the same app again. I really think this is the most irritating thing yet since I have bought the iPad 2.

Windy says:

I have ip4 ios 4.3.1. And i can't stop the downloading app. There was no X to click on yo delete it. It worked originaly but after i jailbroke and installef some apps from cydia. This feature stop working. Don't know which app causes conflict with it. Anyone has same problem?

Fgtht says:

Im running the newest software version and theres no X what so ever.

Samuel Oh says:

I call this BS. The X does not appear on the apps being downloaded/installed, and yes I am running the latest version of iOS 4.3.

Fred says:

Worthless tip that does not work. Did you even try it before you posted this suggestion?

Somethmun says:

yes the x not appear on my downloading app when i press and hold. ipad2 4.3

Payne says:

It's showing an error that file is over 200Mb and can only be downloaded from pc or with a wifi connection.
I can't delete that app now, and it's just showing on my home screen!
How do i stop the download? because now it's not letting me download any other app.
Pls help.

dstagata says:

Its a new feature that doesn't work to well. For me, I got the x to appear after placing the app in a folder, holding down the app till it jiggled, pressed the home button and then made the app jiggle again, but when I pressed the x it didn't delete.
Hopefully Apple will fix this in a future update.

Jdy_Tuttle says:

Doesn't work. Anybody got any other ideas

Glenngwalsh says:

That did not work at all the downloading is frozen and the icon remains with no little x ??? Now what ?

Kiv says:

BS....please try the solution yourself before uploading...absolutely worthless solution...

Qwertyuiopasdfghjklzxcvbnm says:

So on the older iPads you have to wait until it is finished? I can't delete it because it won't download. It just has an empty bar and says loading.

Suchdevaks says:

this is not working. I started upgrade of Skype but the "x" does not appear on icon and the instillation is taking hours

Monie says:

I suspect that the problem is programmed by the apps developers to force a download. I have discovered that some apps will show the x, while others will not. Why some and not others.?????

Arif says:

Having exactly the same problem as Christian, Eric and Delano. Is there a solution to this problem apart from getting to a wifi network? It is very annoying and is costing me. The jiggly X does not appear for two apps that I started downloading accidently and now they wont stop.One is "Talking Tom 2" and the other is "Driver".

James Adamik says:

I followed your suggestion on how to stop an iPad app/nuke the app during update download. Problem the update still shows in the App Store update screen. How do I get rid of this?