There is no doubt that iCloud is one of the main features of Apple devices nowadays, with iOS device users using iCloud to store their purchases, app data, music (using iTunes Match), device settings and more.
Yet there are times when we download a useless app or we realize we have many apps on our purchase history that we don’t need anymore and would like to completely erase them from iCloud.
So, is this possible?
Well, yes and no. But in order to better understand the answer, let’s take a closer look at how iCloud manages our purchased apps.
[Updated]: We updated the process to make it work with iOS 7.
iCloud: Behind the Scenes
Despite what most people think, iCloud does not actually “store” a user’s purchases. What it does is to keep a list of all of the apps that you have downloaded or purchased in the past for you to re-download them into iTunes or straight onto your device any time you want. To do so, iCloud displays this list of purchased apps and links each item to the corresponding actual app on the App Store.
What this means for you is that no matter how many apps you download or purchase, they don’t take up any space on your iCloud account. And for some reason, Apple won’t allow you to delete them from that list on iCloud.
Even so, if you would like to get rid of any apps on iCloud so they don’t show up on your purchase history, you can actually hide them, making them as good as gone.
Hiding Your Unwanted Apps On iCloud
Follow these steps to hide your unwanted apps from your iCloud purchase history.
Step 1: On your iPhone or iOS device, go to App Store > Updates > Purchased. There you will see your list of purchased apps. For this example, we will hide the Squarespace Note app.
Step 2: On your Mac or Windows PC, open iTunes and enter the iTunes Store. Once there, click on Purchased on the right of the window. This will take you to your purchase history.
Step 3: Once there, click on Apps at the top of the window. A list of all you purchased and downloaded apps will appear. Hover your mouse pointer over the app you wish to hide and you will notice that an “X” appears at the top left corner of the app’s icon.
Step 4: Click on the “X” to hide the app. Your list of purchased apps will update and you will see that the app you just hid is not there anymore.
Step 5 [Updated]: On your iOS device (up until iOS 6), head again to App Store > Updates > Purchased. You will now notice that the app you hid is gone!
If you have iOS 7 though, you will notice that the hidden app still shows up on your Purchase History even if you close the app entirely. What you have to do in this case is to head to Settings > iTunes & App Store. There, tap on your Apple ID and Sign Out of it.
Head back to the App Store and you will notice that your purchase history is now empty. On that same screen tap on the Sign In button and log in again with your Apple ID. After that, all your hidden apps will not show anymore.
Un-hiding Your Hidden App on iCloud
If for any reason you wish to put any app you hid back on your purchase history, follow these steps.
Step 6: On your Mac or Windows PC open iTunes and log into your account. Once there, scroll down and click on View Hidden Purchases.
Step 7: Once on your Hidden Purchases screen, click on the Apps tab and you will see all your hidden apps there along with an Unhide button next to each of them. Click on that button to unhide any app. The app will show up once again on your iCloud Purchases on your iPhone or other iOS devices.
There you have it. Now you know how to get rid of all those unwanted apps from your iCloud Purchase list. They might not be gone for good, but unless you bring them back, they should not take any more space on the screen of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch ever again.