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Guide to Removing iTunes from Your iPhone

written by: Elton Gahr•edited by: Wendy Finn•updated: 8/7/2011

There are a number of programs Apple makes difficult or impossible to remove from the iPhone. Perhaps the most dangerous is iTunes. With the ability to spend money in with a tap, knowing how to delete iTunes from your iPhone is important to many people. Yet the option to remove it is well hidden.

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    There is no doubt that the iPhone is a great product, but like anything, it does have its weaknesses. One of the greatest weaknesses of the iPhone is that Apple wants to control how you use it and perhaps the best example of that is the inability to remove the pre-installed apps, such as iTunes. Yet there are good reasons why you might want to remove this. The most obvious of these is to limit someone buying things on the iPhone. There are a few things that can be done in order to remove iTunes from your iPhone or at least get it out of the way.

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    Removing Clutter

    stuff apple won't let you delete 

    If your primary concern is simply removing clutter from the iPhone then the most basic way to remove iTunes from your iPhone is not to remove it at all, but to simply get it out of the way. If all you’re worried about is the site of the app, or having extra room, then you should simply group it with any other apps that Apple won’t let you remove into a single folder. Since there are a number of these it will make a fair amount of room.

    To do this, touch the iTunes icon until it begins to shake. You will notice that unlike many of the other apps there is no x in the top right corner. You can still move it though. Drag it over another app you don’t care about such as the clock, weather or maps and it will create a folder. You can then put all the apps you don’t care about into this folder. This won’t stop anyone from using it, but at least they won’t clutter up the screen as much.

    After that, if you really want to move it, you can easily drag the entire folder in the same way and put it several screens back so that it is even more out of the way. Sadly you cannot yet put folders inside other folders on the iPhone, but you can name the folder something no one would ever bother looking at; like "accounting apps", for example.

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    More Complete and Difficult Removal

    settings 

    The problem with simply moving iTunes out of the way is that someone could still use it to buy music or video. If you’re worried about someone spending your money in iTunes there is another, more difficult, option. In order to do this you’ll have to find the settings icon. Tap that and you’ll be brought to the settings menu. This should have airplane mode at the top and near the bottom of the screen you should see a general tab. Touch that and you’ll be brought to the next menu. Near the bottom of that screen you’ll see a Restrictions menu. When you enter this you’ll have to put in a 4 number pass code. This gives you a number of options for protecting your iPhone such as disallowing in app purchases or making it impossible to delete apps at all. You will also see a few apps shown including Safari, YouTube, iTunes and Ping. Slide these from the on to off position and you will remove the icon from the iPhone completely. This won’t actually remove the app, but unless you turn them back on this won't matter.

    turn off itunes 

    There are a few basic things you should be aware of. The most important of these is to pick a restrictions code you’ll remember, because the iPhone will ask you for it before it lets you change these options again. That means that if you choose a code, forget it and then later want to have iTunes again, you’ll have to restore the phone to access it again. Also be aware that this won’t work for all of the choices. You’ll still be stuck with the preinstalled weather app, but at least those apps that let you spend money can be removed. Still, perhaps the biggest problem of all is that by removing iTunes you will also remove your ability to access Apple's social network Ping, so you may want to reconsider.

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    Conclusion

    While many things on the iPhone are far easier than on most other phones or a traditional computer, there are a few basic things that clearly Apple simply doesn’t want you to do. Removing iTunes is a natural choice for them to make difficult because access to iTunes makes it more likely you’ll buy movies, TV and music for your phone. Yet, in this case they did recognize that parents and others may want to remove that particular feature from the phone so as to not go into bankruptcy from buying music. So although deleting iTunes from the iPhone may not be possible, you can at least ensure that no one can use it without your PIN code and you have knowledge of how to return the icon.

References

  • Source, author's own experience
  • Images, screen captures from author's iPhone