27 December 2013

Hide apps from iPhone’s Purchased list

Using a smartphone usually means using apps, trying them out and discarding many as new ones are launched or better ones are discovered. If you need to restore some of the previous purchases, iOS makes it very easy: in the App Store’s Updates section you can click on the Purchased header to see a list of all your apps, and even filter for apps you have deleted by selecting ‘Not on This iPhone’. The problem is, as you try out and then remove more and more apps, the list becomes longer and longer, making it hard to find apps quickly. The list does have a search field, but it’s still annoying to see apps you are never planning to install again because you found better replacements (dozens of weather apps fit that profile), you stopped using the service (Path) or simply because the app has been discontinued (like Wavii).

While there is no way to hide apps directly from the iPhone – although you could previously, at least in iOS 5 – I discovered how to do it using iTunes on your computer. This should work as long as the same Apple account is signed in on the desktop and on the iOS device; if it doesn’t sync immediately and you use iOS 7, try to log out and then log back in.

desktop iTunes hide purchased iOS appsSo to hide previous purchases, go to the home page of the iTunes store, click on ‘App Store’ menu on top, then look for the section ‘Quick Links’ on the lower right side and there click on the link ‘Purchased’. Make sure you select ‘Not in My Library’ from the buttons to the far right to only show apps deleted from the iPhone/iPad – you can also switch between iPhone and iPad apps with the buttons in the middle of the window. Once here, hover over each app icon you want to hide and click the small x button. When you’re done the changes should be immediately reflected on the iOS device.

iPhone App Store all Purchased apps iPhone App Store Purchased apps after hiding

If you want to restore hidden apps to this list you will need iTunes on the desktop again: in the Store menu click View Account, type in your password, then in the section ‘iTunes in the Cloud’ click the link ‘Manage’ to open ‘Hidden Purchases’. Here you can click ‘Unhide’ for each app you want to see again in the ‘Purchased’ section on the iPhone or click ‘Unhide All’ to restore all apps.

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