Why Is There a Cloud Icon Next to My iPhone Apps? Explained

Have you ever noticed a little cloud icon next to some of the apps on your iPhone and wondered what it means? Well, it’s actually a pretty nifty feature that Apple has built into its iOS operating system. Essentially, it indicates that the app is not currently installed on your device but is available to download from the App Store because you’ve previously purchased or downloaded it. In this article, we’ll walk you through what this cloud icon means and how to manage the apps associated with it.

Why Is There a Cloud Icon Next to Some Apps on My iPhone?

Before we dive into the step-by-step tutorial, let’s quickly go over what we’re trying to achieve. The cloud icon next to an app on your iPhone means that the app has been offloaded, but not deleted. This feature helps to save space on your device without losing the app’s data. Our goal here is to understand this feature and learn how to manage it.

Step 1: Understanding the Cloud Icon

The cloud icon indicates that the app has been offloaded from your iPhone.

When you see a cloud icon next to an app, it means that your iPhone has offloaded the app to free up storage space. Offloading is a feature that removes the app itself but keeps its documents and data. If you ever need to use the app again, you can simply tap on the icon, and it will re-download from the App Store, with all your data intact.

Step 2: Managing Offloaded Apps

You can manage offloaded apps in the iPhone Storage section of your Settings app.

To manage your offloaded apps, you go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Here you will see a list of your apps and how much space each one takes up. You can manually offload apps by tapping on them and selecting “Offload App.” This will remove the app but not its data.

After you complete the action of offloading an app, you’ll notice that the app’s icon remains on your home screen with the cloud icon next to it. This means that while the app is not currently installed, you can still see it and re-download it at any time by simply tapping on the icon.

Tips for Managing Apps with the Cloud Icon on Your iPhone

Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when it comes to apps with the cloud icon on your iPhone:

  • Offloading apps can be a great way to free up space on your iPhone without losing data.
  • You can set your iPhone to automatically offload unused apps by going to Settings > iTunes & App Store and toggling on “Offload Unused Apps.”
  • If you don’t want an app to be offloaded, you can ensure it stays on your device by using it regularly.
  • Re-downloading an offloaded app requires an internet connection.
  • Offloaded apps will still appear on your home screen, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting which apps you’ve offloaded.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between deleting and offloading an app?

Deleting an app removes it and all its data from your device, while offloading it keeps its data and makes it easy to reinstall.

Can I offload an app but keep its data?

Yes, that’s exactly what offloading does. It removes the app but keeps its data.

Will offloading apps affect my app data, like game progress or login information?

No, offloading an app does not affect its data. When you re-download the app, all your data will still be there.

How do I re-download an offloaded app?

Just tap on the app’s icon with the cloud next to it, and it will re-download from the App Store.

Can I offload apps myself, or does my iPhone do it automatically?

Both! You can manually offload apps, or you can set your iPhone to automatically offload unused apps.


  1. Understand the cloud icon means the app is offloaded.
  2. Manage offloaded apps in iPhone Storage settings.


The cloud icon next to some of the apps on your iPhone is a sign that Apple’s thoughtful design ensures your device’s storage space is used efficiently. It allows you to keep apps you may not use regularly, without having them take up precious space. By offloading apps, you can manage your device’s storage more effectively while still preserving the app’s data for when you need it. Remember, re-downloading these apps is just a tap away, and with the convenience of the cloud, you can have the best of both worlds—plenty of storage space and access to all your apps and their data. So, go ahead and give it a try; you might just find yourself enjoying a more streamlined iPhone experience.

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