Deleting apps used on multiple devices

Q: I have the same game app on my iPad and my iPhone. If I delete the iPhone version will the iPad one be deleted too? I’m not logged into Game Centre but do use the same Apple ID for both devices. I have iCloud enabled on my iPhone but not on my iPad.

– Lee

Deleting apps used on multiple devices

A: The short answer is no.

Applications deleted on one iOS device are never deleted from your other devices, regardless of whether they share a common iTunes Store, Game Center, or iCloud account.

The only time that deleting an app will potentially remove it from your other devices is if you delete it from your iTunes library and you are syncing applications from that library to one or more iOS devices. When syncing apps with iTunes, your library is considered authoritative in much the same way as for other types of content; if you remove a music track or movie from your iTunes library, it will also be removed from any other devices that you syncing with that library. Note that this will include applications that you’ve downloaded directly onto your device, but only if you are syncing apps with your iTunes library in general.

Deleting an app will of course remove all of that application’s data from your device as part of this process, but it will not affect any data stored on other devices for that app. Further, any data stored in iCloud will be left alone; you will need to remove that data manually if you are in fact deleting an app from all of your devices and no longer want that data stored in your iCloud account.

For games that use Apple’s Game Center, you will also be given the option of removing the app from your Game Center profile when deleting it. You should normally choose the Keep option here if you’re still planning to reinstall the game or continue using it on other devices with the same Game Center account.