Zombie iPhone apps, what they are and how to delete them

Have you ever had apps deleted from your iPhone reappear as if by magic? These are the so-called zombie apps, but "killing" them is simple

If you were sure you deleted an app from your iPhone only to see it magically reappear out of nowhere, don't worry. Your iPhone isn't possessed or infected by a hacker, and you didn't dream anything. Indeed, you have deleted the app and cleaned up your iPhone, but you are the victim of a case of zombie apps, a strange iOS short-circuit that affects more people than you might think.

When we talk about zombie apps, in particular, we are referring to those apps that we have deleted from our iPhone, but that inexplicably reappear on the device's home screen for no apparent reason. To be honest, they have many reasons for reappearing on the screen, depending largely on user distraction or having used the wrong procedure to delete apps from the iPhone's memory. Fortunately, deleting zombie apps from the iPhone is all in all simple: all it takes is a little extra patience and you're done. Let's see how to do it.

Why apps reappear on the iPhone after deletion

But first, let's spend a few lines explaining why apps reappear even if they've already been deleted from the iPhone's memory (but the same goes for the iPad, of course). Behind what we have defined as a "short-circuit" of iOS there is a redundancy of data that the mobile operating system of the Cupertino company accumulates to protect users' information.

In particular, apps could reappear because, for example, you restore an old backup in which the "incriminated" app was still present. Or because of "fault" of iCloud, Apple's cloud storage service that stores app data in case you own another bitten apple device with the same app installed. If this is the case, the app might reappear after a few days, "resurrected" by the file storage service on the cloud.

How to delete zombie apps from iPhone

Now that we've figured out why iPhone and iPad apps can resurrect, we also have at "hand" the possible solution to prevent this from continuing to happen. First of all, we need to delete the app from the device's memory, following the procedure we usually do. Just keep your finger pressed on the app's icon for a few seconds until an "X" appears in the top right corner: at this point, click on it, choose "Delete app" and wait a few moments.

Once this is done, open the phone's Settings, choose iCloud and then Backup. A list of devices synchronized with the cloud will appear: choose the device you're using to access the list of apps that save data on the cloud. Once the zombie app is found, deactivate the function by flipping the switch on its right from green to white. At this point a warning will appear on the screen: "Disable and delete. Do you want to disable device name backups and delete backup and iCloud data?". Choose delete and the procedure is complete.