Have you seen a cloud symbol appear next to the app name of an icon on your iPhone or iPad screen? If so, you might be wondering what that white cloud symbol means, what it does, and how to get rid of it, and you’re certainly not alone!
After fielding varieties of this question a handful of times, it’s worth addressing the cloud symbol that sometimes appears alongside iOS app names on iPhone and iPad devices.
What does the cloud symbol next an app name in iOS mean?
If you see a cloud symbol appear next to an app name on an iPhone or iPad, that means the app has been offloaded from the device. The cloud symbol basically tells you the app is in iCloud (well, the App Store), available to download and access when or if needed.
If this appears random, then typically this happens if you had previously enabled automatic offloading of unused iOS apps in Settings on an iPhone or iPad, and then later the device became low on storage space. With that setting enabled, once an iOS device is low on available storage, it will begin to offload apps that have not been used recently.
How do I get rid of the cloud icon?
Simply tap on the app icon with the cloud symbol next to the app name.
In the example screenshots here, we’ll focus on the “Calendar” app which has the cloud symbol next to the app name:
Tapping to open the app will cause the app to re-download from the App Store, reinstalling onto the iPhone or iPad. You’ll see a “Loading” or “Installing” message on the app name briefly, as the icon turns into a loading wheel.
Once the app has finished redownloading and reinstalling to the iOS device, the cloud symbol will no longer appear alongside the app name.
If this fails, it’s likely because the device has no internet connection, or because there is not enough free storage space on the device.
How to I prevent the cloud symbol by stopping offloading of apps?
If you find many apps have the cloud symbol alongside their app name and you don’t want these apps to be offloaded anymore, you can disable offloading of unused apps in the iOS Settings:
- Open “Settings” in iOS and go to ‘iTunes & App Store’
- Locate “Offload Unused Apps” and toggle the switch to OFF
Turning off “Offload Unused Apps” will prevent apps from offloading themselves on their own.
However, you can continue to offload apps from an iPhone or iPad manually if desired.
What is app offloading anyway?
Offloading apps is basically a way for the iOS device to delete the app(s) but maintain the preferences and data stored by the app, including any files, documents, or settings associated with that app. This helps to free up space without uninstalling apps from iOS completely.
It’s worth mentioning that sometimes it’s not the app itself that is hogging storage space however, and sometimes it’s actually the related Documents and Data of an iOS app that is taking up significant storage.