Delete or hide life-wasting apps

We've all been there. You look down at your phone for one moment, you get distracted. You look up again: you're surrounded by a barren hell-scape, the world as you know it has come to an end — you sit alone on a sand dune, the sole witness of our sun shrugging off the last of its dying light.

The apps that do this to us are carefully designed to capture our attention for as long as possible. They keep us scrolling, swiping, and crushing candy through a mixture of psychological tricks, social pressure, and slot machine style design choices.

If you want to spend four hours a day scrolling social media, that's okay! But if you're like me, and you've found your life slipping away on certain apps, not as a conscious choice, but out of ease and habit — you should delete or hide life-wasting apps.

Deleting an app is easier said that done. You may have good reasons to keep an app that otherwise makes your life worse…

Especially when it comes to social apps, deleting them can seem like a radical move, but it really isn't. You can always download the app again if you change your mind — your account will still be there waiting.

How to delete a life-wasting app

  1. Delete the app.
  2. Continue life as normal. If you feel the need to download the app again go to the next step, otherwise enjoy your freedom.
  3. Work out why you want to download the app again. Loneliness? Boredom? Hunger? Fear of missing out? Finding out your auntie's birthday?
  4. Think of a different way to solve that problem. If you can think of a solution, enact it and go back to step 2. If you truly cannot find a solution to your problem. Download the app and hide it instead of deleting it.

How to hide a life-wasting app on iOS

Hiding an app makes it less likely to distract your life away. Instead of it being on your home screen, you'll have to search the name of the app to use it. Forcing you to make a conscious decision.

  1. Long-press the app icon and select Edit Home Screen
  2. Press the in the circle on the app icon.
  3. Select Remove from Home Screen

That will remove the app from the homescreen, but it will still appear as a suggestion in your app library. Here's how to remove it from siri suggestions:

  1. Open Settings
  2. Navigate to Siri & Search
  3. Scroll down to the list of apps and select the app you want to hide.
  4. Under the heading Suggestions switch off Show on Home Screen and Suggest App.

Now to use the app, you will have to search for it by name, forcing you to make your own decision.