How to turn off 'Offload Unused Apps' if you're using a COVID contact tracing app

If you've noticed your COVID-19 contract tracing app is disappearing from your iPhone or iPad, it might be because you have this setting enabled.


Along with wearing your best face mask, contact tracing is an important part of many countries' plans to combat COVID-19 and try to reduce the spread of the virus. Many of these countries have made a COVID-19 contact tracing app (either with or without Apple and Google's help) that uses Bluetooth to tell if you've come in close contact with a person who has marked themselves as infected. It's a super useful app. If your country, state, or region has one, you should download it — however, some people have noticed it mysteriously disappearing off their iPhones with no warning.

Apparently, if you're trying to free up storage on your iPhone and are using the Offload Unused Apps feature, this could be deleting your COVID-19 contact tracing app. Here's a little more information on why it happens and how to stop it.


Why does the COVID-19 contact tracing app get deleted?

In short, it's because people don't interact with their COVID-19 contact tracing apps that much. Mostly, a COVID-19 contact tracing app is just supposed to notify you if you've come in contact with someone who has marked themselves as infected. So the only time people typically open the app is the odd time to check, or if they tell the app, they are infected.

When you use the Offload Unused Apps feature, your iPhone will automatically delete apps that you don't interact with much when you're running low on storage. Normally, it's a great feature that helps you manage your storage, but if you have a COVID-19 contact tracing app, you might want to turn it off.


How to disable offload unused apps on your iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap App Store
  3. Tap the Offload Unused Apps On/Off switch. When the switch goes gray, that means it's off.

    Enable Offload unused apps: Launch Settings, tap General, tap iPhone Storage, tap Enable beside Offload Unused Apps.


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