How to: Unlist Your App from the App Stores

Posted on 1. July 2024 by Jan Bunk

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If you've ever needed to remove your app from the App Store or Google Play Store, you know the setting can be a bit hidden. Whether you're retiring an outdated app, focusing on a new project, or addressing unforeseen issues, this guide will walk you through the process step-by-step. Let's take a look.

Why Remove Your App?

Before we get into the how, let's quickly cover the why. You might want to remove your app for several reasons:

  • Outdated App: Your app is no longer relevant or supported.
  • Rebranding: You're planning to launch a new version with significant changes. In most of these cases we'd recommend updating your existing app though. Updating the app makes sure users of the existing app automatically get the new one and you save time because updating an app is quicker than publishing a new one.
  • Compliance Issues: Your app no longer meets store guidelines or legal requirements.
  • Performance Problems: Major bugs or issues that need to be resolved before making the app accessible to new users again.

The good thing is that removing your app from the app stores doesn't need to be permanent. Maybe you just need to address a couple of issues before you make your app available again? In that case you'll be able to make your app public again (using basically the same process as outlined below) later on without having to go through the entire initial app publishing process again.

Removing an App from the Apple App Store

Open App Store Connect and select your app.

Click "Pricing and Availability" at the bottom of the side menu.

Click "Pricing and Availability" at the bottom of the side menu.

Click "Manage" under "App Availability".

Click "Manage" under "App Availability".

Click "Manage Availability".

Click "Manage Availability".

Click "None" at the top right of the dialog.

Click "None" at the top right of the dialog.

Click "Next" and then "Confirm" at the bottom right of the dialog.

Your app will be removed from the App Store, though it can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect.

Removing an App from Google Play Store

In the Google Play Console, go to the "Advanced Settings" (under "Setup" in the side menu) of your app.

Select "Unpublished" under app availability.

Select "Unpublished" under app availability.

Click "Unpublish" at the bottom right and confirm it.

Click "Unpublish" at the bottom right and confirm it.

After Removal: What Happens Next?

Once you've removed your app from the App Store or Google Play Store, it will no longer be available for new downloads. However, users who have already downloaded your app will still have it on their devices and can continue to open it. Apps created with webtoapp.design that no longer have an active subscription will show a message saying that the app has been temporarily disabled.

I'd recommend that you communicate with your users and inform them at least a few months in advance before removing and disabling your app. That way they have enough time to look for alternatives and adjust their workflows.

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Author Jan Bunk
Written by
Jan Bunk

Hi, I'm Jan! I created webtoapp.design in 2019 while studying computer science in university. A lot has changed since then - not only have I graduated, but it's also no longer just me running webtoapp.design. We've grown to a global, fully remote team and have gathered lots of experience around app development and app publishing. We've created and published hundreds of apps in the app stores, where they've been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times.