The app system in iMessage is really cool, letting you paste content directly into messages that once required several additional steps. If you’re choosy about which apps appear in iMessage, though, you can prevent iMessage from automatically adding them.

While there’s a lot more to iMessage apps than preventing their installation, here’s the gist: many iPhone apps, such as Giphy or IMDB, will install a small iMessage plugin when you install the app. This plugin will let you search for and instantly paste GIFs into your messages or movie information, and so on.

RELATED: How to Install, Manage, and Use iMessage Apps

Many other apps do this as well, including Pandora, Dropbox, Apple Music, and more. Nevertheless, having all those apps in iMessage can quickly prove unwieldy, and you may want to prevent them from automatically being added in the first place.

To turn off automatic app additions, first tap the App Store icon in iMessage, and then tap the four dots in the lower left corner.


Next, tap “Store” on the resulting pane that slides up from the bottom.

When the App Store opens, tap on the “Manage” tab and then tap off the switch next to “Automatically Add Apps”.

While you’re at it, if you have a bunch of apps already added, you can turn off any that you don’t want or think you will use. That way when you do use apps, you won’t have to swipe through them to get to your favorites.

Just remember that since apps are no longer automatically added, you may miss out unless you routinely check the Manage tab and turn on any new ones.

Profile Photo for Matt Klein Matt Klein
Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He's even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8.
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