Apple clarifies app removal policy

May 1, 2022 in iOS by Brenton ‐ 2 min read

Apple has issued a note to developers after recent media reports about them removing apps from the App Store that haven’t been updated in 2+ years.

As part of the App Store Improvements process, developers of apps that have not been updated within the last three years and fail to meet a minimal download threshold — meaning the app has not been downloaded at all or extremely few times during a rolling 12 month period — receive an email notifying them that their app has been identified for possible removal from the App Store.

Apple always wants to help developers get and keep quality software on the App Store. That’s why developers can appeal app removals. And developers, including those who recently received a notice, will now be given more time to update their apps if needed — up to 90 days. Apps that are removed will continue to function as normal for users who have already downloaded the app on their device.

Apple Developer News & Updates

It’s unclear why this has suddenly made mainstream headlines, as this program has been ongoing for many years now since 2016. Perhaps this time around Apple has inadvertently targeted more popular app developers, or enough time has passed since the program was announced that many forgot about it?

If you do get hit by an app removal notice, you’ll now have 90 days (an increase from 30 days) to issue an update to keep the app in the store.

And based on the wording of the post, if your app continues to function and doesn’t require an update you can appeal to Apple to keep the app in the store.