Why Macs and iPhones should avoid installing ‘orphan’ apps

When you’re looking for a new app, it’s tempting to install the first one that catches your eye. But before you hit that Install button, there are a few things you should know about ‘orphan’ apps.

An ‘orphan’ app is one that doesn’t have a corresponding parent app. For example, imagine you wanted to track your expenses. You might find an app called ‘Expense Tracker’ in the App Store, but there’s no corresponding parent app that would allow you to track your income as well.

In most cases, orphan apps are best avoided. They can be unstable and difficult to update, and they often don’t play well with other apps or with your operating system. So before you install an orphan app, ask yourself if there’s a better option out there. Chances are, there is.

What Is an ‘Orphan’ App?

An orphan app is one that’s not installed through the App Store and doesn’t have an associated Apple ID. They can be incredibly dangerous to install on your Mac or iPhone because they can easily contain malware or other harmful content.

When you install an app, it’s associated with your Apple ID. That means that all of the data and activity associated with that app goes through Apple’s security protocols. If an app isn’t installed through the App Store, though, it’s not subject to those same security measures. So, not only are you taking a risk by installing an orphan app, but you’re also opening yourself up to having all of your data stolen or being infected with a virus.

There’s simply no reason to take that kind of risk when there are so many great apps available through the App Store. So, avoid orphan apps at all costs and stick to the ones that are approved and certified by Apple.

The Dangers of Installing Orphan Apps

You might be wondering, what’s an orphan app?

Simply put, an orphan app is an app that isn’t installed from the App Store. It could be something you downloaded from the web, a file you transferred from a friend or even a program that came with your device.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with using orphan apps, they do come with some risks. For one, they might not be as secure as apps from the App Store. This is because they haven’t been vetted by Apple and may not have undergone the same level of testing.

What’s more, orphan apps can sometimes conflict with other programs on your device or even with the operating system itself. This can cause problems with how your device functions and can even lead to data loss.

So if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always best to play it safe and install apps only from the App Store.

How to Avoid Installing Orphan Apps

How do you avoid installing orphan apps on your Mac or iPhone? It’s actually very simple. Just make sure that you only install apps from the App Store. That way, you can be sure that the app has been vetted by Apple and is safe to install.

If you’re not sure whether an app is safe, check the App Store rating and reviews. If the app has a low rating and negative reviews, it’s best to avoid it.

Alternatives to Orphan Apps

Fortunately, there are plenty of alternatives to orphan apps. And in most cases, these alternatives are actually better for you and your Mac or iPhone.

For example, instead of using an orphan app to manage your photos, you could use the built-in Photos app that comes with macOS or iOS. Not only is it free, but it’s also more reliable and integrated with the rest of your operating system.

The same goes for other orphan app categories like music players, browsers, and even security tools. In almost every case, there’s a better alternative that you can use instead.

Why Apple Should Do Something About Orphan Apps

Apple should do something about orphan apps because they can take up a lot of space on your Mac or iPhone. Even if you delete the app, the data associated with it can still linger on your device, taking up valuable space.

Plus, orphaned apps can cause problems down the line. For example, if you try to update an app and it’s no longer compatible with your device, you could be stuck with a broken app that might not even work properly. Or, you could end up with an app that has security vulnerabilities because it’s no longer being updated.

So what can you do to avoid orphan apps? First, only download apps that you know you’ll use and will keep up to date. Second, when you’re finished with an app, make sure to completely uninstall it before deleting it from your device. This will ensure that all of the data associated with the app is removed from your device as well.

How to Report Orphan Apps to Apple

If you’ve found an orphan app on your Mac or iPhone, you can report it to Apple using the bug reporter tool located on the company’s website. To do so, simply go to feedbackassistant.apple.com, sign in with your Apple ID, and select “New Feedback.” From there, select the appropriate operating system, fill out the necessary fields, and submit your report.


In short, it’s best to avoid installing “orphan” apps on your Mac or iPhone. These are apps that are no longer being developed or supported by their developers. While they may continue to work for a while, they can eventually become a liability.

If you have an orphan app that you rely on, consider finding a replacement that is actively developed and supported. In the meantime, be sure to keep your software up to date, so you can take advantage of security fixes and new features.

2 thoughts on “Why Macs and iPhones should avoid installing ‘orphan’ apps”

Leave a Comment