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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone iOS devices
If you're like me and have no use for the Stocks application, I'm sure you've wished of a method to remove it so it doesn't take up home screen real estate. A few months back, I searched for a method but I found none that suited my needs. I wanted something that would not require a jailbreak, and I wanted the change to be permanent. I remembered that disabling an application through the Restrictions panel removes it from the home screen, so I figured adding Stocks to the list of restricted apps should have the same result.

Note that this hint requires connecting your iPhone to a Windows machine, either directly or through a virtualization application such as Fusion or Parallels.

This could be done lots of ways, but I'll describe a couple. Keep in mind this is an iPhone hint more than a Mac hint, so unfortuanely it requires some Windos-only software. Unfortunately, I've found no comparable Mac version -- if anyone knows of one, please let us know in the comments below! This could be done without this software, but it would then require jailbreaking. Download and install the trial version of iBackupBot onto a Windows machine before continuing onto the hint.
  1. Enable Restrictions on your iPhone (skip this step if you already have this enabled). Go into your iPhone's Settings and select Restrictions from the General section. You'll be prompted to set a passcode. Toggle the Safari restriction to Off -- this is only temporary. Notice that even though you've enabled restrictions, your iPhone isn't crippled in any way since each restriction must be set individually.
  2. Connect your iPhone to the Windows machine and run iTunes. Your iPhone may or may not sync depending on whether it's your main library or not. Make a backup of your iPhone by Control-clicking your iPhone's entry in the source menu and selecting Back Up. Once complete, quit iTunes and launch iBackupBot.
  3. Once iBackupBot launches and detects your iPhone backups, you'll see them listed on the left panel. Select the most recent one (it should be the one iTunes just created). Upon selecting the backup, the right panel will populate with all of the files contained in the backup. Locate and double click the following file to open it in iBackupBot's built in editor: Library » Preferences » com.apple.springboard.plist.
  4. Look through the open file and locate the following section. (If you were already using Restrictions to disable other apps, this may look slighly different):
    <key>SBParentalControlsApplications</key>
    <array>
    <string>com.apple.mobilesafari</string>
    </array>
  5. At this point, simply replace the line...
    <string>com.apple.mobilesafari</string>
    ...with the following line....
    <string>com.apple.stocks</string>
  6. Again, look through the open file and locate the following section, which is the home screen layout (these should be in groups of four):
    <key>iconState2</key>
    Continue to look through the section and find your Stocks application:
    <string>com.apple.stocks</string>
    Replace the line above with the following:
    <string>com.apple.mobilesafari</string>
  7. Save and close the document.
  8. Select the following from the main menu: File » Restore, and select 'Restore only modified file(s)' and press OK. Wait few minutes until the restore completes.
Your iPhone should restart and the changes should have taken effect. The Stocks application should be hidden, and the Safari application should be in the location where Stocks used to reside. This change will be permanent, even if you sync your iPhone back with your iTunes library. If you restore your iPhone, this change will remain as long as you restore your settings from a backup.
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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone | 30 comments | Create New Account
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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: everkleer80 on Feb 03, '10 08:19:03AM

Neat does this work with any of the stock apps, or just the Stocks app? I use the Stocks app but there are others like Weather that I don't want. I assume this also works with an iPod Touch...



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: mactmaster on Feb 03, '10 09:04:28AM

This hints works on any application, stock or third party.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: everkleer80 on Feb 03, '10 09:41:08AM

Cool. Good to be able to remove any of the stock apps. I've seen a bunch of people complaining they didn't want the VoiceMemo app or whatever it's called on their iPods, so this should help them. (There's no reason to use it on third party apps right? If you don't want a third party app, just delete it..)



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: wfolta on Feb 03, '10 08:40:54AM

Why not simply move Stocks to another page? I have a page, way out at the end, with two or three such applications: I use an RPN calculator instead of the default, and a different weather app, too. On that page, I also put apps that I've downloaded but have found I rarely use... if they sit there too long, I delete them.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: chimerical on Feb 03, '10 09:46:22AM

Agreed. Moving an unused bundled app to the last page effectively does the same thing, without having to resort to an inelegant hack. This is unless for some reason the presence of the icon is particularly unbearable.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: VesperDEM on Feb 03, '10 01:20:38PM

I currently have all the Apple apps on the last page (11) of my Springboard. However, I still have a completely full Springboard. I would like to take the 7 or so Apple apps that I have replaced with better 3rd party apps completely off the Springboard. So far that just doesn't seem to be an option.

I understand that Apple wants users to be able to restore their devices back to factory settings, but I personally have no need for Stocks, Contacts, Camera, Calculator, Notes, etc. ever. It's really unfortunate that I have to keep those apps accessible when I "never" use them.

For that matter, why does Apple keep giving us these arbitrary page limits? 9, 11? Why not 20, or 10 across by 5 down or something like that. There are quite a few apps I would like to put back on my iPhone that I can't because of this stupid page limitation.

i have tried putting more apps on the phone than will fit on the pages. Using the iPhone Spotlight to find apps that were not visible. However, that just winds up scrambling the apps on all the pages. It wound up being quite a mess. So I had to remove the extra apps.

I sure hope someday Apple will allow us more pages or a better method of displaying the apps we have. After all, the iPad will have 64GB's of storage and a huge screen. Yet it will be limited by 11 pages of apps like the iPhone/iPod touch? I sure hope not.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: PatrickS on Feb 04, '10 04:05:33AM

Err, you can install more apps if you want. You just need to access them by searching for their name.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: BenGleason on Feb 03, '10 08:55:37AM

This is amazing! I used this method to remove not only Stocks, but Weather as well. (I only use the Weather Channel app, since Apple's Weather app is hardly ever accurate.)



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: mactmaster on Feb 03, '10 09:02:03AM

Were you able to do this with the trial version of iBackupBot?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: mactmaster on Feb 03, '10 08:59:17AM

I contributed this hint and this hint will work on other stock applications or any third party application as well. It's easy enough to do it once and never have to worry about the Stocks icon showing up.

Unfortunately however, the company that makes iBackupBot released an update with a much more limited trial version so you may need to actually purchase the software in order to follow the steps in the hint, I cannot confirm this though so if you try this please let us know in the comments. I also released this hint in hopes that someone like Erica Sadun, the guys at Ecamm or some other iPhone coder will see this and write something like iBackupBot and make it freely available. There are many tools to view and extract backup files but iBackupBot is the only one I've seen that allows you to write data back to the iPhone.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: waffffffle on Apr 15, '10 05:04:26AM

I purchased the application but I cannot get this to work. I can edit and save the file properly but it won't allow me to restore just the changed files (error code:-10). If I restore the whole backup it doesn't work, the only application blocked is Safari and the .plist file reverts back to the way it was.

Any thoughts?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: steve50 on Oct 26, '10 01:53:09PM

I'm having the same problem. I notice no one has posted a reply. Does that mean there is no way around the "error code: -10" problem?
Tech support for IBackupBot suggested the following. Hope it works for you, but keep in mind, it did NOTsolve the error for me:

1. Run iTunes, select, main menu->Edit->Preferences, then switch to "Devices" tab.
2. Select a backup and click "Delete Backup" button to delete all backups.
3. Backup your iPad/iPhone again.
4. Exit iTunes and run iBackupbot (then, follow the described procedure).

Hope you have better luck.
If anyone else knows how to get past the error code:-10 error, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: gp_aaron on Feb 03, '10 09:06:38AM

This is one of the main reasons I jailbroke my iPhone. SBsettings let me hide as many applications as I wanted, and the best thing about it is the hidden apps can still be launched through a quick spotlight search if I ever needed to run the app.

That and that SBsettings also gives me near instant access to my wifi, 3g, bluetooth and location toggles to save me from loading up the settings up which takes far too long to load.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: mactmaster on Feb 03, '10 09:11:11AM

Good point, applications disabled with this hint cannot be launched via Spotlight.

In my experience I have found that jailbreaking slows down my phone and makes it more buggy so I have stayed away from it.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: gp_aaron on Feb 03, '10 09:54:38AM

While I would have agreed with you on older firmwares (1.x and even 2.x) the jailbreaks for 3.x have been wonderful; assuming you only install trusted applications and stay away from pirated App Store apps. The trusted cydia apps tend to be widely used and go through extensive testing. In terms of slow down, I have noticed none; unless I enable backgrounder and run too many apps in the background - but that would be own doing.

In short, my iPhone 3G running 3.x jailbroken firmware is just as stable, albeit with significantly more features, as my iPhone 3G when it wasn't jailbroken.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: stokessd on Feb 03, '10 11:41:38AM

I agree, I'm running a 3GS with 3.1.2 OS and Jailbreaking has not slowed my phone and over the several months my phone is every bit as stable as my wife's unjailbroken phone. I don't know what I did before lock-screen, the SMS reply anywhere app, auto-silent, sbsettings and 3G unrestricter, and adblock. I'm also really enjoying the ability to have 5 apps on my dock, and to be able too change the SMS sound.

I'm hoping that OS4.0 incorperates all the jailbreak apps that I love, but I doubt it will. The user interface improvements in 3.0 were really meager.

Sheldon



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: barefootguru on Feb 03, '10 10:12:17AM
You *may* be able to achieve this using some of the enterprise tools http://manuals.info.apple.com/en_US/Enterprise_Deployment_Guide.pdf

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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: mactmaster on Feb 03, '10 11:39:24AM

You may be onto something with this. I'll check this out tonight!



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: jiclark on Feb 03, '10 02:32:29PM

Yes, please report back if you figure out a way to disable the built-in apps via the enteprise tools. That would be cool!



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: mactmaster on Feb 03, '10 05:46:59PM

Tried out the enterprise tools but no luck getting this to work through that. The enterprise tools use a different indirect way of applying restrictions so we are not able to modify it to restrict specific applications.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: Andrew J Freyer on Feb 03, '10 01:32:35PM

Anyone got this working on OS 3.1.3?

Seems like it's not working for me.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: talos1024 on Feb 11, '10 03:08:29PM

Yes, this does work with 3.1.3 using iTunes 9.0.3 on the PC. I was able to hide Notes, Weather, and the voice recorder.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: joejoethompson on Mar 04, '10 02:42:28PM

How? Could you show us the example in the code?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: talos1024 on Mar 04, '10 09:30:20PM

For these descriptions, I'm using a pipe character " | " to describe indented text. Plain text posting seems to strip tab characters. Before you start the PC backup you should arrange the apps on one screen on your iPhone.

Next, scroll down to this...

<key>iconState2</key>
<dict>
| <key>buttonBar</key>

...which is where the screen and button arrangement code begins. Locate one of the buttons you want to remove, and use the cut 'n paste options at the top of the screen. Cut the button name, then scroll up to this area...

<key>SBParentalControlsApplications</key>
<array>
| <string>com.apple.MobileStore</string>
| <string>com.apple.VoiceMemos</string>
| <string>com.apple.weather</string>
| <string>com.apple.mobilenotes</string>
</array>

...which is a paste of my iPhone code. Paste each button string between the "array" tags, and arrange the indents to match other disabled buttons. When everything looks clean, save the file and use iTunes to restore your phone. That will write this new code to the phone, and parental controls will hide those buttons even though there isn't a toggle option like Safari and other app buttons have.

If this is clear as mud, please let me know what part or parts need more work.



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: joejoethompson on Mar 04, '10 02:40:52PM

So how do we do this with multiple apps? For example, if I wanted to hide notes (evernote is better), stocks (don't use), weather (outside is better), how would I do this in the code?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: marcostg85 on Apr 14, '10 05:10:26PM

does anyone know which is the plist that needs to be edited to allow 5 icons on the dock?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: Trouble on Apr 14, '10 07:43:17PM
Whoa. This is huge! I just used this combined with these instructions:
http://lifehacker.com/5440633/use-multiple-exchange-accounts-on-your-jailbroken-iphone

I have successfully enabled two Exchange ActiveSync accounts on a non-jailbroken iPhone! Works like a charm!

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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: xboxnew on Jul 13, '10 06:18:44PM

how can i do this in ios 4.0 ???

i can not find this string´s in ios 4.0 anyone a solution ?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: tpmanues on Apr 27, '12 11:18:13AM

Can you show how to hide the stock app in iOS 5?



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Permanently hide the Stocks app icon on iPhone
Authored by: JoKC on Apr 29, '13 02:07:07PM

i cant get this to work with the newest ios and itunes update. I absolutely hate that i cant delete these apps. at least hiding them would be nice.



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