What You Can Learn from Your Uninstalls & How to Eliminate Them

Ariel Michaeli Ariel Michaeli
February 12, 2020, 12:00 AM ET
What You Can Learn from Your Uninstalls & How to Eliminate Them

How many users delete your app is an important metric to an app's overall success, but many developers and marketers tend to ignore it.

82% of iOS and Android apps are free, which means that making money happens after the app was downloaded. To make money this way requires that users engage with the app, not just download it. If it's uninstalled, you can be sure they won't.

How Many Users Uninstall Your App?

The first thing you have to do if you haven't already, is figure out how many people uninstall your app. Apple and Google make this number available, and we import it right into your the Sales report for all of your apps.

It looks something like this:

App uninstalls trend | Appfigures Analytics & ASO Tools

In this example, we can see the app is losing an average of 200 installs per day. That could mean a lot of lost potential. But on their own, uninstalls don't tell the full story and don't show you just how much they hurt your bottom line.

Let's put uninstalls in context by overlaying them with downloads:

App uninstalls vs. downloads | ASO Tools by Appfigures

Tip: You can overlay different data sets using the primary and secondary metric selections above the chart in all reports. Overlay different trends to see the bigger picture with Appfigures analytics & ASO tools

With downloads overlaid we can see that the app itself is being downloaded more than it is uninstalled, so an average of 200 downloads isn't as scary. However, we can also easily tell that about half of all downloads result in the app being uninstalled. Not great.


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5 Reasons Why They're Uninstalling Your App

People download apps to solve problems. Whether it's to help with a business task, get access to streaming movies, and even to make time go by faster with a nice game. The key is that they know what they want and are looking for an app or game that provides it.

If they don't see what they need quickly after downloading an app they'll get rid of it and move on to the next. Here are the most common reasons for uninstalls that can be eliminated:

1. Your ASO is Putting the App In-front of the Wrong People

In-store search leads to the majority of downloads and is within your control with ASO. This means that you can choose which search queries your app will be found in. Finding keywords for your app can be challenging, especially if other competitors are already optimizing for them so it could be tempting to optimize for keywords that are less competitive and slightly less relevant.

But, it means users will download your app thinking it will fulfill their needs but quickly find out it doesn't and delete it. You might rank better for irrelevant keywords, but they won't lead to paying users.

How to Make Your ASO Relevant

By finding more keywords! ASO relies on keyword research. The better your ASO tool is the easier it'll be to find keywords that are relevant, popular, and not too competitive.

2. Your Ads are Targeting the Wrong Audience

Whether you're using Apple Search Ads, Facebook, or any other ad networks, targeting the right users makes a big difference. When you target poorly (or not at all), much like having the wrong keywords, are attracting downloads from users who don't need what your app has to offer.

Unlike ASO however, poor ad targeting literally loses you money.

How to Fix Incorrect Ad Targeting

Most ad networks have a selection of tools to help you make sure your ads only get shown to the right type of user. The kind of user that actually needs what your app offers. Take advantage of those tools and experiment with different interests, age groups, geographic locations, and keywords.

3. Bad Onboarding is Making it Hard to Get Started

The first time a user uses your app is when they decide whether to continue using it or to delete it, so it's really important that they understand what the app can do for them quickly.

If the app opens up to a set of permission requests and an unintuitive landing screen the user will have a hard time figuring out if the app can give them what they want and simply delete it.

How to Fix Poor User Onboarding

Onboarding new users effectively is no easy challenge. Here are some best practices to get you started:

  1. Make sure you actually have an onboarding flow and aren't just throwing new users into the app.
  2. Keep the flow as simple as possible and focus on the highlights, not every feature.
  3. Remove as much friction as you can. If login isn't absolutely needed let the user skip that until necessary. Same for requesting various permissions.

As with every flow, A/B testing your onboarding can help improve it even further.

4. Bugs are Preventing Users from Getting the Value They Expect

An app that's slow, crashes often, or doesn't work as the user expects won't give the user the solution they need and unless the user is forced to use it will get deleted right away.

How to Fix Technical Issues

Users tend to share their frustration about app performance by leaving reviews. This means you can usually tell what needs fixing by reading your reviews.

In addition to reviews, monitoring app crashes and load time (if applicable) has become really easy with both 1st party and 3rd party tools. Start by creating a baseline of crashes per day and average load speed, and work towards reducing both.

5. The App's Price Doesn't Align with Its Perceived Value

Pricing is a major reason for users to delete your app. It's not a question of whether the price is high but rather if it's too high for what the user thinks the value of the app is (aka. perceived value).

How to Find the Right Price for Your App

One price doesn't fit all, and your first attempt at pricing may (and probably) won't be the best. Finding the right pricing takes iterations, but whatever you do don't blindly decrease it. One of the first experiments you should try is using different ways to bundle your features.


Uninstalls are one of the most important growth metrics for apps and is an even more important metric for subscription apps. Working to reduce uninstalls is a great complement to ASO, advertising, or other promotional activities.

Not sure what a trend means? Need help eliminating uninstalls? Tweet @appfigures

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