With iMessage extensions, every popular app out there wants to have one. It doesn’t matter if it’s actually useful or not. That wouldn’t be a problem, but when you automatically update your apps after upgrading to iOS 10, their iMessage extensions also get added to the iMessage app drawer. Which is why plenty of iOS users will rather prevent automated iMessage app installs.
It is possible to clean up the list of iMessage apps, but why not spare yourself the trouble and make sure this is not needed in the first place?
How to prevent automated iMessage app installs
If you want to simply prevent automated iMessage app installs, it’s all a matter of disabling the right setting. Here’s what you need to do:
Open an iMessage conversation and tap on the Apps icon (marked with an “A”) located next to the “iMessage” text box. Tap on the right arrow button first if your keyboard is open. Then, tap on the grid icon to continue.
You will see a list of installed apps with the first icon being the Store. Tap on it.
Now, the iMessage App Store will be displayed. Featured is the default tab. Tap on the Manage tab at the top.
All you have left to do is disable the “Automatically Add Apps” option.
From then on, iMessage apps will not be automatically installed. On the same screen, you can view all the currently installed iMessage apps and toggle off the ones you have no use for.
With this option disabled you can still install an iMessage app but you will need to return to the Manage tab, find the item in the All section and enable it.
I think this is just a minor inconvenience compared to suddenly waking up with a dozen or so new iMessage apps after a batch of automated updates.