Android: Icons Disappear from Home or Launcher

There is a common issue for Android users where the shortcut icons disappear from the Home or Apps Launcher screens. There are a few reasons this happens. Give these steps a try.

Icons Disappear from Home Screen

1. Restart

If you haven’t tried to restart the device yet, give that a try. Press and hold the “Power” button, then select “Restart”. In many cases, the Home screen will refresh and the icon(s) will return.

2. Ensure the App is Not Installed to SD Card

Sometimes, apps will disappear if they are installed to the SD Card. Try moving the app back to the memory of the device under “Settings” > “Applications” > “Manage applications“. Choose the app that goes missing from the Home screen, then “Move to phone” or “Move to device” button.

3. Reset the Home Screen Launcher

This step will reset your home screen completely and is only recommended if disappearing icons is a continuous problem.  “Settings” > “Applications” > “Manage applications“. The app name will differ depending on the device. Looks for something related to “Home” or “Launcher”. If you have a Samsung device, it may be called “TouchWiz”. Select the icon, then choose “Clear data“.

Icons Disappear from App Launcher

1. Restart

If you haven’t tried to restart the device yet, give that a try. Press and hold the “Power” button, then select “Restart”. In many cases, the Home screen will refresh and the icon(s) will return.

2. Ensure App is Not Disabled

Under “Settings” > “Applications” > “Manage applications“. Choose the app that goes missing, and ensure the app is not disabled.

3. Ensure the Launcher Does Not Have the App Hidden

Your device may have a launcher that can set apps to be hidden. Usually, you bring up the app launcher, then select “Menu“. From there, you might be able to unhide apps. The options will vary depending on your device or launcher app.


  1. wallace says

    i too have the same problem but the worse is that the settings icon itself has disapear along with the contact and call icons so it cant reach the settings to do anything from there, i flash it and reboot it but nothing to do. i even install another settings from google play but zero result. the phone is a samsung galaxy duos gt s7562. any help for me?

  2. doobre says

    restarting THREE times sorted out my Tab S..
    there are some apps that are installed on the SD to make space for data that can not be stored on the SD (thanks to the stupid android limitation)… these do show up in the settings/app manager because the unit thinks and says that they are “not installed”…
    good luck…

  3. Norm M. says

    I agree with Sarah. The SD thing doesn’t make any sense. For me, this problem only happened when I updated my Moto G phone from KitKat to Lollipop. Now it takes a lot longer to shutdown and especially boot up as it starts verifying apps. My first thought was that it might be malware, although I’ll assume Android isn’t quite as proned to malware as some other O/S’s. (Although, I think I’ll find a scanner that’ll check for that just to be on the safe side.)

    In any case, this problem is just super annoying and unacceptable. I had a lot of apps that were nested and they just evaporate without me knowing it (until I need ’em, of course). Going through the whole process to put them back on my phone is very frustrating. This can’t possibly be a bug in the O/S, I hope since I’ve been using Android for years without one single glitch.

  4. will says

    These phones are really starting to suck. Really regret my note 4 purchase. Samsung has provided no support with updates or anything. It is pathetic.

  5. Sarah says

    The point about the SD card makes no sense to me. I’ve had a droid for a long time and I HAVE to have apps on the SD card else I run out of space on my phone….kind of the whole POINT of having an SD card. Also, in the past I’ve never had an issue with this even with ny apps on the SD card. If that my only solution then I cannot do that because I need ALL my apps. I want to also mention that restarting didn’t help at all, in fact that is HOW I keep losing my apps. When my phone acts up and is slow, I like to restart it and when I do I notice the home screen is missing apps.

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