Android: Icons Disappear From Home Screen

There is a common issue for Android users where the shortcut icons disappear from the Home screen. This has been happening for Motorola Droid users since the Froyo 2.2 update. That update is when the option to move apps to the SD card became available. The problem appears to be linked to that feature. Apps that are moved to the SD card are the ones that have shortcut icons missing from the Home screen. Since the phone boots and loads the home screen before the SD card is mounted, it misses those icons and doesn’t load them on the screen.

To solve this issue, you’ll have to move the disappearing apps back to the memory of the phone or device and off the SD card.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap Applications.

3. Tap Manage applications.

4. Choose the app that goes missing from the Home screen.

5. Tap the Move to phone or Move to device button.

If you have a ton of apps moved to the SD card and don’t want to go through the trouble of moving all of the apps back one-by-one, there is an app in the Android Market called Advanced SD Card Manager that will bulk move the apps back to the device.


  1. Elaine says

    I have two icons that disappeared from my home screen, Messaging and Contacts. My Smartphone is a Huawei Model Y301-A1. I would appreciate any help from you. and, yes, I have rebooted but that does not help me at all.

  2. jyoti says

    No its not working I moved all the missing apps to phone still I did not get back…please help as soon possible

  3. jyoti says

    Worse thing I woke up in the morning n found few apps are missing…though when I check my device setting its still there…I m using zero launcher n I didn’t find any option to launch it again…I read the first suggestion of this forum so I have to move those app agn to my phn…hopefully will get back BT what if I agn transfer those app in SD..will I found same problem next morning??? Rplyyyy

  4. Karen Favorite says

    Since the Settings icon is also one of the missing icons, that suggestion is obviously not going to work. Now what?

  5. Anonymous says

    It doesn’t work on my phone; clicking on an app already installed on the SD card allows me to ‘Move to SD Card’, which is extremely not helpful. This is a new phone and I am disappointed with the quality of it as I have had many problems with it.

  6. Gerald says

    My android does strange things.
    Missing icons
    Dials phone numbers, radomly
    Apps start on their own
    Blocks incoming phone call, cant answer
    During a call screen goes dark, can’t access phone, must hang up
    Screen dims, with full charge, not at end of charge

    Question. Is a windpws phone more reliable?

  7. Richard says

    Just change the connectivity on your mobile phone to Media Transfer Mode. once you plug the USB for Charging the device still you can use the apps on your mobile.

  8. Goncas_pt says

    On my SE ARC, running Android 2.3.4 is also happening that.
    I noticed that it hapens more often after disconnecting from my PC (either for charging or for sync).

    Also when we connect to the PC, with the SD card unmounted, all the SD installed apps desapear from the phone – you just have to go Definitions>Storage>Mount SD Card and all the apps will, again, appear.

  9. meGrimlock says

    thinking this was a fix, it actually puts an icon on top of the previous shortcut icon. after a couple reboots and a couple days later i happened to move some icons around and lo-and-behold the original shortcut was back to where i had put it ages ago. for whatever reason the old shortcuts are “invisible.” when you stack shortcut icons on top of older shortcut icons eventually you’ll notice once they become “visible” again. no clue of the cause or fix.

  10. rcab says

    I have the same problem with my Motorola Triumph (Android 2.2.2). The problem goes away (temporarily) if you do a hard reset (turn the phone off and then back on), but I found that if you use the “Add shortcut to Home Screen” function, you can place the icons where you want them every time. To do this follow these steps:
    1. touch-and-hold at an open area on the screen where you want your shortcut icon
    2. select “Shortcut”
    3. select “Applications”
    4. select the activity’s (application) icon

  11. rafa says

    I have solved this problem using the application “Launcher Pro”. It is free and available from the android market. Since I use it, the icons of those apps residing in the SD card remain still on the home screens. Great work and big hand to the launchpro team.
    I am as well extremly happy with K9 mail application. Works perfectly with google business accounts.

  12. Pentyl says

    Nexus S. (A 2.3, Gingerbread). Icons have disppeared but not often.
    Worse is that they stick and can’t be reatranged, or sometimes some of them can.
    Icons are not visible when moved to a deskto folder but appear after reboot. Though not always in the right folder.
    Things work better short after reboot but rarely perfekt. Placing an icon on the desktop can make it disappear and return after reboot in some folder… There indeed are issues with the os (or hardware) that needs to be addressed.
    Or maybe I just need an explanation.

  13. Superbob says

    This happens on my Droid 3, and I don’t even have an SD card on this phone. Apps occasionally disappear entirely (not just the shortcut) and I have to reinstall the entire app from the market to get it back.

  14. berny748 says

    I cleared my level 1 and 2 RAM and they’re back. May be a temporary fix or have to be done after reboot. Galaxy 5

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