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. doug says

    Not so quick. This has happened to me 4 times so far. My folders are disappearing song with the links. It matters not what type of links are in the folder. I have a bunch of websites in one folder and they disappeared three times and just now a folder containing apps disappeared.

    They is a bug here for sure.

  2. Jenny says

    Thank you! Restarting my Droid Turbo worked so the ‘easy access’ data, volume, wifi and torch icon info reappeared. Phew!

  3. Lisa says

    Hi Mitch. My mobile data icon has disappeared from the pull down easy access menu on my galaxy s6. Very annoying. Is there any way to fix it. Ps I have tried all the above and none work .

  4. Jill says

    None of this works for me. The app has completely dissapeared from the device. It’s not anywhere–not under “manage applications”, not anywhere.

  5. Chris says

    I’m using an LG Optimus L90 with CM Launcher loaded onto it. I couple of months after downloading it I noticed some apps I had moved to my sd card were missing. I tried factory resetting my data and then reinstalling the launcher. A month or so after I had sd card related issues again. Then one day my phone no longer saw my sd card. I tried using an older card and my phone saw that it was inserted but it couldn’t read it. Then the launcher app kept stopping. When the card was removed everything went back to normal. Any thoughts? If the launcher is uninstalled the phone still won’t read either card so it’s deeper than that.

  6. kaemac says

    This did not work for me so I added Facebook to the floating tool bar making it easily accessible. Works fine.

  7. Rocky Beam says

    Thanks for your service, Mitch…
    My problem lies in the app icon not exactly disappearing, but the app is in place, just the icon replaced by the Android “generic” icon – pressing it still opens the proper app. I’ve tried all your suggestions here (except clearing the launcher data, which I’d like to avoid, if possible), to no avail. I’m currently using the CM Launcher which has not raised any issues ever, until now.
    I’d like to recall the original app icon to the screen, and thought you may have an additional idea or two.
    What do you think, Mitch?
    I’ve seen an article before dealing with this very topic, but can’t recall it…
    I use the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate, should that info assist you with any clues.
    Thanks so much for your insights!

  8. wave says

    hi i have a dual operating system tablet that runs on both windows 8 and jellybean 4.2, i have this apps that i am trying to install (e-books to be exact) the keep replacing each other. once i finish installed one. it opens well but the minute i install the second one the first one disappears totally. what could be the issue???

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>