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How to find a Missing App on your iPhone

by Felix Omondi

One great thing Android has over iPhone is the ability to hide app. The best you can do on an iPhone on that front is to nestle an app inside a folder (or multiple folders) then give it uninteresting name like ‘recycle bin.’

However, no matter what you do, Apple designed iPhone’s apps to be omni-present and always present somewhere within your home screen. Though there are times you take out your phone and all of a sudden, and app that you were using not-so-long-ago has dissapereed. It has compeletly gone missing.

Well, if you have used an iPhone for a while or know iPhone users you might know that this occurrence – though rare – tend to affect iOS devices. It can be really frustrating especially if you really need to use the app for something urgent and important. Well, the good news is that there are a few things you can do to get back that missing app.

#1 – First confirms the App is still installed

The quickest way to confirm the app is still there is to use the Search feature. On your home screen, simply swipe down from the status bar but above the dock. Then type the name of the app within the Search box.

If the app is still installed on your phone, it will show up under the Applications category of the search result. If it is not installed on your phone, it may show up under the App Store heading. You can tap on View, which will take you to the App Store where you can download the app afresh.

PS: If you see Get but not the cloud button, then it means you have never installed the app before on any of your iDevices. But if you see Open instead of View under the App Store heading, then it means the app is in your phone but you are restricted from accessing it. For details on how to access it, read further ahead.

#2 – Ensure the App is not Restricted

Are you sharing the iPhone with someone, or is does it have a management configuration profile installed on it by, say a parent, school, or work? If yes, then some apps could be restricted. The ‘admin’ of the phone can restrict some apps by age, or completely hide some apps. Though when you run a search, they will still appear on the search result page, but you will not be able to open them or tinker with their settings.

#3 – Ensure the App is still supported by your iOS version

Though it doesn’t happen quite often, there comes a time when iOS no longer support some apps. For instance, the app is 32-bit compatible and has not been updated yet in-line with the latest iOS standards. Such app might all of a sudden disappear. If that’s the case, you might consider forgetting about them entirely.

However, you will still be able to see them in your list of previoiusly purchased apps on your App Store account, but you will not be able to download them. It is also possible they will not appear on the App Store completely.

#4 – Force Restart the damn thing

Not system is perfect, and iOS is no different. Sometimes it gets crippled with bugs and that might be the reason you are not seeing some apps. If suspect that to be the cause, the force restarting your iPhone might fix things.

You can first start by restarting your phone with the AssistiveTouch or the manual way. If that fails, then force restart it. iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X users will have to try a different way of force restarting the phone; simply press Volume Up button followed by press/release the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Slide button until you see the display has shut off and keep holding until you see the Apple boot-up screen.

iPhone 7 and 7 Plus users will have to hold down the Slide and Volume Down buttons at the same time until you see the Apple logo appear. Users using earlier iPhone models will have to hold down the Home button and Slide (or Top) button at the same time until the Apple logo appears.

#5- Ensure the App Icon was not changed

Sometimes your app could be hiding in plain site. You only can’t see it because it now has an unfamiliar icon. That mostly happens to apps that let you change their icons; though you can also use other third-party services and Mac apps to change app icons on your iPhone to something you desire.

Go to Settings > General > Device Management and if you see a profile, then it is possible an icon was changed beyond what has been permitted by the app.

It is also possible you or someone else (at some point) tried to hide apps inside invinsible folders

#6 – Reset Home Screen layout

By reseting your home screen layout, you will flush out all app inside hidden folders. To do so, go to Settings > General > Reset, then tap on Reset Home Screen Layout and confirm Reset Home Screen.

Doing so will reset your home screen to the default factory layout; meaning only Apple app will appear on the first page and everything else in the subsequent pages.

#7 – You might have Offloaded Apps

It’s possible that in a bid to create more space for other apps, you offloaded some apps. Perhaps one of the apps you offloaded is the app you are currently looking for; if that’s the case then you need to re-download the app.

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