How to fix Apple iPhone XS apps that disappeared from Home screen after iOS 12.2 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

As much as Apple focused to maintain the stability of both the software and hardware aspects of every iOS device by regularly rolling out OS updates, users are still facing various issues after a new iOS update implementation. One of the major issues that was linked to the recently rolled out iOS 12.2 update is the disappearance of apps from the Home screen of the iPhone XS handset.

This problem was actually seen among other post-update issues from prior iOS versions and for some reason, it recurred. Even with the use of Spotlight Search, the apps are seemed not visible. If by any chance you’d encounter the same issue after installing iOS 12.2 update on your iPhone XS, then this post might be able to help you. Read on to learn what options to try to get your apps back and accessible on your iPhone XS Home screen.

Why apps disappeared from your iPhone XS Home screen after updating iOS?

There is no precise explanation as to why such kind of problem occurred. A common theory is that the new update might have been programmed to automatically wipe out all outdated or obsolete apps from the receiving devices. While this may sound inappropriate based on how apps work on an iPhone, it’s possible. Another speculation is that the update might have automatically enabled some settings, particularly the Offload Unused Apps feature on the iPhone settings. As a result, all unused apps are dumped. The same thing can happen if the turns on Restrictions for certain apps on your phone. If restrictions are enabled for these apps, you won’t see the apps on your phone’s home screen or won’t be able to use them completely. Another possibility is that the apps were automatically uninstalled during the update and it so happened that you’ve failed to back up your apps and data.

As you can see, there are a lot of possible reasons as to why your apps suddenly disappear following the recent update to iOS. To methods I’ve outlined below can help you recover these missing apps in no time.

How to Recover Missing Apps from your iPhone Home screen

Before you start performing the following procedures, restart your iPhone. What you’ve dealing with could be just a minor post-update glitch, which is usually remedied by a soft reset or restart. Thus if you haven’t already, restart your iPhone XS as you usually do then see if your apps are back afterwards. If restarting doesn’t solve the problem, then you can move on and try each of these subsequent solutions.

Solution #1: Disable Offload Unused Apps on your iPhone XS.

As explicated earlier, enabling this option will affect apps behaviour on your device. If the Offload Unused Apps setting has been enabled, applications that are less used or not used at all are automatically dumped or removed but their associated files and data are kept. Whether you had it enabled prior to the update or it was automatically enabled after the recent iOS version was installed on your phone, it has resulted to some of your apps being deleted. To make sure this isn’t the underlying cause, check and manage your iPhone settings. Here’s how:

  1. From the Home screen, launch the Settings app.
  2. Select iTunes & App Store.
  3. Scroll down to and select Offload Unused Apps. If the switch indicator is green, it means it’s ON, toggle the switch to turn it OFF.

Note that when you disabled the Offload Unused apps option, it doesn’t mean that you will recover the missing apps. Hence, you need to either manually install the apps. If you were able to back up your apps before you updated your iPhone, then you can restore them via iCloud or iTunes.

Solution #2: Disable Restrictions on your iPhone XS.

Built-in apps such as Camera, Safari, FaceTime, Siri & Dictation are some of the apps that can be hidden using the phone’s Restrictions feature. You can restrict certain apps if you don’t want to use them on your device. If the recent update automatically override your iPhone settings and enabled restrictions, then these pre-loaded apps likely disappeared from your Home screen due this configuration. To rule this out, follow these steps to manage Restrictions on your iPhone XS:

  1. From the Home screen, launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Then, tap Content & Privacy Restriction.
  4. If prompted, enter your passcode and then select Allowed Apps. If the restriction is enabled for various apps, make sure to turn off the restriction on each app.

After making necessary changes, go back to the Home screen and check if the apps have been recovered. If the apps are still not showing up on the Home screen, give your phone another restart and see if that solves the problem.

Solution #3: Restore Missing Apps by Name Search.

Another way to recover the deleted apps from your iPhone is by reinstalling them from the App Store using the Name Search box. This would be necessary if the update has really deleted your apps. Here’s what you should do then:

  1. Launch the App store app.
  2. In the “search” box, type in the name of the app that has been deleted. (example: Spotify)
  3. Wait for the matching result, and locate the app you wish to recover.
  4. Then, tap the Cloud or Download icon to download the app again from the App Store.
  5. If prompted, enter your Apple ID to confirm.

Follow the same steps to re-install and download other missing apps from the App Store.

Note that apps which data had been stored in iCloud and are recovered this way will most likely be restored with their accompanying data.

You can also check your purchased list and restore deleted apps from the App Store. This can be considered an option if multiple apps were deleted after updating to iOS 12.2. Here’s how it works:

  1. On your iPhone XS, launch the App Store app.
  2. Select Updates.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Purchased which is located at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Tap on Not on This iPhone.
  5. Select the deleted apps in the list and then tap the cloud arrow icon to download the apps again. If prompted, enter your Apple ID and password.

Note: You won’t incur charges for downloading the deleted apps again. So long as you are using the same Apple ID when you first purchased the apps, then be assured that you will be able to recover them for free.

Solution #4: Restore iCloud Backup (if applicable).

If you were able to back up your iPhone’s data and contents via iCloud before you install the new update, then you can restore your apps from iCloud too. But also note of the downside from resorting to this option. Restoring an iCloud backup can also lead to deletion of your existing data and customized settings. But if you’ve got no other choice, you may have to resort to this method.

Considering that you have already backed up your phone to iCloud, you can proceed with these steps to erase your iPhone and restore it from a previous iCloud backup.

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings-.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Erase all Content and Settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your passcode to confirm.

After which, you can proceed to setting up your iPhone XS and restoring it from your previous iCloud backup. Just wait for your iPhone to restart after the factory reset and then continue with these steps:

  1. Once your phone has completely rebooted and you are about to set it up again, select “Restore from iCloud Backup” option.
  2. Then, enter your Apple ID and password to log in.
  3. You will be prompted with a list of all backup files connected to the account. Select the desired file.

Give you phone time to load and restore the backup files to your iPhone XS. Once the process is completed, check your phone and see if the missing apps are now restored.

Solution #5: Restore Missing Apps from iTunes.

If the previous restore doesn’t do any good, then you can make use of iTunes. This however can only be considered an option if you’ve previously backed up your iPhone XS to iTunes before the update. The backup will only be accessible from the computer you used when you backed up your iPhone files to iTunes.

To get started, get your computer and iTunes ready. Also ensure that your computer has stable Internet connection. Then connect your iPhone to the computer via USB or Lightning cable and continue with these steps to restore it from your previous backup:

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer.
  2. Connect your iPhone XS to the computer using the provided USB cable. Wait until iTunes pops up automatically.
  3. Click the Phone icon to continue.
  4. Select Summary. Then, click “Restore Backup…”
  5. The process may take some time to be completed. Once done, check your phone and see if the apps have been recovered.

Note: Do not remove the USB cable unless you get a confirmation that the process has been completed.

Are your iPhone XS apps still missing?

In normal circumstances, the aforementioned solutions should be good enough for you to obtain a resolution. But if that did not happen and you still ended up having missing apps on your iPhone XS Home screen, then this is when you may consider using iTunes alternatives. There are actually a lot of iOS recovery and repair tools you can use aside from iTunes. Just download the most reliable and effective tool that’s compatible with your iPhone XS. Install it on your computer then connect your iPhone to the computer whenever you’re all set to fix your device.

Or better yet, contact the Apple Support directly so that you can ask some advice and get some more advanced solutions to fix problems with missing apps from the iOS 12.2 update implementation. Be sure to provide them with the complete detail about the problem you’re facing as well as the solutions you’ve tried on your end. That way, they will know where to start or determine which procedures to apply next.

I hope that we’ve been able to help you fix the problem with your device. We would appreciate it if you helped us spread the word so please share this post if you found it helpful. Thank you so much for reading!