How to fix apps that disappear on your Apple iPhone XR after installing an iOS update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Software updates are primarily aimed at serving good purposes particularly offering new features and system enhancements. Nevertheless, every new update released by Apple yields to either positive or negative outcome. This can happen considering the fact that not all users had configured their respective devices in the same way before the update was implemented.

Thus post-update results do vary from user to user. Even so, keeping the device software up-to-date is still advised. Should the update yields to an issue, then your next move would be to find the best possible solution. While permanent solutions are often rendered by Apple itself, there are certain workarounds that can be used to deal with a post-update problem for good. All you have to do is try implementing the solutions on your end.

Highlighted below are a few suggested workarounds and potential solutions to a post-update problem on the iPhone XR. Read on to learn what to do when your iPhone XR apps went missing or disappeared after installing the latest iOS version on the phone.

Before anything else, if you have other issues with your device, try to browse through our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed several issues with this device. Odds are that we’ve already published a post that tackles similar problems. Try finding issues that have similar symptoms with what you currently have and feel free to use the solutions we’ve suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, then fill up our questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone XR.

It’s normal for a device to act up after installing a new update as it tries to acclimatize the recent system change. The transpiring symptoms may vary depending on which app or system segment is affected. This is one of the reasons why it is highly recommended to reboot your phone after every update installation. Performing an iPhone restart doesn’t affect any saved information on the internal memory, thus creating backups won’t be necessary. If you haven’t restarted your phone already, then follow these steps to do so. To reboot the system via soft reset, simply refer to these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

To reboot your iPhone system via force restart, carry out these steps:

  1. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  3. Then, press and hold the Power button on the side of the phone and then release when the phone restarts.

Both these restart methods offer the same positive outcome when dealing with minor system errors triggered by random update bugs.

Wait until your phone is finished restarting and then check and see if your missing apps are back. If not, then continue to troubleshoot and rule out other factors.

Second solution: Search for and re-download missing apps from App Store.

Another possible way for you to view missing apps on your iPhone is through the App Store. The App Store has a specific folder for all apps you’ve downloaded previously. Here’s how to access this section:

  1. Launch the App Store.
  2. From the App Store main screen, tap on Updates.
  3. Tap Purchased.
  4. Then tap on “Not on this iPhone.”

Alternatively, you can try this method:

  1. Open the App Store on your phone.
  2. Search for the missing app that you want to restore or recover.
  3. If it shows there, then select the app and then tap on the cloud-like icon next to it. Doing so will restore or redownload the app on your phone.

Follow the same steps to download all other apps that went missing after an update on your iPhone XR.

Third solution: Disable Offload Unused Apps option on your iPhone XR.

Some updates override automatically override settings on your device. Thus it’s possible that the latest update you installed have enabled some options that aren’t supposed to be turned on. And this could have resulted to your apps suddenly disappearing. There’s a certain feature on your iPhone that may cause this same issue when it’s enabled. This option is called Offload Unused Apps. If the missing apps are the ones seldom used on your device, then there’s a higher chance that the said option has been activated by the update. As a result, apps you seldom used suddenly disappear. To check and manage this option, simply follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Then tap iTunes & App Store.
  3. Select the option to Offload Unused Apps. If it’s turned ON, toggle the switch to turn it OFF.

If it is already turned off when the apps have disappeared, toggle the switch to turn it on and then off again. Doing so will refresh the feature.

Fourth solution: Manage app restrictions on your iPhone XR.

Another possible reason as to why an app may not be able to show or load is your iPhone restriction. Restrictions may impede an app from working or showing up in certain conditions. To make sure this isn’t the root cause of the problem, check and manage your iPhone XR restrictions with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Select Content & Privacy Restriction.
  4. Navigate to the Allowed Apps section then find the app that went missing after the update.

If necessary, toggle the switch next to the name of the missing app to turn OFF restriction for that app. Do the same to the rest of your missing apps.

Fifth solution: Reset Home screen layout on your iPhone XR.

Another attribute of your phone that might have been changed automatically by the recent update is the Home screen layout. So what usually happens is that the previous Home screen layout is automatically overridden. And because of that layout changes, some of your apps were no longer accessible or visible from the Home screen. To solve the problem, reset the Home screen layout of your iPhone XR with these steps:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and then tap on Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset Home Screen Layout.
  5. Enter your passcode when asked to continue then confirm Home screen layout reset.

Restart the phone when the reset is finished and then see if all your apps are already showing up on the Home screen.

Other options

  • Use iTunes to recover apps. Apps that have disappeared from an update can also be restored manually through iTunes if you backed up your iPhone to iTunes before updating it. To do this, just plug your iPhone to the computer where your previous backup was stored, open iTunes and then wait for it to recognize your device. When your iPhone appeared in iTunes, select it by clicking on the Phone button and then click on Summary. You will then see the button to Restore Backup. Click on that button to command iTunes to restore your iOS backup including the missing apps.
  • Use third-party iOS data recovery tools. Aside from iTunes, there are also other non-Apple iOS data recovery software that can be used to recover lost data on an iPhone. If you wish to try your luck in any of these alternative tools, then download and install your preferred software on a compatible computer. Once you have it ready, connect your iPhone to the computer and then use that software to restore its lost files and apps.

For further suggestions and more advanced solutions, contact your iPhone provider or Apple Support then let them know exactly about your concern. The fact that these apps started to disappear following a new update to iOS installation makes it a basis for Apple to develop a required fix patch if it couldn’t be resolved by any workarounds.

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!


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