How to fix Apple iPhone XS apps that went missing after installing new iOS update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Updates are rolled to offer benefits. But not all people benefit from an update. Instead, they ended up facing different kinds of trouble after updating their respective devices. This therefore denotes that post-update problems are inevitable. If you’re lucky, then everything works fine or even better after installing a new update but if you aren’t, then you will face the opposite.

Tackled in this post is one of the many post-update issues encountered by some iPhone XS owners following the latest update to iOS 12. It’s about the apps that suddenly went missing or disappearing from the Home screen. If you happened to experience the same problem after updating your iPhone XS software, then this post may be able to help you as well. Read on for more detailed solutions.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

Troubleshooting iPhone XS with apps that went missing after an update

Before troubleshooting, try to ask Siri to launch the missing app. If that app opens, then it’s still installed on your phone and is likely just relocated to a different folder. In this case, you can try these methods to get your missing apps back the way they were residing and visible from your iPhone Home screen.

First solution: Restart your phone (soft reset).

If you haven’t yet restarted your phone after installing the update, then it’s probably glitching so you need to reboot it. Follow these steps to restart or soft reset your iPhone XS to clear out minor software glitches that caused your apps to disappear.

  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.

Or you can also do a force restart, to abruptly clears all background apps including corrupted services that might have caused some conflicts and system inconsistencies. To force restart an iPhone XS, simply follow 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.

Wait for your phone to finish booting up then see if the missing apps are back. If they’re not, then continue to troubleshoot and try the next applicable solutions.

Second solution: Re-download the missing apps from App Store.

If your apps aren’t showing up after restarting your iPhone, then try to download them again from the App Store. Here’s how it’s done:

  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.
  3. 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.

Do the same steps to restore or redownload other missing apps then restart your iPhone when done.

Third solution: Disable option to Offload Unused Apps.

Offload Unused Apps is an iOS feature that lets you free up storage space on your iPhone. This feature is disabled by default but can be automatically be enabled by an update. If this happens, then some of your apps may disappear. To rule this out, check and ensure that Offload Unused Apps option is turned off. Here’s how to access this option:

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

Restart your iPhone then see if your missing apps are now back.

Fourth solution: Turn off Restrictions for your app.

Apps may not become visible if they’re restricted on your phone. To make sure this isn’t what’s causing your trouble, check your iPhone settings and disable restrictions for your apps, if necessary. Here’s how to access and manage this option:

  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.
  5. Toggle the switch to turn OFF restriction for that app.

Restart your iPhone after turning off apps restrictions then see if that solves the problem. Continue to the next method if needed.

Fifth solution: Reset Home screen Layout.

Performing resets can be considered among the last options if the problem isn’t resolved by the prior methods. The new update might have overridden your Home screen settings and automatically changed it. As a result, some of your apps disappear from the Home screen. In this case, you can revert the changes by performing a Home screen layout reset to restore your native apps and put them back to their original location. Here’s what you should do then:

  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.

Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to complete the screen layout reset then restart your iPhone XS to apply the recent changes. Resetting your iPhone XS Home Screen Layout also erases all your app folders. Thus Home screen will look like the way it was before the update changed it.

Other options

  • Use iTunes to recover missing apps. If you have a computer that has the latest iTunes software, you can use it to manually restore your apps. To get started, connect your iPhone XS to the computer via USB then launch iTunes. Wait for iTunes to detect your phone. When your iPhone appears in iTunes, select it then click on the Phone button. Select Summary then click the button to Restore Backup. Doing so will prompt iTunes to restore your iPhone apps.
  • Use third-party software. Aside from iTunes, there are also other tools you can use to recover lost apps and apps data on your phone. Like iTunes, you can download any of these tools on your computer. Be sure to pick the software that’s compatible with your computer’s operating system and your iPhone XS platform or iOS version. Read the brief description of the software so you will have at least an idea about its main features and functions.
  • Contact Apple Support. If none of the given solutions helped and your iPhone XS apps are still missing, escalate the problem to Apple Support. It’s imperative to let Apple know about the issue especially that it started to occur after installing the latest iOS update. That way they can make further assessments on their end and if necessary, develop a patch code that would fix the bug.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.