How to fix Apple iPhone XS Max that went missing after installing iOS 12.1.4 update [Troubleshooting Guide]

Removing third-party apps from a phone is typically carried out by uninstalling them. For apps that weren’t uninstalled but suddenly vanished from the Home screen, chances are that they’re set to be inaccessible from the Home screen. Some devices have features and options for users to set apps to become visible or not from the main screen.

In iOS devices, downloaded apps immediately become visible and accessible from the Home screen the moment they’re installed. Deleting or uninstalling these apps can also be carried out directly from the Home screen or through Settings-> iPhone Storage menu. And to make this happen, user intervention is needed. But it turned out to be not the case to some iPhone owners who recently installed iO2 version 12.1.4, as some of their downloaded apps went missing after updating.

This problem also manifested among other post-update issues from prior iOS versions. If ever you will encounter the same trouble following the iOS 12.1.4 update installation on your iPhone, then this post may be able to help you. Read on to learn what to do if your apps are suddenly gone from the Home screen after installing the latest iOS update on your iPhone XS Max.

But before we actually move on to our troubleshooting, if you have other issues with your phone, then visit our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems with this device. In case you need more help with your problem, fill up our iPhone issues questionnaire and hit submit to contact us.

First solution: Reboot your iPhone (soft reset).

If you haven’t restarted your phone yet after updating, then you must do it now. The phone system may be just acting up following the new system transition. And the simplest possible solution to this would be a soft reset or system restart. Doing so will help clear out minor software glitches that were inflicted by the recent platform changes. To soft reset an iPhone XS Max, simply follow 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.

More often than not, minor post-update symptoms are remedied by a soft reset including rogue apps, without affecting the internal data. If what you’re dealing with is just a minor system glitch, then that should be fixed after the phone reboots. If not, then you need to troubleshoot further.


Second solution: Disable option to Offload Unused Apps on your phone.

There are updates disables or enables some settings or options on the phone. That said, it’s possible that one of these enabled or disabled options had caused your apps to disappear. Hence, verify and check if the option to Offload Unused Apps on your iPhone is enabled or disabled. When the Offload Unused Apps option is enabled, all unused apps are automatically removed except for their associated documents and data. This data will automatically be restored when you reinstall the app, if the app is still available in the App Store. To make sure this isn’t causing your apps to disappear, verify and configure this option on your iPhone XS Max. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select iTunes & App Store.
  3. Scroll down and select the option to Offload Unused Apps then toggle the switch to turn it OFF.

Restart your iPhone after making these changes and wait and see if your apps are already loading up on the Home screen.

Third solution: Download the missing app again from the App Store.

If disabling Offload Unused Apps option still failed to restore your missing apps, then try downloading the apps again from the App Store. Here’s how:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. From the App Store main screen, scroll down to the bottom and then tap on the Updates section.
  3. Tap Purchased.
  4. Then tap on “Not on this iPhone.”

Another way to redownload missing apps on your iPhone XS Max is through these steps:

  1. Tap to open the App Store, from your Home screen.
  2. Use the Search function from the App Store main screen to find the missing app that you want to recover. Simply enter the name of the app you want to find.
  3. Select the app from the search results then tap the Cloud-like or Download icon to redownload the application.

Reboot your iPhone after downloading all your missing apps to clear out junk files from its memory and to refresh the operating system.

Fourth solution: Disable App Restrictions on your iPhone.

If the update automatically enabled apps restrictions, then it’s very likely that the missing apps were restricted from showing up on the Home screen. To make sure that this isn’t what’s halting your apps from appearing, follow these steps to disable or re-configure app restrictions on your iPhone XS Max:

  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.

Give your phone another restart after changing the restrictions settings. Then wait and see if your apps are back on the Home screen when your phone boots up.

Fifth solution: Reset Home Screen Layout on your iPhone XS Max.

You may have to resort to resetting some settings on your iPhone if the problem continues are applying the previous solutions. There are different types of resets that can be performed on an iPhone. And the reset that will likely solve this problem is the Home Screen Layout reset. Here’s how it’s done:

  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.

Allow your phone to restart after the reset and then loads the default Home screen layout. By default, all non-Apple or third-party apps installed on the phone are shown and accessible from the Home screen. That said, all your apps should dwell back at Home.

Other alternative solutions to recover missing apps on your iPhone XS Max

  • Via iTunes restore. Computer software, particularly Apple’s very own iTunes app can also be considered among other options to recover and restore missing apps on your iPhone. However, this would only be possible if you’ve previously backed up your iOS device on that same computer beforehand. All apps saved in that backup can be recovered by performing an iOS restore through iTunes. Just connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable, open iTunes, and wait for it to recognize your device. Once connected, you can follow the onscreen commands to restore your iPhone from a previous backup.
  • Third-party iOS recovery software. Aside from iTunes, there are also many non-Apple iOS recovery software that can be used to recover missing files on your iOS device. You can download any of these tools, install it on a compatible computer, then connect your iPhone to the computer like you did when using iTunes. Then follow the onscreen commands and controls to recover lost files including apps on your iPhone XS Max.

For other suggestions and more advanced solutions, contact Apple Support or your iPhone carrier. Just let them know how you ended up missing some apps from your iPhone. Should this be found to be an iOS bug, then it would need a fix patch.

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!