How to Recover Lost Android App Icons (4 Methods)

App icons are shortcuts on your home screen that allow you to quickly access the apps installed on your device. If you delete an icon by mistake, it’s likely that the app is still there. But how do you get it back?

Deleting an app icon can be annoying if you’ve just got a new device. If you’re not sure what your doing, it’s easy enough to delete nearly anything from your phone. The good thing is, getting the apps and icons back shouldn’t prove to be too difficult.If you’ve deleted the app drawer itself, we talk about how to get that back as well.

If you’ve just made the switch from iOS or you just can’t find a solution, this list should help.

Method 1: From the Home Screen

The Home screen is probably the best (and quickest) place to start. If you’ve lost an app icon on your device;

The easiest way to recover a lost app or widget is to touch and hold an empty space on your Home screen.


This should cause a new menu to pop up with customizable options for your device.

Tap Widgets and Apps to bring up a new menu.

Tap Apps, and from here you can choose the app icon that you previously deleted.

Hold the icon, and drag it to a space on your device.

Your app should now be exactly where you want it to be.

Method 2: If You Have Only Deleted the App Icon From Your Home Screen

If you’ve only deleted the app icon from your home screen, (and not the entire app from your device) the first method should prove useful, but there’s also an alternative method you can try;

Tap the App drawer icon on your device. (It’s usually shaped like six squares or circles.) This should bring up a list of all of the apps on your phone.

Find the app that you want to make a copy of. (If you can’t find it, all devices should have a search feature located in this menu.)

Android App Drawer

Hold the icon, and it will open your Home screen.

From here, you can drop the icon wherever you like. You can also swipe left and right if you want to put the icon on another page. This will create a new shortcut on your device.

Method 3: If You Have Deleted The App Drawer Icon

It should be easy to recover the app icon drawer, but the steps may differ slightly depending on your device.

Here’s a couple of ways to get it back where it belongs;

Head to the static bottom panel on your device (The Lower Dock. (This is the one that stays the same no matter which page you’re on.)

You will have to move one of the apps on this panel to make space for the app drawer if there isn’t a spare gap. You can delete one of these apps by holding it down, and confirming delete, or just move it to a spare hole on your Home screen

It should turn into a plus sign.

If you tap this icon, it should bring up a list of options you can choose from.

Nova Launcher App Icon Widget

Select app drawer icon to fill the space.

If you don’t see a plus sign or the apps align to fit the new space, long press the Lower Dock and tap default icon. You should be able to find and select the app drawer option from here.

Method 4: If You Have Deleted The App Entirely

If you can’t find the app in your app drawer or when you search your device, it’s possible that you may have deleted it entirely. It’s usually easy enough to find out, but it does depend on where you got the app from.

(Even stock apps like Google Fit are available to download on the Play Store.)

Open the Play Store app and search for the app.

Tap it, and you’ll be able to see if it’s installed on your device.

If it isn’t installed, you can download it once more. The app icon should now appear in an empty spot on your Home screen, while you should also be able to find it in your app drawer.

If it’s an external app, (an app from outside of the Play Store) you may have to allow for apps to be downloaded from external sources before your Android device will let you download it. Be sure to change the setting back after to keep your phone secure.


Hopefully we were able to help you with your app icon issues.

Through a combination of clicks and taps, you can fix most problems on your Android device. It’s weird that it’s so easy to delete the app drawer by mistake, but at least it shouldn’t take too long to get it back where it belongs.

If we’ve missed an easy way to recover apps and their icons, or you have questions about any of the methods, let us know in the comments below, or send us a message (or a like) on Facebook and Twitter.

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