If you’ve deleted an important app icon, never fear. You’ll be able to get nearly anything back on your Android device, and there are a variety of ways to do so.
For latest tips, tricks and hacks check out our dedicated section for Android Tricks.
It depends on both your device, the version of the Android OS you’re running, and which type of icon you would like to retrieve. No matter which of the above you have, we’ll do our best to provide an extensive list of the most common types of issues when you’ve deleted your app icons.
Make sure you have 8 to 10 minutes to try out all these methods.
Let’s kick off our list of seven methods to restore lost or deleted Android app icons.
1. Check Your App Drawer
The app drawer is usually the best place to start if you’re missing important icons on your device. If you’re not sure, the app drawer is the icon in the middle of your bottom dock, that opens up a menu containing most of the apps found on your device.
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, and you can scroll across pages for more.
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.)
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, and it should hopefully solve your problems.
(If you’ve accidentally deleted the shortcut to your app drawer, don’t worry. You’ll be able to get it back by checking method 7 on this list.)
2. Long Pressing a Blank Space on Your Home Screen
It should be easy enough to get most icons back on your device, and you might not even have to use the app drawer to get them back again.
The easiest way to recover a lost app icon or widget is to touch and hold an empty space on your Home screen. (The Home screen is the menu which pops up when you press the Home button.)
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 by mistake.
Hold the icon, and drag it to a space on your device. (You can always rearrange it later.)
Your app should now be exactly where you want it to be, and it’ll be ready to use right away.
3. Adding a New Launcher
If you’re having issues with the launcher itself, it might be a good idea to install a new one entirely. There are lots of options to choose from on the Play Store, and they all come with a number of different features to customize your device.
If you don’t know, a launcher is the app that controls the layout and look of your Home screen and your app drawer.
Install the launcher to your device and open it by pressing your Home button afterwards.
Select the launcher, and you should now have a different Home screen, depending on which one you decided to go for.
You should be able to find and arrange apps and their icons from within the Launcher menu.
If you don’t like the look of your new launcher, you can always go back to the stock option, or try out a new one.
If you want to see some in action, here’s a list with 10 decent launchers for Android.
4. Re-enabling Disabled Apps, or Finding Apps You’ve Hidden
If you’ve disabled or hidden any apps on your device, this could be the cause of your problems. If any of this sounds familiar, you can check in the applications menu to make sure. (This is often the easiest way to hide pre-installed app icons.)
Open the Apps or Applications menu on your device from your Settings menu.
Tap the app whose icon you would like to be able to see again.
It should be set to Disable/Stop. If it says Enable/Start, this is likely to be the source of your problem, so hit the toggle to get your icons back again.
5. See if You’ve Deleted the Entire Application
Is it possible that you deleted the app entirely from your device, and not just the shortcut on your Home screen? You can always check the Play Store for a backup of some of the most popular apps. If it says Install (instead of Update or Open), it’s possible that you may have deleted the whole app by mistake.
You can always reinstall the app if you got it from the store, while a number of stock apps are also available. A factory reset is also another option to get your device back to normal, but it’s a drastic option, so check one of the other methods before considering it.
6. Retrieving Custom Icons have Disappeared
Custom icons can really serve to set your phone apart, but it’s possible that an update could unexpectedly cause them to disappear from your device.
If you’re having issues with custom icons or a custom launcher, resetting the device or launcher should solve your issues, or you can always try one of the other methods on this list.
If you want to learn more about custom icons on Android, here’s more information to get you started.
7. If you’ve Deleted the App Drawer Icon
If you’ve accidently deleted the app drawer icon, there’s no need to get stressed. It should be easy to recover the app icon drawer, but the steps may differ slightly depending on your device.
Here are a couple of ways to get the app drawer back:
Head to the static bottom panel on your device, known as the Lower Dock. (This is the one that stays the same no matter which home screen 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 gap. You can delete one of these apps by holding it down, and confirming delete, or just move it to a unused 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 to fill the space.
Select app drawer icon to get it back on your Home screen.
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.
Once you have access to your app drawer, it makes it so much easier to recover any deleted or hidden icons.
There are quite a few decent solutions if you delete any of the important icons on your device, and it should be quick to recover them. You should now be able to restore nearly any app icon to your device, including the app drawer itself. At least it won’t matter if your finger slips again.
If we’ve missed an easy way to restore deleted app icons, or you have questions about one of the steps on this list, let us know in the comments below, or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter and we’ll get back to you with a reply as soon as possible.