How to Find Hidden or Missing Apps on iPhone

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

Have you ever lost an app on your iPad or iPhone? It can happen more easily than you might think. Maybe you stuck it in a folder in an effort to declutter your Home screen, or even deleted it to create space for the latest iOS update, and then forgot. Or maybe you just have so many apps it's lost in the crowd. Whether you have a missing app on your iPhone, a hidden app on your iPhone, or have simply deleted your app, here's how to find an app that disappeared from your device.

Related: Top Hidden iPhone Features That May Just Change Your Life

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Where Is My iPhone App? Use the App Store App to Find It.

If you're not trying to find an app you suspect is buried in an app folder on your iPhone or iPad, the easiest way I've found to find missing apps is to search the App Store. If you are trying to identify the folder where the app is located, see the second method below.

  • 3D Touch the App Store icon. A menu will appear; choose Search. iPhone 6 and earlier: Open the App Store app and tap on the Search tab. 
  • Next, type the name of your missing app into the search bar.

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  • Now, tap Search and your app will appear!

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The advantage of this method is that your app will either say Open, indicating that it is still installed on your phone, or there will be a download icon indicating that somehow the app was deleted from your phone and needs to be reinstalled. If the download icon appears, download the app again and see if it appears on the Home screen as it used to. If Open appears, you can tap it to access your app immediately, and then go through your folders later and move the app back to a more visible place, so you don't have to repeat this search procedure every time you need your app. 

App Disappeared? Use the Siri & Spotlight Search Feature

Another way to find your missing app is to use Siri & Spotlight Search, this will search both your device and the App Store.

  • To activate Search, swipe down from the center of the Home screen. (You can also access Search from the Today View by swiping right on the first Home Screen.)
  • Type the name of the missing app in the search field. The Search feature will present you with a list of results. Your missing app should be among the top results. If the app is on your device, it will appear under the heading Applications. If the app is located in a folder, the name of the folder will appear to the right of the app icon (as long as you type the full name of the app in the search field and ignore the suggestions that pop up before that.) You can open the app directly from the Search results by tapping the icon.

  • If the app appears under the heading App Store, it means the app is no longer on your device. But if you tap View, you’ll be redirected to the App Store, where you can tap the cloud icon to download it again.

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Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor of iPhone Life magazine. Previously she wrote for and was the Associate Editor of the Iowa Source for many years.