Apps Downloaded but Not Showing? How to Search for an App on the iPhone

Finding downloads on the iPhone can be tough. We’ll show you what to do if you can’t find an app on your iPhone, and how to change your settings to prevent hidden apps in the future.

Upgrading your iPhone to iOS 14 comes with many great features, but sometimes it can prevent newly downloaded apps from appearing on your Home screen. Here’s why you might be missing apps and how you can fix it.

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Finding Downloads on an iPhone: Apps Downloaded but Not Showing

Although one of the aims of iOS 14 was to better organize and freshen your app collection, it can sonetimes have the opposite effect. Certain settings and features can prevent new app downloads from being readily visible on your Home screen. The troubleshooting tips below should help you locate the app you're looking for and place it exactly where you want it.

Can’t Find an App on Your iPhone? Use the App Library

It’s important to know that when newly downloaded apps are missing from your iPhone’s Home screen, they are merely hidden. They can easily be found, accessed and added to your Home screen. This can be done in App Library, a new feature of iOS 14.

  1. Go to the App Library by swiping left on your Home screen until you've gone one screen past your last Home screen page.
  2. Tap into the search bar and type in the name of the app you're looking for. If you do not want to use the search bar, you can simply scroll through the apps in the App Library.

    Swipe all the way to the left to find the App LibraryUse the App Library search bar to search for the missing app
  3. Once you find the app you're looking for, tap and hold the app icon, then drag it in any direction and it will be added to the last page of your Home screen.

    press and drag the app icon to place it on the Home screen
  4. Alternatively, you can long-press the app icon to see a menu and select Add to Home Screen.

    press and drag the app icon to place it on the Home screenLong-press the app icon to see a menu that includes the ability to add the app to your Home screen

Related: How to Use the iPhone App Library

Use Spotlight to Search for & Open a Missing App

  1. Swipe down from the center of your Home screen to find the Search bar.
  2. Enter the name of the missing app in the search field, or tap the microphone icon to dictate your search term.
  3. Your missing app should be among the top results. Tap it to open it.

    Swipe down from the center of your Home screen to access the search functionSearch for the missing app and tap on it to open it

Use Settings to Make New Apps Show Up on the Home Screen

While all apps appear in the App Library without fail, for some people a setting may be preventing newly downloaded apps from appearing on the Home screen. Here’s how to fix that going forward.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap Home Screen.

    Open the Settings appScroll down and tap on Home Screen
  3. Select Add to Home Screen and a blue checkmark will appear next to it. From now on, newly installed apps will show up on your Home screen, just like they did in iOS 13 and earlier.
  4. Any apps that were auto-hidden before you changed this setting will still be hidden. To unhide them, you can move them back from App Library individually. 

    Tap on Add to Home ScreenA blue check mark will appear

Restore Hidden Home Screen Pages to Find Missing Apps

It’s possible that an app disappeared from your iPhone because, while installing iOS 14, you accidentally hid the page of your Home screen where it appeared. But don’t worry, the process to bring back hidden Home screen pages is quite simple.

It can feel frustrating when you don’t see an app that you’ve just downloaded or that has always been located in one place on your Home screen. We hope our guide has helped you correct this minor issue with iOS 14 and find the apps you’ve lovingly curated on your iPhone.

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Author Details

Erin MacPherson's picture

Author Details

Erin MacPherson

Erin is a Web Editor for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around nine years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.