Where did my settings icon go and how to get it back (Android & iPhone)

Has the Settings icon on your device vanished mysteriously, leaving you puzzled about its whereabouts? Given that the Settings app is a system application that cannot be uninstalled, it’s highly probable that only the icon has been removed from the screen while the app itself still resides in your app drawer. Therefore, in response to your inquiry about the missing Settings icon, the answer is that it has been removed from the display, but the Settings application remains intact.

Now that you have this clarification, let’s explore a few potential solutions to restore the Settings icon on your phone, whether it’s an iPhone or Android.

But before delving into fixes, let’s understand why the Settings icon disappeared in the first place.

Why did my Settings icon disappear [Android & iPhone]?

Here are several reasons why the Settings icon on your Android or iPhone may have disappeared without your intentional removal:

  1. Accidental removal: It’s possible that you accidentally removed the Settings icon from your device, whether through a misplaced swipe of the finger or due to your phone freezing and behaving unexpectedly.
  2. Jailbreak or Root failure: If you recently attempted to root your Android phone or jailbreak your iOS system, and the process was interrupted or failed, it could lead to malfunctions, including the disappearance of the Settings icon.
  3. iOS or Android upgrade: After a recent iOS or Android upgrade, the Settings icon may vanish if the upgrade contains bugs or is not installed correctly. Upgrade-related issues could be a potential cause for the missing icon.
  4. Virus attack: A virus attack, often stemming from visits to unsafe websites or downloading pirated content, can not only make the Settings icon disappear but may also result in the complete deletion of the app itself.
  5. Unknown error: If none of the mentioned reasons apply, the disappearance of your Settings icon could be attributed to an unknown or miscellaneous error.

How to get back the Settings icon on Android?

Here’s a guide on how to recover the Settings icon on your Android device:

  1. Re-add the missing icon to your home screen:
    • Navigate to your home screen and select the menu option.
    • Choose “System settings” from the list to access your environment’s settings.
    • Return to the home screen and select the app drawer icon.
    • Locate “Settings” and drag it to your desired location on the home screen.
    • If “Settings” isn’t in the app drawer, consider making a backup and restoring your phone to factory settings or installing a third-party settings app.

    For TECNO or Infinix phones:

    • Locate the app in the drawer, long-press it, and select ‘Send to desktop’ to add the icon to your home screen.
  2. Unhide the Settings app:
    • Long-press anywhere on your home screen to access the launcher menu.
    • Select “Desktop Settings” or “Launcher Settings.”
    • Navigate to launcher settings and find the option to hide apps. If “Settings” is accidentally hidden, unhide it from there.
    • To view hidden apps on TECNO and Infinix launchers, slide up with two fingers.
  3. Check the Freezer/Disabled apps:
    • Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications. View all apps.
    • Tap the drop-down menu labeled ‘All apps’ and choose ‘Disabled apps.’
    • If the missing app is listed, press it, and click ‘Enable.’
    • Alternatively, long-press on the home screen, select ‘Desktop Setting,’ ensure ‘Freezer’ is turned on in ‘Other settings,’ then tap the ‘Freezer’ icon. Identify and unfreeze the Settings app.
  4. Reset your Launcher:
    • Go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Notifications. View all apps.
    • Select your launcher from the list (e.g., HiOS Launcher for TECNO).
    • Tap “Storage & cache” and then “Clear storage” to clear the cache.
    • After this, you should see all your apps, and you can re-add the Settings icon to your home screen. Note that this process may reset your desktop layout and settings.

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How to get back the Settings icon on iOS?

  1. Restore hidden home screens:
    • With iOS 14’s introduction of the App Library, users can hide entire pages from their iPhone home screen. This feature helps declutter the home screen by displaying apps in the App Library. If you’ve hidden a page that includes the missing Settings, it might be there.
    • Launch the Home Screen Editor on your iPhone.
    • Mark the unmarked pages by clicking on the page dots.
    • Tap Done when finished, and your missing Settings app should now be visible.
  2. Re-add Settings to the home screen:
    • Restoring hidden pages doesn’t retrieve deleted apps. If you accidentally removed apps before hiding the page, restore the lost app from the App Library:
    • Swipe left to access the App Library.
    • Navigate to the app folders and find the missing app.
    • Long-press the app icon, drag it to your preferred home screen position, and select ‘Add to home screen.’
  3. Reset Home Screen Layout:
    • Open Spotlight Search by swiping down on the screen and type “settings.”
    • Go to Settings > General > Reset > Reset Home Screen Layout > Confirm by tapping Reset Home Screen. Your home screen will revert to its original app icon arrangement.
  4. Restart Your iPhone or iPad:
    • Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the slider appears.
    • Drag the slider to switch off the iPhone/iPad.
    • After it’s off, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the Apple logo appears.
  5. Use the iOS system recovery tool:
    • If previous methods fail, consider using an iOS system recovery tool like AnyFix:
    • Download, install, and run AnyFix on your computer.
    • Connect your iPhone to the computer, and the program will detect it. Click System Repair.
    • Select “50+ iPhone Issues” and press Start Now. Choose Standard Repair mode.
    • Read the notice carefully, then begin the repair process.
    • AnyFix will assist in downloading firmware and restoring the iPhone system to its normal operation, bringing back default apps.

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