Missing settings icon on Android: how to restore the application shortcut

To use the functionality of your smartphone, its owner needs applications. They can be downloaded through the Google Play Market, and some programs like “Settings” are installed by default. There is a gear icon on the home screen, and clicking on it will launch the device’s settings menu. If you are missing the settings icon on your Android phone, it is recommended that you get to the root cause of the problem as soon as possible.

The cause of the problem

The problem under consideration is typical for devices of all brands, whether it is Xiaomi or “Samsung”. Regardless of the manufacturer of your smartphone, you may encounter problems when some icons do not appear on the screen.


This occurs for a number of reasons, among which the following stand out:

  • Transferring an application to a memory card;
  • Accidental removal from the desktop;
  • moving the icon to a separate folder;
  • system failure.

Most often the problem arises due to user inattention, when the user accidentally deletes the icon or moves it to a folder with other applications. Also malfunctions can occur after installing updates, and here you will be dealing with a system glitch, which is either fixed with a single click or requires a complete factory reset.


Anyway, we suggest looking at all the ways to solve the problem, which, one way or another, can help return the icon to its usual place.

How to return the application to the Android screen

Obviously, “Settings” is a built-in application that can not be uninstalled by regular means. Yes, its uninstallation is possible with the help of additional software that requires root rights. We do not consider this option, because a person who knows how to uninstall the standard software is probably aware of how to reinstall it. So below we offer a look at the scenarios faced by the average user.


Transferring an application to internal memory

Modern smartphones allow you to store applications both in the internal and external memory. As the external storage is implied a MicroSD-card that is installed in the corresponding slot of the device. If your device supports memory expansion, and you use external media, it is possible that the application has simply been moved.

The icon in such a case disappears after removing the card or due to errors related to its recognition. However, “Settings” cannot disappear like that, because it is forcibly located in the internal storage. To restore the shortcut of another program, it is suggested to refer to the instruction:

  • Go to the phone settings.
  • Go to the “Applications” section.


  • Select the program for which you are having trouble displaying the label.
  • Open the Storage tab.
  • Select “Internal Memory”.


If it is the settings icon that you are unable to locate, it is recommended that you explore alternative solutions to the problem. There are at least three ways to return the shortcut to its familiar place. And it does not matter which program icon has disappeared from the desktop.

Search for an icon in the general menu

Users are accustomed to the fact that after installing a program, its shortcut automatically appears on the desktop. However, on some models in addition to the main screen there is the so-called “Applications Menu”, where shortcuts to games and other software are located. You may have moved “Settings” there:

  • Open the apps menu. This is usually done by either swiping up from the bottom of the screen or by pressing the square-shaped button.
  • Hold your finger on the missing app.
  • Move the icon to the Home screen.

This type of move may not work, because manufacturers implement the application menu differently. On some models, the display of software on the home screen is regulated by the parameters called by pressing the three-dot button. Therefore, it is recommended to carefully inspect the interface of the smartphone for additional menus and sections.

Finding the icon in folders

More often than not, the program icon disappears from the desktop simply because the user puts it in a separate folder. This can happen in two ways:

  • The user held their finger on the shortcut and then pointed it to an existing folder;
  • the smartphone owner marked the app and then overlaid it on the icon of another program, causing the shortcuts to be automatically converted to a folder.

To solve the problem, you need to look carefully at all the folders located on the desktop. Regardless of how exactly the icon got into a separate directory, its return to its usual place will be carried out according to a universal algorithm:

  • Open the folder where “Messages”, “Settings” or other missing applications are hidden.
  • Hold your finger on the program of interest.
  • Move the icon to an empty area of the home screen.


Now the settings will always be at your fingertips. To avoid encountering this kind of problem in the future, launch apps with a short tap, not a long finger hold.

Reboot your smartphone

Finally, we can not exclude the possibility that there was a failure in the phone, caused by the presence of viruses or software conflicts. Usually such malfunctions are fixed by one simple action:

  • Hold down the power key.
  • Wait until the context menu appears.
  • Press the “Reboot” button.


After rebooting, the problem should be solved and you should see the missing program icon again. If this doesn’t happen, the only possible way to fix the problem is to reset the device to its factory settings.

Resetting is a drastic measure that deletes all user data saved on your smartphone. Turn to it only as a last resort, when all other methods have been tried, and you have carefully examined the contents of the home screen.

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