How to Reinstall Missing or Deleted Built-in iPhone Apps

Bill Mount

By default, your iPhone arrives with a suite of useful apps, but it’s possible to delete at least 27 of them, including Stocks, Calendar, Music, Clock, and even Mail. If you removed a built-in iPhone app by accident and it’s missing, here’s how to get it back. (This works on […]

By default, your iPhone arrives with a suite of useful apps, but it’s possible to delete at least 27 of them, including Stocks, Calendar, Music, Clock, and even Mail. If you removed a built-in iPhone app by accident and it’s missing, here’s how to get it back. (This works on iPad, too.)

First, before you try to reinstall a missing app, make sure that it’s not simply hiding on your device. On the home screen, swipe downward with one finger near the middle of the screen, and a Spotlight search bar will appear. Type in the name of the app (We chose “Stocks,” for example.) and see whether its icon appears in the results below.

Do a spotlight search for the app first.

If you see the app in the results, then the app is installed. But where is it? It’s possible that you can’t see it on a cluttered screen full of apps, or it might be hidden in a folder somewhere. Also, with iOS 14 and higher, the app could be in your App Library but not present on your home screen. If you’d like, it’s easy to find the app in your App Library and add it to your home screen again.

RELATED: How to Move iPhone Apps From the App Library to a Home Screen

If you don’t see the app you’re looking for in the Spotlight results, then the app isn’t on your device. Luckily, every removable iPhone app is available for free download again from the App Store. To get it back, open the App Store.

Launch the App Store by tapping its blue icon.

When the App Store opens, type the name of the app you’re looking for in the search bar and tap “Search.”

In the App Store, type "Stocks" and tap "Search."

While looking through the results, make sure you choose the correct app. Some third-party apps have similar names to the built-in apps and may show up in the results. To confirm it’s the real app you’re looking for, tap on its entry in the results list.

Tap the app entry in the App Store.

On the app detail screen, you’ll see “Developer: Apple” listed in the row of facts just below the app icon. Also, the app you want will be free to download—you’ll see Apple’s iCloud download icon in the listing instead of a “Get” or “Buy” button.

In the App Store, check that the developer is "Apple," then tap the cloud download icon.

When you’re ready to download, just tap the cloud download button and the app will be downloaded to your device. Very easy. Repeat this process with any other missing Apple apps, and you’ll be back to speed in no time.

By the way, if the app you just downloaded doesn’t show up on your home screen, look for it in your App Library—it’s possible to change where new apps are downloaded so that they don’t show up on your home screen as you might expect. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Change Where New Apps Are Placed on iPhone

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