Skip navigation

Accidentally deleted the photos app icon from my iPhone 4s.

11443 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Mar 20, 2013 9:50 AM by SUNGLASSES123 RSS
1 2 Previous Next
patrickzero Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Apr 30, 2012 6:46 AM

I've read the previous threads on this topic but none quite fit the bill. I need to re-install the Photos icon, which has disappeared.

This happened while I was holding my phone but not paying attention; when I looked again the icons were all shaking. I don't know how the icon disappeared because the factory defaults don't offer a delete option, but the icon definately disappeared at that time.

The app itself is still there and, because it was running when I deleted the icon, I can currently still access it by double clicking the main button, where app (and icon) is still accessible there at the bottom of the screen. But this is not convenient for general usage, and if I hard close the app from there then I will have no way to open the Photos app.

I can't re-download the app because it is a factory default app and not available anywhere (and as such shouldnt be deletable!).

The icon isnt hiding anywhere amongst my subfolders, and I've checked for restrictions but there arent any.

Restetting the home screen layout to factory defaults presumably means I  will lose all the other app icons I have, and their sub folders etc,  which I dont want to do either.

I have now backed up my phone and all my photos etc, but if I restore my phone from a previous backup, I will lose the data and messages I've acquired isince then.

All I want to do is re-install the icon and make sure it links to the photos app that is still installed - surley that can't be so hard?


All help appreciated.


I don't have a Mac and run Windows 7 on a Sony VAIO. All versions of iTunes and IoS are up to date.



iPhone 4S, iOS 5.1, Sony VAIO; Windows 7
  • HolmanGT Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)



    Go to settings > general > reset, scroll to the bottom of the reset options > reset home screen icons. That should put the icon back albeit you should not have been able to delete a factory application icon but I have heard of this happing before.


    Let me know if this fixes it for you?

  • HolmanGT Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)



    Hmmm... I don't know if it will mess up your existing groupings/folders.


    I have never done it myself but I know that it has worked for lots of other folks.


    I would venture a guess that it will not change anything but the location of "Apple built-in apps" and nothing else. But please don't take my word for that.


    Maybe we can get someone that has actually done it to jump in and resolve your concerns.

  • HolmanGT Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)



    I am USA Mountain time: 10:35 AM.


    I'll be looking forward to you post. Hopefully someone will post the "What actually will happen" to your non-factory icons/folders.


    I would like to know the answer to this issue myself.


    PS - have you looked everywhere for the missing icon... like I said it is not supposed to be possible to delete a factory application icon but it is very possible for it to get move to some really bizarre page or folder.

  • HolmanGT Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)



    If you re-organize in iTunes it is a lot easier than doing it on your phone.


    If you restore you might loose your application data and settings.

  • keithme Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow! What a helpful thread!! I accidently deleted the icon from my iPad and the above worked for me. Luckilly I have no sub-folders and all the other screens were left alone but i have my Photos icon BACK.


    Big pat on the back for wonderful support HolmanGT!!

  • gc949 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I had the same issue on my 4s this morning. The folder containing my pictures app was missing, although I could still access it by using the search function. I tried the old favorite of re-starting the phone and it worked! All of the icons for my missing apps re-appeared! If in doubt, step 1 is to just restart. 

  • percy43 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Patrick,

    I also had the same problem with my mac book pro for i photo and managed to re-install by my self. Try the following steps that helped me to get the i photo back on my mac.


    1. Go to apps sotre search for iphoto

    2. The application is not free n you have to pay  around $14

    3. Try purchase the app and if the app in your 4s was originally installed with the phone when you purchased it, then you will be prompted that you own this application and it's free for you.

    4. Try installing the app, might take a while to install


    Hope this will help you to get your I-Photo back





  • Bulletproof77 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)



    ANSWER The exact same thing happened to me today.  I accidently deleted my Photo app (with over a 1000 photos in it) but I could still access it by pressing the home button twice.  This is because it was with the background running apps (when you press the home button twice it shows all the apps running in the background) but it would not let me drag it to the Home screen. 


    Well so I was anxiously reading this thread at church to see what to do (I did a search for, 'I accidently deleted my Photo app' and how I came across this thread).  Anyway, I searched all my subfolders and everywhere IT WAS NOT IN ANOTHER FOLDER AND THE PHOTO ICON WAS COMPLETELY GONE FROM ANY OF THE DESKTOPS. 


    Anyway, my phone was dying and no way to charge it so it died at church and so I connected it to my car charger in my car when leaving church and after the iphone came on again, there was the Photo App on my desktop! 


    So my advice is to let it completely run out of it's charge then later plug into a charger.  I have the iPhone 4S going on almost 2yrs now and this is the first time this has happened to me!   I was in a hurry getting ready for church and pressed it accidently so I know exactly when it happened (when all the apps have x's and you can delete them ...). 


    I always delete the backgound running apps to save battery power but I thought now I can never delete the Photo background running app or will lose everything!  Hope this works for you all.  I know I can connect it to my desktop and all but try this first - much easier...



1 2 Previous Next


More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)


  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.