I'm using a Samsung Galaxy i5510. The space in internal memory was just about to finish so I decided to move some apps to the SD card. After I did it a lot of the apps moved (not all of them) disappeared from the application list. Also did the shortcuts from my desktops.

I don't think this is a problem with the SD card because the applications are still installed (I can see them in apps management).

Thanks for your help!


Tanks to @GAThrawn's answer now I know that it is expected to disappear the home (desktops) shortcuts when the SD card is unmounted. But it is not expected that they disappear from the application list. So the questions:

  1. Is there anyway to recover the icons in application list other than reinstalling all apps?
  2. Assuming that this wont happen any more and will only disappear from the home / desktop. Is there anyway to avoid that? I would like to have my apps in my SD card but with shortcuts.
  • Try rebooting your device. Sometimes Android seems to get confused when apps are moved from / to SD card.
    – user4188
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 0:05
  • @user4188. Thanks, but already tried and nothing :(
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 10:32

6 Answers 6


I have an EVO and had this problem as soon as I started moving a lot of apps to my SD card. Basically, apps moved to an SD card are stored in a secure area and it apparently takes Android a while to make this "secure" area available at boot, and this may not happen before your launcher starts. The more apps you have, the longer it takes to do whatever it's doing, and at some point you will find none of the SD card apps available at boot.

Restarting your launcher may or may not be necessary; the one I use, Tag Home, does seem to notice apps becoming available on the SD card... sometimes. I found that a hot reboot (a partial restart that only reloads the phone's UI; you can find apps that do this in the Market, though you need to have rooted the phone) would usually help, but I had to time it properly, or do it multiple times.

I read somewhere that Gingerbread (Android 2.3) makes this better. The EVO came with 2.2 and recently a 2.3 OTA upgrade appeared for it. I haven't yet installed that for a couple of reasons: first, as I said, I rooted my phone and need to be cautious with this, and second, there were some bugs reported in the upgrade which will be fixed later this month. So I don't yet know firsthand if this is true.

I have had much better luck partitioning my SD card (adding a dedicated 1GB partition for apps) and using an app from the market called Link2SD. Not only do the apps usually seem to be available by the time the launcher loads, you can move the ENTIRE app to the card (did you ever notice that apps take some internal memory even after moving them to SD?) and even moves apps that can't be moved the usual way. (HBO GO wants 15 MB of my internal memory? Not anymore! I even moved Adobe Flash to SD and it continues to work fine.) However, you have to root your phone to do all this and it is fairly advanced.

  • is Tag Launcher an app from the market? Is it free? Can I install it without rooting? If yes to all, I'll accept your answer because (I'm guessing) it works as mine but I avoid restarting the TwLauncher (it the one I have right now). Anyway I'll keep all your answer in mind in case I root my phone, but without rooting it, still prefer my way despite the annoying part. +1 for all the information, THANKS!
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 10:31
  • Yeah, Tag Launcher's in the market. It is kind of bare bones compared to some of the other launchers, but it has a feature I can't live without: it lets you assign tags and priorities to apps, and filters and sorts apps in the app drawer. Without that I'd never be able to find the app I want.
    – kindall
    Commented Jun 17, 2011 at 13:58
  • Is this the one: Tag Home (Launcher)? market.android.com/details?id=com.stain46.taghome22
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 10:53
  • Yep, that's the one. Sorry, it is in fact called Tag Home, not Tag Launcher!
    – kindall
    Commented Jun 21, 2011 at 17:47

The apps will disappear from your Home screen if your SD card is unmounted from the phone for any reason, they won't automatically come back on their own.

The most likely reason is that the SD card can't be mounted to both your phone and your PC at the same time, so if you plug your phone into a PC, and your SD card is mounted as a drive so you can copy files to and fro, etc then that dismounts the card from your phone temporarily and you'll lose the home screen icons.

The apps should still be in your Applications list and you should be able to add them back onto the Home screen the same way that you did it when you installed them.

This is a combined limitation of the way that the Android OS handles SD cards, and the way that most home screen launchers (like Samsung's TouchWiz that you're using) cope with apps moved to SD.

  • Thanks for the answer. I didn't manually unmounted the SD card and also didn't connect the phone to the PC, but I'll have it mind for further occasions. How do I put the apps back into the menu? (In the home there is no problem, but in the menu they were added automatically when installed).
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 14:10
  • @Diego I don't know which screen you mean by "menu". The home screen is the one with the picture on the background, this is where they may have disappeared from. The Applications screen is the big list of apps you see after you press the "Applications" button at the bottom of the home screen, they shouldn't have disappeared from here at all, all apps that you've installed should show in this list. The apps might not be in alphabetical order, so you might need to swipe all the way to the far right screen to see newly installed ones.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 14:43
  • Sorry. By menu I ment Applications list. They actually disappear from that list, however in the application manager I can see them in three of the four lists ("Downloaded", "All" and "In SD Card"). I can't see them in the "In use" list, but that has an obvious reason.
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 15:46
  • @diego ah that is odd then, I haven't seen that before. Are you sure you've searched all through the applications list? Samsung's application list doesn't add apps in alphabetical order, and when you remove an app it leaves a gap in the list that the next app you install goes into. This means that apps can be almost anywhere in the list depending on when you installed them, and if you'd removed something else just before.
    – GAThrawn
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 15:50
  • Yes, I've check lots of times even before asking the question.. this shouldn't be happening, right? :(
    – Diego
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 15:53

The answer to both questions turned out to be Force to stop the app TwLauncher. Then when I close the apps management it started again and I get all my icons (and shortcuts) back.

So now when I have my SD card unmounted I can't see the icons. When it is mounted back, I have to restart TwLauncher. It is very annoying but at least I know I have not lost all my apps.

  • It works for the apps installed by Amazon Appstore! App icon in app drawer (launcher) returns after force closing "TouchWiz Homepage" application.
    – Ivan Chau
    Commented May 8, 2015 at 7:36

I have the same problem, the partial solution is open the task manager and clear the "level 2" RAM memory, this will close and relaunch everything and the apps in the SD reappears.

  • 1
    I recommend to to gibe it a try to Tag Home (Launcher) ;)
    – Diego
    Commented Aug 15, 2011 at 11:15

I'm using ES Task Manager on Samsung gt-i9300, custom rom Lollipop 5.1.1 and from User Apps, I just select an app and from the menu at top right corner (3 vertically aligned dots)I select Add To Desktop and the short-cut is created on the phone desktop at first free space.


I loaded Ram Booster Pro for this problem, and after letting the phone boot up, click "boost" in the app. With one click it clears your RAM. Android Lollipop doesn't add this feature, so task manager is of no help. When you go back to your home screen you will see your app icons as you have placed them.

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