This has been puzzling me for years. Why it is impossible to switch back to Messages app from any other app using app list?

Two scenarios:

  1. Messages is an active one. I press the three dash app list button and I can see it in the list. I can switch from that app to some other one.

  2. I did what in above, Messages app is now in the background. When I press the app list button, it is not listed there. I cannot switch to that app from any other.

I don't know like others, but for me this is very iritatting. Whenever I need to do something in another app (i.e. copy some contact details that I want to post via SMS), when I want to get back to Messages, I always must:

  • press Home
  • find Messages app's icon:
    • switch left/right to find the screen where I have Messages app icon or
    • open app drawer and swipe left/right to find the correct app pane
  • tap that icon to "re-launch" Messages app.

What is so special in this app that it does not or cannot appear in the regular app list? I think I can name only this single app that has such a weird behaviour.

I thought that the answer is in here that it simply behaves as Gmail. But that 2011's answer is no longer valid, because Gmail does appear in the app list, while Messages are not.

EDIT: I am using realme GT 5G with Android 12 13 and realme UI 3.0. But, as far as I recall, I have been observing this behaviour on each and every phone that I have been using since introduction of Messages by Google app in 2014. Including: all my Motorola Motos (E3, E4, G4, Z2), Motorola One, TP-Link Neffos X9 and Xiaomi Redmi 6.

The Messages by Google app is seen (among others) in the app list only if you press app list button while having it in foreground. Switching to any other app and pressing app list button again shows all apps in the background except this one.

All my phones were never rooted nor has any custom ROM installed. All of them has been used as they came from the shop, from the beginning till end.

  • 2
    Google Messages app does stick on the recent app list on Pixel 3a (Android 12) and Galaxy M12 (Android 13), and AFAIK on many other devices. Unfortunately, I don't know why it doesn't behave like that on your phone...
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 28, 2023 at 10:48
  • Have you tried uninstalling/reinstalling the app yet? Jun 28, 2023 at 12:22
  • 1
    I concur with what @AndrewT. said. I have many devices from different manufactures (with Android 8 to 13), and Google Messages app is listed on the recent apps list on all of them. You need to check your phone. By the way, what phone and Android version are you using? Jun 28, 2023 at 12:46
  • Answered by editing the question. This case becomes more and more mystery to me. I can't believe that I had this behaviour for years, on eight different phones and yet it seems that I am the lonely survivor on this planet to have it at all. There's something wrong going on hear either with my eyes or my phones! :|
    – trejder
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:08
  • I'm now wondering if your devices are rooted and/or if some settings related to background apps/recent apps are modified... I don't know which since I just tried no "Background process limit" and "Don't keep activities" on the Developer options, but despite it killed the app, it's still shown on the recent app list....
    – Andrew T.
    Jun 28, 2023 at 18:17


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