I was re-arranging my icons when I accidentally dropped an icon "behind" the google search bar up top.

The icon appears on every screen when I swipe left or right, but disappears when I view all apps.

How do I remove this icon? (see the mis aligned YouTube icon at the top)

Screenshot (click image for larger variant)

  • Which launcher are you using? Most launchers have a way to hide/remove the Google Search bar (letting you move the icon, then restore the search bar if you want)
    – dotVezz
    Oct 21, 2013 at 17:09
  • I'm new to Android. What's a launcher and how do I edit it? I'm using default on Moto X Oct 21, 2013 at 17:12
  • Ah! From what I hear about the X, it's quite a nice introduction to Android. The launcher is basically exactly what you so kindly posted a screenshot of. It's the "Desktop" area (it also includes the App Drawer, or the "all apps" area you mentioned) where your app icons are available. It "Launches" the apps you want to run. In the stock launcher, you can't remove the google search bar. There are dozens of altenatives to the stock one, most are free or have free versions - and they all bring nice-to-have features that simplify and/or complicate things! I'll post an answer with some better info.
    – dotVezz
    Oct 21, 2013 at 17:20
  • 1
    Oh hey, have you tried rebooting the phone?
    – dotVezz
    Oct 21, 2013 at 18:01

3 Answers 3


Note that my other answer is more of a workaround (but also something recommended by many even without problems) that is almost guranteed to fix the problem. This is a direct fix which will most likely work, but I can't say that with absolute certainty as I can't recreate the situation myself.

After some googling, I've noticed that your icon (as you point out already) is off-center and missing its text label. Rather than the icon itself being stuck, it looks like what you're seeing is a stuck graphical artifact. This has happened to a few other users on other forums, and rebooting the device seems to be a fix for them.

Whether this works for you or not, I'm posting it as an answer for the sake of future internet travelers who stumble upon this question.


Please note that this answer is more of a workaround than a direct solution. See my other answer for a suggested direct solution (It basically says "Try rebooting", though).

Since you're on the stock launcher (Which, if I recall correctly, doesn't allow you to remove that search bar), the best answer I can think of is to try installing an alternative launcher. I personally use Nova Launcher (The $4 "Prime" version actually).

After installing the new launcher, most (Nova included) will give you an option to import your old icon layout if you want to. But by default, you're basically given a clean slate.

I usually recommend Nova because it nearly mimics the default launcher (no crazy features or surprises) and adds a few nice features - my favorite is that it has an "Uninstall" drag-area that lets you uninstall an app without going to its settings/info page.

Other alternatives that I've played with include...

  • Go Launcher, [Free, optional $6 upgrade] supports countless themes and skins, but has a somewhat different look and behavior compared to stock.

  • ADW Launcher, [Free, optional $3 upgrade] one of the most mature custom launchers available. It is closer to the standard launcher than Go is, and supports a huge number of themes, icon packs, etc.

  • Next Launcher, [Free Trial, full app is $16!] a very different launcher with 3D effects and such. The full version is pretty expensive, but I guess it would be fun to show off to friends and such (I don't know how user-friendly it actually is).

  • Espier Launcher [Free, $8 upgrade for the new iOS style] is a launcher that tries to mimic iOS's Springboard, and succeeds to a surprising extent.


In my case I'm using a Pixel 4a.

I was able to solve it by restarting the "Pixel Launcher" app.

To do so, I went under:

Settings > Apps > See all apps > Scroll down to Pixel Launcher > Choose Force Stop

Slightly better than having to restart the unit altogether.


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