Ever since I got my Nexus 5, I've notice that apps sometimes disappear from the launcher for no reason. This seems to correspond to that app being updated, although it doesn't always happen to every app on every update. I've seem some questions about icons disappearing due to moving them onto an SD card, but I don't have one of those so that's not it.

The apps are still installed and show up in Settings > Apps or in the alphabetized pages one gets by pressing the ::: icon. Some of the apps this has happened to include Facebook, Android IRC, TransitTimes+, QuickPic, and Minecraft — but it's not just limited to those, and it doesn't seem to happen to those with every update.

I'm not using any special launcher or anything — just the stock one that comes with KitKat 4.4 on the Nexus 5. (Updated to 4.4.2)

What's going on and how can I fix it?

  • I'm curious as to which apps are disappearing. Also, when an icon has disappeared, does it still show up in Settings > Apps?
    – dotVezz
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 21:08
  • @dotVezz They disappear from home screen and the screens of icons I've arranged to the right of that, and sometimes from the quick launch today below, but they are still installed — they are in Settings > Apps and in the alphabetical pages brought up by the rows-of-dots icon in the launch bar.
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 18, 2013 at 23:04
  • Maybe a bug in the launcher you're using; which one is it (so maybe somebody else can confirm)?
    – Izzy
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 1:00
  • 1
    Name a couple of specific apps that disappered?
    – wuodland
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 6:35
  • 1
    I've seen this on all my Nexus devices: 4, 5, and 10. Seems to randomly hit.
    – derobert
    Commented Dec 19, 2013 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


This is not a bug with the Nexus 5. It seems like the Google Experience Launcher (aka Google Now Launcher) seems to handle app shortcuts a little differently than other launchers do. The cause of this has to do with the way the developer is updating their app. I have seen this problems specifically with Franco Kernel Updater on my Nexus 5 with GEL/GNL, almost every update that comes out I have to add the icon back onto my launcher home screen.

I think I read somewhere that it is when the manifest file is changed... but don't quote me on that yet.

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