After scrolling the depths of the Google Play Store, you finally install the app that you’ve been looking for.
After the download completes, you hurry back to the home screen, then to the launcher, and even to the parts of your phone you’ve never been before- only for your app to be nowhere in sight.
This all makes you exclaim, “But Google Play Store says the app is installed!” Still, it’s as if it simply doesn’t exist on your device.
This can be an infuriating experience that wastes valuable time that you could’ve otherwise been spending on enjoying your downloaded app.
Never fear! In this article, we dive deep and investigate the troubling phenomenon and mystery of the missing app.
In doing so, we try our best to shed light on the issue, find out the causes, and hopefully help you resolve this problem once and for all!
In brief, the five reasons we’ve discovered via our research from the Google Play Help Center on why you might not be able to find an app (even when Google Play says it is installed) include:
- A phone that’s been turned on for too long
- Low storage
- Glitchy launcher
- Outdated Android version
- App is installed on another device.
Let’s get straight into it!
Have you ever had an all-nighter where you had absolutely no rest?
It probably left you completely drained, to the point of being unable to conduct simple tasks the following day!
In a sense, your device is exactly the same.
An app that’s been downloaded and installed may not show on your device simply because you might’ve pushed your phone to its limit.
As such, a simple restart can help to refresh your phone’s memory and subsequently resolve the issue.
Your smartphone might just need a little rest from its very own all-nighter!
It’s definitely recommended that you reboot your device at least once every two weeks as a form of regular phone maintenance.
This helps to cool down the device’s temperature, and can often resolve problems with the device, its apps, and other perhaps undetected issues.
ㅤㅤ1. Press and hold the phone’s power button.
ㅤㅤ2. Choose Restart to reboot the phone, or Shut Down to switch it off. Wait a few minutes before turning it back on again!
We’re really feeling the analogies today.
So here’s another: When you try to put additional clothes in an already packed-to-the-brim suitcase, you’ll probably find yourself unable to zip it up fully.
The next course of action then would be not only to forgo putting in extra clothes, but to pull out items of lesser importance altogether to make space!
This is exactly the same when you download an app on a phone with maxed-out storage- with the only difference being that your phone automatically decides for you which files to exclude (which of course probably won’t be your desired course of action).
All this is to say that a downloaded app may not show on your phone when the device storage is too low for installation.
As a general rule, a phone should have at least 2 GB of space to comfortably install an 800 MB app.
If the space needed is unavailable, while your device may still download the app and show it as ‘installed’, it may not make it available anywhere and prevent you from being able to use it.
In extreme cases, the app might not have downloaded at all; you may have just mistakenly thought it did, due to the phone also being confused courtesy of insufficient memory storage.
If you have apps and files that you do not need or use anymore, uninstall or delete them to free up some temporary storage space.
It may also help to transfer some of your files to a new SD card and store them for later use. Again, this will help to clear out the phone’s storage and create the space needed for the app.
ㅤㅤ1. Go to Settings and click on Apps and Notifications, Applications, or Apps where you will then see all the apps on your phone.
ㅤㅤ2. Tick the apps you want to uninstall or disable.
ㅤㅤ3. Click on Uninstall to delete the app or Disable to disable a default app.
To transfer files to an SD card, go to Files, My Files, or the File Manager app, then:
ㅤㅤ1. Click on Phone Storage or Internal Storage.
ㅤㅤ2. Mark the files you want to transfer.
ㅤㅤ3. Click on “Move” or tap the three-dotted line then select “Move” on your screen.
ㅤㅤ4. Select the SD Card.
Outdated phone launchers can often create issues.
One of these problems is causing the owner to not be able to find an app on their phone- even when Google Play says that it’s been installed!
App launchers allow you to see app icons on your app drawer or home screen, and updates become available for it once in a while.
As such, updating your phone’s launcher and then restarting your phone can go a long way in solving this issue.
If the launcher is up-to-date but you’re still experiencing this problem, try clearing the cache and restarting your phone.
However, if that still does not solve the problem, the next step would be to install another launcher, open it from Google Play Store, set it as default, and then reboot the phone!
Go to the Google Play Store to search for and install any updates available for the app launcher. Reboot your phone afterward.
ㅤTo clear the cache, go to Settings, click on Apps and Notifications, Applications. or Apps
ㅤClick on the App Launcher, and then on Storage.
ㅤClick Clear Cache and reboot your phone.
To install a new app launcher, go to the Google Play Store app:
- Install the app launcher and open the app from the Play Store. Set it as default, and then reboot your phone.
Can’t find an app on your phone, even after installing it?
It could be that the app is incompatible with your phone’s current Android system version.
Similarly, with the app launcher, outdated software can present several problems that subsequently complicate the app installation process.
As a result, you may need to update your Android device and then re-download the app afterward.
Updating your Android device is just as easy as it sounds.
Your phone will automatically let you know when an update is available through pop-up notifications, after which a simple press of a button will then commence the process.
Installing the latest version of Android software onto your device is essential as it refreshes your phone, adds new features, boosts performance, and fixes system issues that might be present.
However, it’s advised that you always back up important data before updating your system software to avoid losing any of your important files during the process.
ㅤㅤ1. Go to Settings and go to Software update.
ㅤㅤ2. Click on Download and install to start the update.
ㅤㅤ3. Reboot your phone when the update is done.
Note: Make sure your WiFi or cellular data is on during the update!
Sometimes you may see that an app appears to be installed on Google Play, but it isn’t anywhere to be found on your device!
You’ve gone through all of the above suggestions; restarting your phone, clearing sufficient storage space, and updating both the launcher and system software- only for the app to still be missing.
In this scenario, it’s possible that you might have installed the app on another device with the same Google Account!
This isn’t much of a problem if you don’t need the app as it won’t affect your phone storage or device performance.
However, if you do need the app on a specific device, you’ll need to reinstall the app in order to fix the issue.
If that doesn’t work, you can install it directly from the Google Play website, bypassing the Play Store.
ㅤㅤ1. Go to the Google Play Store, select the app you want, and click on Install.
ㅤㅤ2. If the first step does not work, click on Uninstall and then install the app again.
ㅤㅤ3. If the first two steps do not work, go to the Google Play Store website and install it from there.
In this article, we went through a few of the most likely reasons as to why you currently cannot find an app on your phone- even when Google Play says it’s installed!
Go through each potential scenario and implement the steps provided. Hopefully, you’ll be able to discover the reason and resolve the issue quickly!
However, if the problem persists even after trying all of the above, the next best course of action would be to submit a complaint to Google Play Services within their Help Center.
We hope it doesn’t need to come to that, and that you’re able to find the solution to your problem and finally solve the mystery of the missing app!