Why App Store is missing from iPhone and how to get it back

Is App Store missing from your iPhone, and you can’t figure out where it went? In this tutorial, we quickly show you how to get App Store back on iPhone or iPad so that you can download new apps and update existing ones.

Get App Store back on iPhone

Why is App Store missing on iPhone?

Some people think they deleted App Store from their iPhone and thus get worried. First, let me assure you that App Store is an essential part of iOS (iPhone’s operating system), and there is no way to delete App Store.

However, you or your guardian can restrict the installation of new apps due to which App Store disappears from your iPhone, and you can’t seem to find it anywhere on the Home Screen, App Library, or by Spotlight Search. Even Siri can’t open the App Store if it’s restricted. This may falsely give you the impression that App Store is deleted and lost from your iPhone. We will show you how to fix this below.

At other times, you, your parents, or someone with access to your iPhone may have removed the App Store app icon from the Home Screen, due to which it has disappeared from plain sight. Worry not, as it’s effortless to fix this and re-add the App Store icon to your Home Screen. Related: 9 ways to hide apps on iPhone

How to open the missing App Store and get it back on iPhone Home Screen

Here are all the solutions to get back the App Store icon on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

1. Unrestrict App Store from iPhone Settings

With Screen Time, you can restrict apps as per their age-appropriate category (4+, 9+, 12+, 17+) or even block the installation of all new apps!

When you, your parents who have access to your iPhone, or someone else whom you gave your unlocked iPhone decides to block new apps from downloading, iOS automatically removes the App Store app from everywhere. As a result, you can’t use the App Store, nor can you see it on the Home Screen, App Library, Search, or anywhere else until you reallow the installation of apps.

Here’s how to get back App Store on iPhone:

1) Open the Settings app and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.

Content and Privacy Restrictions in iPhone Screen Time settings

3) Choose iTunes & App Store Purchases. Enter the Screen Time passcode if asked.

4) Tap Installing Apps and choose Allow.

5) Now, exit the settings app, and you will see the App Store icon on your iPhone Home Screen. If you don’t, pull down the Home Screen and search for App Store.

Allow installing apps on iPhone to get back missing App Store

Note: While following step 1, if you see Turn On Screen Time, that means Screen Time restrictions were not enabled, and you can skip all the steps above. Similarly, you can skip the remaining steps if Content & Privacy Restrictions aren’t enabled in step 2.

2. Is App Store showing a time limit?

Your guardian can also limit apps and restrict their usage to a limited time. Mostly, parents use app limits for communication and media apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. But if they choose to limit all apps, it includes App Store as well, due to which you can’t download or update apps. In this case, you see a tiny hourglass icon next to App Store, and when you open it, it says “Time Limit.”

Time Limit on iPhone App Store

If you see the hourglass icon, that means the app is blocked till midnight (12 AM). You can tap Ask For More Time and hope your parents allow it now, or if you know the Screen Time passcode, you can enter that, and this will instantly bypass the app’s time limit.

Note: Screen Time passcode is different than your iPhone passcode. Usually, only your guardians know this passcode. Related: How to recover a forgotten Restrictions or Screen Time passcode

To permanently delete the App Limit, go to Settings > Screen Time > App Limits and turn off App Limits, or swipe left on App Store limit and tap Delete > Delete Limit.

Delete App Store App Limit on iPhone

3. Use Spotlight Search to get back App Store

In most cases, you can find and restore the missing App Store icon simply by searching for it. From there, you can launch the App Store and use it or add it to your Home Screen for quicker access in the future. Here’s how:

  1. Be on your iPhone Home Screen and swipe down to open Spotlight Search.
  2. Type App Store.
  3. From the search results, tap the App Store app icon to open it.
  4. Or, press the App Store app icon and drag it down onto the Home Screen to add it there.
Search for App Store in iPhone Spotlight and drag it down to add it to your Home Screen

4. Find App Store in App Library

Besides searching, you can also find App Store in App Library, which you can access by swiping left on the last Home Screen page.

You should find the App Store in the Utilities folder of the App Library. Or, you can swipe down on the App Library screen to see all apps in alphabetical order. Since App Store starts with an A, it should be listed somewhere on the top.

From the App Library, you can press the app icon and drag it left to add that app to the Home Screen.

Find App Store in iPhone App Library

Successfully got back the missing App Store on iPhone and iPad

After following the above solutions, you should have restored App Store on your iPhone. In the rare case you couldn’t, follow these fixes:

  • Restart your iPhone. This is especially applicable if you don’t see App Store even after allowing the installation of all apps or turning off content restrictions.
  • In case you can’t find the App Store icon by searching for it, make sure the app is allowed to show up in Spotlight Search result.
  • And in the rarest of the rare case, if you don’t see App Store in the App Library, go ahead and update your iPhone (Settings app > General > Software Update). Plus, you can reset your Home Screen app layout, which will reorganize all your apps and present them on the Home Screen in the default arrangement. Usually, the App Store will be on the first Home Screen page, followed by other Apple and third-party apps you have installed.

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