Restore Missing iPhone Applications after 3.0 Firmware Upgrade

In Apple, Cellular, Fix It, Gadgets, General, Hardware, How To, iPhone by Michael Sheehan83 Comments

I was excited like many others to get the new Apple iPhone firmware 3.0 update last week. Installation was not an issue for me, even after coming from a jailbroken 2G (original) iPhone. That is, until I started looking for some of my applications. For some odd reason, there were several of my applications that had just disappeared. I finally found a fix which I will go into in a second.


Here are some of the symptoms and things that I tried first (gathered from around the web and from my own experimentation):

  • Could not locate via Spotlight search – searching for the name of the app showed no results. It just wasn’t there
  • iTunes showed that it synced – my iTunes showed that the application(s) were supposed to be synced
  • Delete and Re-download didn’t work – I removed the application from iTunes by unchecking the box next to it so ensure that it wouldn’t sync next time. Then I tried to download it via my iPhone. The application would start to download but would hang and never fully install
  • Purchase “free” application – I read somewhere that if you purchased a free application and tried the syncing again, that your missing apps would magically appear. This didn’t work for me.
  • Not 3.0 compatible – some people suggested that the applications were not 3.0 compatible yet. This wasn’t the case for me because I knew someone who was using the applications in question with 3.0 without any issues.
  • On another page – some people found their “missing” applications on another page to the right of the home page. This was not my case either and those apps on a different page would have shown up via a Spotlight search
  • Re-sync numerous times – that was just something that I kept doing with no luck

So, after testing out all of the items, doing reboots and soft-restarts, I finally tried what eventually ended up working. And, it is really easy!

The Fix for Missing Applications

Note: be sure you fully back up your iPhone before you do this.

All that you need to do to fix this issue is to go into Settings > General and scroll all the way to the bottom and click the “Reset” button. Once you are in the Reset screen click: “Reset All Settings“. You will get a couple of “Are you sure?” type of screens and if you have a pass code set up for your iPhone, you will have to enter that as well.

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After you do the Reset, you will need to re-attach to iTunes and restore from your backup. Depending on the amount of data, photos, music, videos, applications, etc., this may take a while. After the sync is finished, you SHOULD have all of your missing applications back and hopefully in full working order.

Please leave a comment if this (or a different trick) worked for you so that others can learn.

Did you find this solution useful? If so:

HTD says: Remember, there are solutions out there. Don’t be too afraid to try different things and when you find a solution, be sure to share it with others!