How do I put the photo icon back on my iPhone?

The camera icon, also known as the Photos app icon, is a key part of the iPhone’s home screen. It allows quick and easy access to all your photos and videos. However, sometimes this icon can disappear from the home screen, which can be frustrating for users who rely on it.

There are a few potential reasons the Photo icon may have vanished. It could have been accidentally removed during customization of the home screen layout. An iOS update or app reinstallation may have also caused the icon to disappear. Thankfully, whatever the reason, there are steps you can take to get your Photo icon back on the home screen.

Check if the Photo Icon is Hidden

One common reason the Photo app icon may disappear from your iPhone’s home screen is if you have accidentally hidden it. Here’s how to check your home screen layout settings to see if the Photo app is hidden:

Open the Settings app and go to Home Screen. Under “App Layout”, check if you have “Hide App” enabled. This setting allows you to hide apps from the home screen but still access them via Search or the App Library.

Tap into the “Hide App” menu and look through the list of hidden apps. If you see the Photo app listed here, simply toggle it off to unhide it. This will make the Photo app icon reappear in its usual place on your home screen.

If you don’t see the Photo app listed under the hidden apps, then something else must be causing the icon to disappear. It’s not simply hidden via the layout settings.

To check further home screen settings, you can also tap “Reset Home Screen Layout” on this same page in Settings. This will restore the original layout, unhiding any icons you may have accidentally hidden before.

For more information, see Apple’s guide on customizing your iPhone home screen:

Enable the Photo Icon

Sometimes the photo icon may disappear if it gets accidentally disabled in your iPhone settings. To enable it again:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

2. Scroll down and tap on “Messages”.

3. Under the Messages settings, make sure that “Show Subject Field” and “MMS Messaging” are toggled on (green).

4. If they were switched off, turn them on now.

Enabling these settings should make the photo icon visible again when sending messages [1].

The “Show Subject Field” option displays a subject line when composing new messages, while “MMS Messaging” allows sending and receiving of photo messages. With both enabled, the photo icon should reappear in the messages toolbar.

Reset Home Screen Layout

One way to restore the Photo app icon is to reset the layout of your iPhone’s home screen. This will return all your home screen icons and folders back to their original positions. This can be useful if you accidentally moved the Photo icon somewhere unfamiliar and can no longer find it.

To reset your home screen layout on an iPhone running iOS 15 or later:

1. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.
2. Tap Reset.

3. Tap Reset Home Screen Layout to confirm.

After resetting the home screen, the Photo app icon should reappear in its usual location. Resetting the layout will not delete or uninstall any apps. It simply returns them to their default positions on your home screens (source).

If resetting the layout does not restore the Photo icon, you may need to try updating your iOS version, reinstalling the Photos app, or restoring your iPhone to factory settings as other troubleshooting steps.

Update iOS Version

Sometimes the Photo app icon can disappear due to a bug or issue with the current version of iOS. Apple regularly releases software updates to fix bugs and improve the performance of iOS. Updating to the latest version of iOS could resolve the missing Photo app icon.

To update iOS, go to Settings > General > Software Update. Your device will check for available updates and show the latest iOS version available. Make sure your device is connected to power and WiFi during the update process. The update may take some time to download and install.

Once your iPhone has updated to the newest iOS version, check if the Photo app icon has reappeared on your Home screen. Apple aims to address bugs and issues in each iOS update. Updating iOS is one of the easiest troubleshooting steps to potentially fix the missing Photo icon.

According to an Apple support thread, updating iOS resolved the missing Photo app icon for many users who encountered this problem. If the icon is still missing after updating iOS, you may need to try other solutions like resetting the Home screen or reinstalling the Photo app.

Check App Library

The App Library is a feature introduced in iOS 14 that automatically organizes all of your apps into categories. To check if the Photos app icon is located in the App Library:

  1. From your Home Screen, swipe all the way to the rightmost page.
  2. You will see the App Library, which contains all of your apps organized into folders such as Social, Entertainment, Photo & Video, etc.
  3. Tap on the “Photo & Video” folder.
  4. Check if you see the Photos app icon inside this folder.
  5. If the Photos icon is present, you can tap on it to open the app as usual.
  6. If it is missing from the App Library, the app icon is likely hidden and you will need to re-enable it using the steps below.

The App Library provides an easy way to locate apps that may have been accidentally removed from your Home Screen pages. Check here first to see if the Photos icon is present before trying other solutions.

Reinstall Photo App

If you accidentally deleted the Photos app, you can simply reinstall it from the App Store to restore the photo icon. To reinstall the Photos app:

  1. Open the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. At the bottom, tap on your profile picture or initial.
  3. Scroll down and tap on “Purchased.” Here you’ll see a list of all apps you’ve downloaded before.
  4. Find the Photos app in the list and tap on “Install” to download it again.

Once the Photos app is installed, it will reappear in its usual place on your Home Screen along with its icon. This is an easy way to restore the Photos app if you accidentally removed it.

Reinstalling the app essentially resets it, so you won’t lose any photos or albums in the process. The app will be like it was when you first got your iPhone.

Restore iPhone

One way to restore the missing Photo icon is to erase and restore your iPhone from a backup or reset it to factory settings. This will clear your device and reinstall the default apps, including the Photos app.

To restore from a backup, connect your iPhone to a computer and open iTunes or the Finder app. Select your device and choose to restore from a previous backup. This will wipe your iPhone and reinstall everything from that backup, including app data. Just make sure you have a recent backup available first.

If you don’t have a backup, you can factory reset your iPhone by going to Settings > General > Reset and choosing “Erase All Content and Settings.” This will delete everything on your iPhone and revert it back to default factory settings. Once your device reboots, it will have a clean version of iOS installed with all the default apps like Photos.

Restoring your iPhone should bring back the missing Photo icon. Just be aware it will also remove any apps, data, or customizations you’ve added since your last backup. You’ll have to set up your device from scratch again if restoring from factory settings.

Contact Apple Support

If you have tried all of the troubleshooting steps and the Photo icon is still missing from your iPhone, it’s time to reach out to Apple Support for further assistance. An Apple Support representative may be able to provide additional solutions or determine if your iPhone requires service.

You can contact Apple Support using one of the following methods:

  • Call 1-800-APL-CARE or 1-800-275-2273. This will connect you with an Apple Support advisor who can help troubleshoot over the phone.
  • Start a live chat from Apple’s support site. Chat hours are 24/7.
  • Schedule a callback from an Apple Support advisor within the Apple Support app on your iPhone.
  • Bring your iPhone to an Apple retail store for in-person support. Make a Genius Bar reservation beforehand.

An Apple Support representative will work with you to determine what is causing the Photo app icon to be missing. They can run remote diagnostics, recommend further troubleshooting steps, or set up a repair or replacement if necessary.


There are a few main methods to try and restore the missing Photo app icon on your iPhone home screen. First, check if the icon is simply hidden and enable it in Settings > Home Screen. You can also reset your home screen layout to default which may bring back missing icons.

Updating to the latest iOS version can sometimes resolve app icon issues. Check the App Library to see if the Photo app is still installed. If not, try reinstalling it from the App Store. As a last resort, you can restore your iPhone to factory settings or contact Apple Support for further troubleshooting.

With one of these solutions, you should be able to get the Photo app icon back on your home screen. If the app itself is missing or crashed, restoring your iPhone is the best option to fix any underlying issues.