Missing built-in apps on iPod touch


Q: My sister’s iPod touch has gone weird. She has a third-generation model and half of her icons the iPod came with are gone. The music, video, safari, App store, mail, calender, photos, contacts, maps, notes, clock, calculator and iTunes icons are not there any more. She has no way of listening to music, watching videos, going on the internet, buying apps on her iPod or anything like that. We have no idea what happened. If anyone know please help us with this problem.

Missing built-in apps on iPod touch

– Quinn

A: Unless you have jailbroken your iPod touch it is extremely unusual for the built-in applications to disappear. Some of the apps can be hidden via the Restrictions option found in the iPod Settings, but this only applies to a few things that parents may want to restrict such as YouTube and the web browser, and cannot be used to disable or hide most of the other apps such as Mail, Music or Video.

Try swiping left and right to ensure that these apps haven’t inadvertently been moved to another page of your home screen, and if you’ve updated to iOS 4 be sure to look for any folders that these apps may have been moved into. It’s possible to reorganize and move any icon on the screen to alternate home screen pages or place them in folders, even with the built-in apps. Folders are displayed as small collections of icons, and you can identify if there are alternate home screen pages by looking for the dots near the bottom of the screen above the dock area.

You can also reset your icons back to their default home screen layout by going into the Settings app and choosing General, Reset, Reset Home Screen Layout. This will return all of your default applications to their original home screen positions; third-party apps that you have installed will be reorganized into alphabetical order on additional home screen pages.


Missing built-in apps on iPod touch

If you can’t find these icons at all even after resetting your home screen layout, then something very strange has gone wrong with your sister’s iPod touch and you should connect it to iTunes and do a “Restore” to return it back to factory defaults. This will erase everything on it, but as long as your apps and media content is in iTunes you can reload your content on from there.


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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.