How To Fix A Missing Safari Icon On iPhone Or iPad

Safari is built into iOS and cannot be removed from your iPhone or iPad (except when the device has been jailbroken), but it can go missing from the home screen. If it does, it's often easy enough to locate it.

You can usually find it with the Spotlight — swipe down on the home screen and search "safari." Sometimes a user will tuck Safari into a cluttered folder where the icon can get lost. To find it, you just have to look for it.

Suppose you always launch the app from the App Library, and the Safari icon is missing. In that case, it's possible the browser was accidentally deleted from the App Library — a space where all apps are auto-organized into tidy folders. You can hide an app from the Home Screen when it's being moved to the App Library. When it's also deleted from the Library, the icon can go missing.

But what's more likely is that the restriction features in iOS are hiding Safari from you. Parental controls or Screen Time management can hide Safari from view, according to Apple.

How to bring the missing Safari icon back

Before reconfiguring the restriction features on your iPhone or iPad, try resetting the Home Screen. The Safari icon may be hidden, not the app itself. Here's what Apple recommends.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Find and tap General.
  3. Select Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  4. Select Reset.
  5. Select Reset Home Screen Layout.
  6. Select Reset Home Screen.

Resetting the Home Screen sends all app icons back to their original slots.

If you still can't see Safari, Screen Time is hiding the app from you. Screen Time is a feature that limits how much time you're allowed on a particular app. It's protected with a PIN (that's supposed to be different from the password that unlocks your iPhone or iPad). 

You can either disable Screen Time entirely, or just safelist Safari.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions.
  4. Enter your passcode.
  5. Tap Allowed Apps.
  6. Enable the switch next to Safari to allow it.

To disable the feature entirely, you can also toggle off the switch next to Content & Privacy Restrictions.