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iPhone app icon duplication problem FIX

With the coming of the 3.0 software update comes a number of bugs as well. This is one that drove me nuts. If you are experiencing duplicated app icons (or in some cases darkened or greyed out icons), follow this procedure as a temporary fix.

New Method: This method has been verified to work, and will not erase your apps saved data:

1) Select an app with incorrect icon, remove it.

2) Go to app store and download it again.

3) During installation, hold the power button and turn off your iPhone!

4) Turn on your iPhone again and all your app icons are back to normal.

the key thing is that you can reinstall an app that doesn’t have saved data, but still fix the problems with those that do have saved data, without losing it!

Old Method:

WARNING: This fix will cause saved data to be deleted from your apps, so if you have a saved game or something it will be reset.

1. Connect your iPhone to iTunes.
2. Sync your phone to backup any new apps you may have downloaded
3. Click on the iphone icon, then the “Applications” tab at the top
4. Uncheck “Sync Applications” then hit apply. (this will erase the apps from your phone)
5. Once the sync is complete, RE-check “Sync Applications” and hit apply to restore your apps to the phone
6. Your icons should now be restored to normal.

Note: If you completely shut off your phone or do a hard reset, the icons may get messed up again. If this is the case, repeat the process to fix. Hopefully Apple will get this figured out soon!

If this worked for you, please leave a comment :) Thanks!

Picture 1b
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  1. Chris
    June 23rd, 2009 at 10:48 | #1

    If rebooting your phone causes the apps to have the wrong icons again after doing this fix, then there’s an even easier way.

    Delete the app(s) you’re having the problem with, reboot your phone, then re-download them from the App Store. Works every time for me, but the icons mess up again after a reboot.

  2. Big Willie
    June 28th, 2009 at 12:30 | #2

    Mine did this on the Beta version 5 but not on the 3.0 GM (Gold Master) which was issued to developers a week before the official final release. I always reboot my phone everyday and it has never happened again whether I download apps from my computer or my iPhone.

  3. duhbugga
    June 28th, 2009 at 18:45 | #3

    i had this issue with app icons – i downloaded light saber app and then deleted it. later i downloaded unblock me free. suddenly this morning unblockmefree had the lightsaber icon. 2 other apps also had their icons switched to other existing apps. called customer care – they had me do the hard reset.. didnt work. the problem supposedly was caused because i hadnt authorised my pc. so my apps were not being backed up properly. that combined with something else hosed the icons. i uninstalled the apps, authorized my pc, downloaded the apps on the pc, pushed them back to the phone. that solved the issue.. the customer service rep told me that this is a known issue. and worst case, i ve to uninstall and reinstall the app – that aint a solution! c’mon apple, fix this issue!

  4. June 30th, 2009 at 08:11 | #4

    The solution worked beautifully. Thank you very much! Great website, by the way. All the best to you!

  5. SysOp
    June 30th, 2009 at 08:28 | #5

    @Cory
    Thanks :) I appreciate the comment :)

  6. Lisa
    July 2nd, 2009 at 10:21 | #6

    Worked like a charm! :)

  7. Sean
    July 5th, 2009 at 08:52 | #7

    This was exactly what I needed, thank you for the assistance.

    Others be warned there might be application settings or (application) data lost in this process.

  8. ariel
    July 7th, 2009 at 06:11 | #8

    Thanks! That was a big help.

  9. Joel
    July 7th, 2009 at 14:34 | #9

    Problem is, then you have to arrange a zillion icons back the way you had them, screen by screen. And I have discovered that even after the icons “are back where they belong”, after a night a charging, boom, twitter is now ToyCam

  10. Joshe’
    July 8th, 2009 at 18:18 | #10

    Thank you soooo much, I was FREAKING out lol

  11. Demetra
    July 11th, 2009 at 12:40 | #11

    Thanks a bunch, this worked for me and the way I organized my icons are still in the same order. Didn’t have to do any rearranging. Glad you wrote this otherwise I would have sent out my mass email to the app maker as well as apple. You saved me a lot of writing. :)

  12. maggie
    July 12th, 2009 at 16:28 | #12

    phew. this worked out great. Keeping my fingers crossed. Hey, maybe someone should do an app of that!

  13. Scott
    July 13th, 2009 at 17:29 | #13

    Wow, this is GREAT!!!! Thank you for figuring this out, it was driving me crazy!!

  14. Bobby III
    July 17th, 2009 at 12:06 | #14

    Worked great. Thanks!

  15. chris
    July 19th, 2009 at 11:13 | #15

    Well done. Thanks!

  16. Dave
    July 20th, 2009 at 13:04 | #16

    Be careful though, it’ll wipe any saved info on your apps

  17. laura
    July 24th, 2009 at 23:31 | #17

    worked for me! in my case the bug caused icons to switch on several of my apps to icons from old apps i deleted a while ago.

    my icons are now back to normal, didn’t have to rearrange them.. but damn, i did loose all my saved data. including my entire library on stanza *sigh* while this worked to fix the icons, i think i will just live with it next time. better than having to reenter all my info and download all my books again.

    thank you!! just wish i’d thought about the consequences of wiping all the saved data first! lol

  18. laura
    July 25th, 2009 at 00:03 | #18

    well, i take that back. spoke too soon. i was scared to do it, but i managed to restore my apps from the backup i saved right before the wipe and woot! my entire library is back including the saved place in the book i am currently reading.

    so, very successful fix.. just had a minor unnecessary meltdown. thank you.

    (should add however, that the data did not save on apps i just downloaded this evening from the iphone app store.. not sure if that’s because i didn’t sync properly right before wiping.. but heck, i’m just happy my stanza library is intact.. man that would have hurt)

  19. Bob Dunn
    July 29th, 2009 at 15:32 | #19

    worked thanks, genius bar at store didn’t know

  20. Ryan
    July 30th, 2009 at 10:52 | #20

    For all those who don’t want to lose data, on another forum I found a slight tweak to this solution solution that helps:

    1) Select an app with incorrect icon, remove it.

    2) Go to app store and dowload it again.

    3) During installation, hold the power button and turn off your iPhone!

    4) Turn on your iPhone again and all your app icons are back to normal.

    the key thing is that you can reinstall an app that doesn’t have saved data, but still fix the problems with those that do have saved data, without losing it!

  21. Ashowboat
    August 6th, 2009 at 21:49 | #21

    Thanks Ryan, i follow your steps and It work.

  22. August 9th, 2009 at 06:51 | #22

    The delete icon,iPhone iTunes App reinstall and shutdown during the loading worked perfectly upon reboot. My icons got screwed up after I transferred my library from my work computer to my personal mac while away on vacation.

  23. stung
    August 11th, 2009 at 12:38 | #23

    Thank you so much! Saved me a bunch of time. Who would have thought turning it off mid-download would help…?

  24. Craig
    August 17th, 2009 at 08:03 | #24

    Works like a charm. Brilliant.

  25. August 18th, 2009 at 09:05 | #25

    @Ryan
    Thanks Ryan, your method works perfectly! For those who are worrying about losing saved data, try Ryan’s method!

    Just to clarify step 1, you do NOT need to uninstall the apps with the wrong icon. Pick one of the useless apps you have, remove it (press and hold its icon and press the X button), then reinstall and as soon as the loading bar shows up, hold power button and slide to power it down. Once you reboot everything will back to normal.

  26. JoJo
    August 19th, 2009 at 17:12 | #26

    Man you just saved me about an hour worth of time with this fix. I have 9 pages of applications and I was about to loose my mind. Just like you said as soon as the phone says installing shut her down and power her back up and everything was perfect and the app finished installing and everything is fine. Took all of five minutes very happy. Thank You!!!

  27. SteveC
    August 21st, 2009 at 09:42 | #27

    I found that if I just go to the app store, pick any app, powerdown during the install, when the phone turns back on, all is good. Then I just delete the app I picked for the fix…

    No need to delete and reinstall any of the apps you already have on the phone!

  28. Chris
    August 24th, 2009 at 10:19 | #28

    Hero thats what you are

    I spent 35 mins waiting to get a personne on the iphone help line (me paying)

    only to be told that they had never heard of this problem !!!!!
    and that it must be a corrupted data on my pc hard disc they told me to redownload all the apps with the PC (thanks I ve got 64 of em) about a days clicking and waiting !!!!

    thanks to you in 2 mins all is well

    Bravo

  29. El Jefe
    August 24th, 2009 at 16:27 | #29

    Awesome! Thanks guys. Steve C’s recco worked perfectly. Glad this site was available. Thanks for the fix!

    El Jefe

  30. jack
    August 25th, 2009 at 23:28 | #30

    wow thank you so much for this awesome tip. it seriously helped me tremendously. i was getting really frustrated at one point! im not scared to power down my phone anymore!! THANK YOU!

  31. Homer
    August 26th, 2009 at 07:51 | #31

    Yes, THANKS A LOT for the tip. It fixed the problem without the need of doing any restore or deleting app data. I still hope that Apple with fix this bug in the next release…

  32. August 29th, 2009 at 07:32 | #32

    Very nice tip indeed! I had Pinball Fantasies, Dropship and iBeer with the wrong icons so I removed Dropship and while downloading it again I turned off the iPhone and when powered it back on again all three icons was back to normal :3

  33. David
    September 4th, 2009 at 14:18 | #33

    Nice! That was the easiest suggestion I found online and it worked!!

  1. June 23rd, 2009 at 09:38 | #1
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