Need to retrieve the YouTube application that went missing on your Android, iOS, iPadOS, or Smart TV device? We understand your frustration, especially if you need access to its enormous video content database. The application may be gone for several reasons with a varying degree of absence: from merely hidden to blocked by another application to removed. However, since it’s a Google service, Android protects it at the system level. With that acknowledged, let’s explain how to restore your YouTube app.
Why is the YouTube app missing on my device?
Here are some reasons the YouTube app may be missing from your device:
- A recent system or app update. Check when that happened and how big the update was.
- A glitch. A buggy update, system not loading the list of applications or the home screen, or a visual inconsistency can all cause glitches.
- The application is hidden or disabled. This happens if the application was buggy or an eyesore.
- Another software blocks the application. Security applications may hide or prevent opening of some apps.
- Someone removed the application. Many people dislike how much Google keeps tabs on them and decide to delete it after rooting or jailbreaking. Additionally, they may prefer browser or alternative YouTube apps.
- You’re using a Google-free device. Less tech-savvy people may unknowingly purchase a device without Google services and app store such as Huawei’s HarmonyOS. Additionally, many Smart TVs may exclude YouTube.
What to do before restoring the YouTube application
Here are some things you can do before you begin restoring the YouTube app on iOS, iPadOS, or Android:
- Open the list of background apps. See if YouTube is on the list. Remove it by swiping up or left/right, depending on the list orientation.
- Perform a thorough search for the YouTube application. Look in the app drawer and home screen (swipe left and right). Check for folders such as “Google” as it might be organized with other Google services.
- Open Google Play Store or Apple App Store and search for “YouTube”. If your device detects the app, it will state Installed or let you Update it. Otherwise, you know the mobile device or smart TV doesn’t detect the application in the system.
- Restart your device. This usually involves long-pressing the Power button alone or in combination with Volume Up or Volume Down buttons and selecting Shut down or Restart.
1. Unhide the YouTube app to restore it
You should first check if the YouTube application is hidden and unhide it like this:
1. Show the hidden YouTube app in Android
Showing a hidden YouTube app on Android home screen or app drawer works like this:
- Select the Settings option in the app drawer.
- Choose the Apps & notifications, Apps, or Applications menu option.
- You’ll see the most recently used apps at the top. If YouTube isn’t there, tap See all X apps. The X represents the number of apps your device has installed.
- Double-check that the drop-down menu in the upper left corner is set to “All apps”. Select YouTube on the list.
- Tap on Force Start (meaning the app stopped running for some reason) or Enable (meaning it was blocked from launching). YouTube now appears on the home screen and the app drawer.
2. Make the YouTube application appear on home screen on iOS
Because Apple is more restrictive with app permissions, users find it hard to disable an application. However, users can make the iOS or iPadOS YouTube application appear on the home screen by:
- Swiping left on the home screen until they cannot.
- Entering “YouTube” in the search bar that shows up.
- Selecting YouTube and choosing the Add to Home Screen option.
2. Restore the YouTube app via the Google Play Store or Apple App Store
Did you confirm that the YouTube application was removed from your device by rooting or jailbreaking? Perhaps it was never installed, such as on a Google-free device or TVs and mobile devices from unknown brands? In both cases, you can use Apple App Store or Google Play Store for restoring the YouTube app like this:
- Visit the YouTube Google Play Store page or the Apple App Store’s YouTube app page in a browser. Otherwise, open the aforementioned application distribution platforms and search for “YouTube”.
- Sign in with your Google account or Apple ID.
- Tap the Install (Android) or Get (Apple) buttons and wait for the download to finish.
- Tap the Open or Run buttons in the store or launch YouTube from the home page.
3. Use a backup to restore the YouTube app
If you have a backup of the YouTube app before it went missing (even if paired with some or all others) you’re lucky. You can use a backup to restore your YouTube application in these ways:
1. Recovering the YT application via a manual Android backup
Third-party apps let you back up your home screen and some or all applications. If you did so, you can get your YouTube app back through a manual backup on Android. We will demonstrate the procedure with Trustlook Security Lab’s Backup & Restore app. Copy the data if you employed a local backup over a cloud one. Now, if you used a local backup, do this:
- Move to the Archived tab.
- Find YouTube on the list and tap the checkbox on the right-hand side.
- Select Restore at the bottom.
If you utilized Google Drive for making backups, do the following:
- Switch to the Google Drive tab.
- Put a checkmark on YouTube.
- Select the Download button to download your backup.
If you encounter an error, ensure you’re logged in to the correct Google account.
2. Use iTunes backup to recover the YouTube app
Apple lets users create comprehensive backups on iOS, iPadOS, and Mac. However, you must restore an entire backup at once, meaning you can’t pick only YouTube. If you are fine with that, retrieve your YouTube app from a iTunes backup this way:
- Connect your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to your Mac.
- Launch iTunes. On macOS 10.15 Catalina and later, go to Finder in the top menu.
- Pick the device from the “Locations” list on the left side.
- Click the Restore Backup option on the right side.
- Select the backup that fits the time before the YouTube app disappeared.
- Click the Restore button. Enter the password to decrypt an encrypted backup file if prompted.
4. Use the YouTube APK file to reinstall the application
A unique option for Android and Android Smart TV users are APK (Android Package Kit or Android Application Package) files. If you deleted the app after rooting and Google Play Store doesn’t let you redownload it, do this:
- Download an up-to-date YouTube APK from a trusted app repository.
- You now have two options to permit its launch:
- Go to Settings → Security → Tap the Unknown sources option → Confirm by tapping OK → Trust.
- Open Settings → Apps → Special app access → Install unknown apps → Tap Files by Google or your file manager and toggle to enable it.
- Open the file manager you use.
- Locate and double-tap the YouTube APK you downloaded. Follow on-screen instructions to finish the installation.
What to do after restoring the YouTube app?
You can do this after you finish restoring the app for YouTube:
- Update the operating system. The latest updates can solve the cause of the missing YouTube app.
- Reverse the root on your device. If you used rooting to remove YouTube, a system-level app, consider reverting that process. The system will protect YouTube from removal afterward.
- Install an app lock utility. This offers extra protection. It can lock the access and removal of the YouTube app with a PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition.
- Log in to your YouTube account. We also taught you to recover your YouTube account if you can’t access it.
- Retrieve your YouTube search history if needed.