A bizarre Pixel Launcher bug is causing app icons to randomly disappear

Pixel 3a XL
Pixel 3a XL (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • An unusual bug with the December security update for Pixel phones is causing app icons to disappear randomly from the homescreen.
  • While the app icons disappear randomly, the app name still remains visible.
  • Even though the issue doesn't appear to be widespread, a fix is expected to be included in the upcoming January security update.

Google rolled out its first Pixel "feature drop" last month, along with the December security patch. Unfortunately, the update also included a minor bug with the Pixel Launcher app, causing apps icons to disappear from the homescreen randomly. The bug appears to have affected some Pixel 2, Pixel 3a, as well as Pixel 4 series phones.

As reported by 9to5Google, the bug with the Pixel Launcher is making app icons randomly become invisible on Pixel phones. After the app icon disappears, users can only see the name of the app on the homescreen. Once users tap on the blank space, however, the app icon gets loaded again and the app is launched as usual. As per a few users on Reddit, the bug can also make folders disappear sometimes.

Even though the issue does not affect all Pixel devices with the December security update, it is possible that Google has a fix ready and will include it in the upcoming January security update that is going to begin rolling out next week. While it remains to be seen if the January security update for the Pixel 4 series will be delayed just like last month, Google has confirmed that a cumulative January and December security update for the Pixel 3 and 3 XL units stuck on November security patch will be rolled out "in the coming days."

Babu Mohan
News Writer