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How to recover deleted / uninstalled apps on an Android phone

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Published 06/04/2019

How to find apps you’ve deleted on an Android device: for Samsung Galaxy and other models, is it possible to recover deleted apps that were uninstalled a long time ago or lost after a hard reset?

The main reasons for deleting apps

Phone apps are deleted for a number of reasons. We're going to consider the following cases:

  • Buying a new phone: you need to restore all your settings right from the onset, connect your Google account, and reinstall all the apps.
  • Deletion of apps after a factory reset: after performing a factory reset, your device will be restored to  its original condition, with default settings and no applications besides the pre-installed ones.
  • You deleted apps a long time ago and decided to restore them, but cannot remember the names of the apps you want.
  • Apps were deleted accidentally or the user wasn't involved in the deletion. The apps need to be found and restored.
  • Viruses have deleted or damaged apps.

As you can see, there are various reasons you might want to restore deleted apps, and fortunately it's much easier to retrieve deleted apps than files. You won't need any additional Android recovery programs in order to do it. You just have to follow a few simple steps, which we're going to describe here.

How to recover deleted apps on Android via Google Play

Video guide on how to check recently deleted apps and recover them via Play Market:

Google Play is suitable for restoring apps on a smartphone or a tablet. You don't have to download it as it's pre-installed on Android devices.

1. Open the Google Play app

Find Google Play on the list of your phone apps. This can be done via the search bar of your device.

Note: If you can't find Google Play on the phone, download an apk file from a third-party source like apkmirror.

2. Run Google Play on your phone

Open Google Play and click on the icon with three lines. The main menu of the app will open.

3. Find the "My apps and games" section

To find deleted apps, go to the "My apps and games" tab. All applications, including those which have been deleted and those that are installed on the phone at the moment, are listed in the tab "All". If the application is already installed, you'll see the words "Installed" or "Updates" written next to it.

4. Find deleted apps

You can find deleted applications in the "Library" tab. If you want to find an old app, it's easier to search for it by the date of the installation. You can find the newest apps at the top of the list and the oldest ones at the bottom, or vice versa depending  on the way the list is sorted.

How to find uninstalled apps via Google Play account

Note: If you can't find the deleted app, make sure you're using the right Google account. Try to check if you have any other Google accounts, and log in once again if necessary.

5. Recover needed Android apps

Find the desired items on the list. To recover uninstalled apps, just click the "Install" button and install them one by one.

How to restore apps: Questions and Answers

1. I deleted a paid app by mistake after an hour of usage. I wanted to reinstall it, but there was a price tag beside the app again. Isn't it recorded anywhere that I have already paid for it? What should I do in this case?

2. [Deleted apps from Google library]

I accidentally deleted an old app (paid version of flight radar 24) on my Google library account and now I can't download it anymore or find it anywhere at all. Is it possible to undo the deletion from the Google library and restore the application?

The answer: A paid app is bound to your Google account and you don't have to pay for it again if you reinstall it. In some cases, if only a short amount of time has passed between installation and deletion, you'll get a refund after a while. If this isn’t the case and you're still being asked to pay for the app when using your account, please contact the support team.

I've deleted the system apps Phone and Contacts on my Samsung Galaxy smartphone. As a result, the connection was lost. It shows an error message "android process acore". What should I do? I can't reinstall the apps.

The answer: There are two options:

1) Download system apps for your firmware;

2) Perform a hard reset on Android, but remember to save your personal data to a memory card first.

If I delete a game, can I download it again and continue playing from where I was?

The answer: You'll be able to download the game again. If you downloaded it through Google Play, it will be saved in the "My apps" library.

In terms of settings and saves, it depends on where the game saves were stored. If they were stored on your device then you probably cannot recover them. If they were stored on the game server then you should be able to restore them.

How can I restore the system apps I've deleted?

The answer: Some apps can be downloaded from Google Play (or any other source) and installed instead of the deleted ones.

  1. Perform a hard reset.

Note: A hard reset won't help if you delete something important with root access. In this case you have 2 options:

  1. Take the files you need from the backup (if available) and, using Root Explorer, put them in the directories they were deleted from;
  2. Search for copies of deleted data on the Internet, but be aware that some system files can be designed for certain device specifications, like the processor model and the screen resolution.

How can I find the apps that have been deleted from Play Market? Where can I download them?

The answer: There are other app stores available. For example, F-Droid is a free software repository. If you can remember the names of the applications you want to install, search for them using Google.

During a phone clean up, apps were deleted along with trash and cache. I want to restore an app via Google Play, but Android says that the program is already installed. Did I understand correctly that I need to reset to factory settings and then reinstall everything, or is it possible to restore an app without resetting somehow?

The answer: If you have deleted preinstalled apps without a root, they'll be restored after a factory reset.

If you installed the application on your own, it won't be restored by a factory reset.

You can find the missing apk files (if there are any on the phone) by searching through the phone memory and the memory card.

How can I restore the system apps I've deleted?

[Recover (reinstall) deleted Android app without using google play store]

Hello really need help! Hard to find any answer on the web… My accidentally deleted app is the older version app which compatible with my current phone/tablet setting, which is an older 7" samsung galaxy tab 4. The app store has new version app that's not compatible with my device. How do I reinstall the deleted old version app? Please help. Thanks soooo much!

[Restoring information on deleted apps]

I have accidentally deleted apps and managed to restore them, but the information that I had in them is gone. Is there any way to retrieve this information from recently deleted apps?

[Deleted App]

I recently deleted a paid app on my Samsung edge 7. The app is not listed in my library and I only have one google play account. I searched the google play store without luck. Please help, is it possible to reinstall deleted app?!

[Couldn't restore deleted apps from play store]

I have a fossil q Marshall smart watch which run on android wear app but accidentally I deleted this and letter did not find in play store.I have followed your recovery process but in Library under my app in play store the android wear is missing.Please suggest me how can I restore the app.Help me please"

I lost my samsung galaxy J5 pro a few days and then recover it from somebody else. Unfortunately he locked the phone with passwords so i have to factory reset it. After factory reset the phone was like new with no apps so i have to sign into google for updates,unfortunately the thief use a different google account with the phone and i'm stuck from there. Since i tried my account but it didn't work out n they keep telling me to sign in with the account that was previously sync with the device previously. How would you help?

Can I get back all my pre-installed apps from Google Play Store again without downloading and installing them again? However, though some apps are readable on Google Play Store's "library" as some read guides has mentioned.

How do I delete apps I just downloaded if I decide I don't want them I get into the app place but I can't find my library of apps I just got. Please help

Apps and data recovery I had reset my phone and l lost all my data I have tried recovering but I can't due to little knowledge about phone please help me recover

[Lost apps.. Smartphone not opening now]

Please let me know if possible to recover apps ..think may have accidentally put in jeopardy by removing some yesterday to make more data room. It is a moto g6 phone. I am senior.. Cannot afford a big repair bill. Can I fix it somehow.

Facebook,messenger and yahtzee These are the only apps I downloaded from the web. Yesterday for no reason just disappeared. I took a pic in the middle of playing yahtzee went to send to someone in messenger gone. Checked for Facebook gone, went to go back to the yahtzee game I was playing, gone. I have checked everywhere the are not hidden, the have just disappeared. I wasn't doing anything but playing yahtzee. I have plenty of memory because I back my Android Samsung galaxy J3 on an AD card that is formatted correctly and is mounted. There are no issues with my SD card. So, please give me some sort of answers or days to figure out how they disappeared and I can recover them. I do not want to go through having to set up Facebook again and I have lost important msngr messages.

My HTC Android phone kept saying free up space do I accidentally pressed instant apps and it was deleted…I went into my library to install it clicked on install but it's saying item not found…went into Google Play and app isn't in there either…what do I do