This way to Fix Apps Greyed out, Learn Why it’s happening

Many of you might find your apps greyed out on Android, one of the most significant issues. Why do people suffer that they cannot open that app, and why is it happening?

Hey everyone, this is Fixing-Mostly, and in today’s article, I will tell you why apps greyed out on Android and how you can fix the grey apps on it.

This is going to be a complete and quick comprehensive guide. I searched for the same term on YouTube, found irrelevant videos, and even found some blogs I thought I would write about greyed-out apps on Android.

when searched for apps greyed out on youtube screenshot

So, there are multiple reasons why you see grey app icons. Sometimes, it’s because there is a limitation on the app, the app is broken, or even the Launcher app needs to be fixed.

I will tell you more reasons ahead, but before anything, let’s quickly see how to fix it:

How to Fix Greyed App Icons Android

As previously said, there could be multiple reasons behind it, but there are a few things that you need to do to fix it or at least ensure that it’s working correctly;

screenshot of instagram app greyed out on my android

1. Grey Icon & Well Being

When users are on digital Detox or want to limit the app timer, they set something into the digital wellbeing app. Suppose someone wants to use Instagram for 10 minutes a day. They would set it up. 

How can a person use Instagram for 10 minutes? Strange?

If you have imposed a fixed time limit on each app inside the digital well-being app. But this app will be greyed out or turn into a grey icon when that time limit is reached. 

Suppose you had given someone time to use you only for 5 minutes in digital welding. Now, those 5 minutes have been completed. Now, after the completion of 5 minutes, whenever you go to the drawer automatically, you will see it grey in color, which means it will turn wholly grey or colorless in short.

showing how greayed out app looks like
Check Instagram here.

My Honest Experience with Greyed-Out Apps

Now, below, I am sharing a few screenshots with you. I have set a particular time limit for using Instagram Because I have scrolled a lot previously, so I have set a limit.

app greyed because timer from digital well being app

As you can see, I have reached my limit of 30 minutes to use Instagram, and afterward, you can see the Instagram app is in grey in my app drawer.

digital wellbeing app timer set limit screenshot

This is entirely because of the digital well-being app because the app has control over your device. 

instagram app greyed out on android

To Fix it, remove the app timer or increase the time limit of the app from the Digital Well-Being app.

I probably spend most of the time on it, but then I figure out the digital wellbeing app settings, which help me to control my time. 

More than that, I spent a lot of time watching the well-being. Here is an article that will let you know how much data you consume on YouTube. 

It checks screen usage time for those leaving under the rocks.

NEW Errors: Broken While Moving

Another reason why apps might appear grayed out on my Samsung M33 5G, like I experienced it, is because I moved all the apps installed on internal storage to the SD card. Initially, this process worked well, but after some time, those apps either slowed down or turned gray.

screenshot of package name of the paypal app which turns into grey

As you can see in the provided screenshots, instead of displaying the app name, multiple apps show their package name. For instance, a screenshot of the PayPal app displays ‘com.paypal.merchant,’ and similarly, other apps moved from internal storage to the SD card exhibit similar behavior. And when you click on the App icon, it says the application is not available.

After I quickly restarted my device, some apps continued to crash or turned gray. This could be one of the reasons why your apps are not functioning properly or appearing in gray shade.

app greyed out on android with app info screenshot

To fix this issue, simply uninstall the apps that have turned gray after being moved from internal storage to the SD card, and then reinstall them. After reinstalling, make sure to log back into those apps. This process should resolve the problem and restore the apps to their normal functionality.

2. Broken App Icons

We often do not know, but whenever we uninstall, update, or clear all its data, another thing happens: your launcher also updates it inside your system.

greyed out apps greayed out highlighted with overlay text

If you have reached the time limit of using an app in digital well-being, then obviously, this is why your apps are greyed out.

Do This

best practices gif

If that’s not the case, clear the cache data of the default launcher application because when you update, install, or clear all data of any particular app, the launcher itself refreshes the app.

But when it doesn’t refresh, those apps mostly become colorless in short grey.

Here, you have to either clear the cache of the default launcher app or perform a restart on your Android. Doing this will clear the cache and fix the lag on Android. Or you can simultaneously change or uninstall the launcher.

But how do you find out which is the default launcher on an Android:

Find Out Default Launcher

To find the default launcher app on your Android device, go to “Settings,” select “Apps,” locate your launcher app, and look for “Set as default” or “Clear defaults.”

Or Samsung users can get into “default apps ‘, and look for the Home app.

home app from default apps highlighted

Note that the steps may vary slightly depending on your Android version and device manufacturer.

nova launcher seleted as default home app

But if you are more interested in installing or customizing your Android home screen, here is a list of the 11 best Android Launcher apps you must try.

How to Clear Cache Data of Default Launcher

launcher app info screenshot
clear cache of launcher app highlighted screenshot
  1. Open mobile settings.
  2. Get into All Apps.
  3. Find and select the launcher.
  4. Tap on storage from the app info.
  5. Tap clear cache and confirm.

3. Modes and Routines

When you enable a mode or routine that restricts apps on your Samsung device, it essentially places those apps in a limited or restricted state. This can result in the apps appearing grayed out and inaccessible. Here is a brief explanation of how this happens:

modes and routines screenshot
restrict apps in work modes on android
most apps greyed out screenshot
  1. Enabling a Mode or Routine: You activate a specific mode (e.g., Sleep Mode) or routine on your Samsung device. These modes or routines are designed to automate various settings, including restricting access to certain apps during specific conditions or times.
  2. App Restrictions: Within the selected mode or routine, you specify which apps you want to restrict or limit. For example, you might restrict social media apps, games, or other time-consuming apps during your sleep or work hours.
  3. App State Changes: Once the mode or routine is active, the selected apps undergo certain changes:
    • They may be grayed out on your device’s home screen or app drawer.
    • When you try to open a restricted app, you may see a message indicating that the app cannot be used while the app usage restriction is in effect.
    • In some cases, the app’s functionality may be limited, such as disabling notifications or reducing screen brightness when the app is active.
apps grey in color screenshot

4. New Android Updates

Picture this: You’ve just updated your Android device to the latest and greatest version and are excited to see what’s new. You check out your home screen, only to find that some of your favorite app icons are now greyed out. What gives?

It turns out that Google has introduced a fancy new feature with Android 12 called themed icons. This feature matches the colors of your app icons with your wallpaper, making your phone look even more extraordinary. But here’s the catch – only some app developers have jumped on board.

Even though Google has updated Android 13 to fix this issue, app developers still need to update their icons to support the Material You feature. So if you’re wondering why some of your app icons are still greyed out, blame the developers!

I was researching this article and found some people are searching for the same thing, so I found out about any source from Google support

Many Android users may experience greyed-out app icons, which can be caused by various reasons such as app limitations, broken app icons, or new Android updates. To fix this issue, users can clear the cache data of the default launcher app or restart their devices. If app limitations cause the greyed-out icons, users can adjust the time limit in the Digital Wellbeing app. Additionally, some app developers may still need to update their icons to support the Material You feature, which can cause app icons to appear greyed out.

Here’s why my apps are greyed out?

Here are 10 reasons why apps can appear greyed out:

  1. Disabled or Inactive: Apps may be greyed out if disabled or inactive on your device.
  2. Compatibility Issues: Apps can appear greyed out if they are no longer compatible with your device or its operating system.
  3. Installation or Update Process: During the app installation or update process, apps may temporarily appear greyed out until the process is complete.
  4. Insufficient Storage: When your device’s storage is full, apps may be greyed out as they cannot be fully installed or updated.
  5. App Restrictions: Certain settings or restrictions on your device can cause apps to appear greyed out.
  6. App Permissions: If an app requires certain permissions to function properly and you haven’t granted them, it may appear greyed out.
  7. App Errors: Apps with errors or bugs may appear greyed out as they cannot function correctly.
  8. Outdated App Version: Using an outdated app may result in it being greyed out or not functioning properly.
  9. App Incompatibility: Some apps may not be compatible with specific device models or software versions, causing them to appear greyed out.
  10. App Unavailability: If an app is no longer available in the app store or has been removed, it may appear greyed out for new users.

Apps can appear greyed out for several reasons. One common reason is that they may be disabled or inactive, requiring you to enable or activate them. Another possibility is compatibility issues, which can cause apps to appear greyed out if they are no longer compatible with your device or its operating system.

Additionally, during the app installation or update process, apps may temporarily appear greyed out until the installation or update is complete. If you’re facing this issue, there are a few steps you can take to resolve it.

First, check for any available updates for the app in question. Sometimes, updating the app can fix compatibility problems and restore its normal functionality. You can also try adjusting your device settings, such as enabling permissions or ensuring that background processes are not restricted.

Lastly, if the problem persists, contacting the app developer for further assistance and support is advisable.


All right, let’s make it super fun and engaging! Imagine you’re a detective whose mission is to solve the case of the greyed-out apps on Android. You put on your detective hat and start investigating the case.

First, you discover multiple reasons why apps turn grey on Android. It could be because of the digital well-being app, broken app icons, or a new Android update. But fear not, detective, because there are solutions to each issue.

If the digital well-being app is the culprit, you’ve reached the time limit for using a specific app. So all you have to do is adjust the digital well-being settings or wait until the next day to use the app again.

If the app icon is broken, the launcher app is not refreshing suitably. To fix this, you can clear the cache data of the default launcher app or restart your Android device.

And if a new Android update causes the issue, not all app developers have updated their icons to support the latest features. So you must wait until the app developers catch up with the new update.

Case closed! But in the meantime, you can explore some cool Android launcher apps to customize your home screen and make it look even more fabulous! And remember, detective, always check for updates and keep your apps in tip-top shape to avoid any greyed-out app icons in the future.

Kunal Kashyap, the tech guru behind, simplifies complex tech issues with clear and user-friendly guides. With expertise in Android, iOS, and more, his tutorials empower users to tackle tech problems confidently. Kunal's engaging style makes technology accessible to both beginners and experts. Beyond tech, he explores psychology and keeps up with tech and business trends awarded by the Government and Namita Thapar.

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