Fix: Settings search bar disappeared in iOS 12

iOS 12 is finally here. And it seems users have never been so excited about a major update that brings so little in terms of features, as that’s the case here. But for a good reason, because iOS 12 brings a major performance boost, and people would rather have a functioning phone, than some fancy new feature.

Even though iOS 12 significantly improves the performance of all the supported iPhones, we found a couple of early reports on possible issues the new iOS version brings. The first problem I stumbled upon on Apple’s support forum is ‘a glitch’ that apparently makes the search bar disappear from the Settings.

There are reports about this problem in previous iOS versions, so it doesn’t mean it’s exclusively caused by the new update. Anyway, if you encountered this problem upon installing iOS 12, there are a couple of things you can try to resolve it.

So, if the search bar disappeared from the Settings in your brand new iOS 12, follow some of these workarounds:

Solution 1 – Update the OS

It’s possible that something went wrong with installing the update. In that case, your best bet is to wait for a new update to arrive. Because if this issue becomes widespread, Apple will surely release a patch. So, just keep your phone up to date, and the problem may get fixed by itself.

Solution 2 – Clear apps cache

Done users also suggest that it’s the piled up app cache that actually disrupts the settings. To eliminate this possibility, go and clear the apps cache data on your phone.

Solution 3 – Reset All Settings

And now, perhaps the solution that will be the most effective. As a matter of fact, most users who encountered this issue in the previous versions of iOS claim resetting the settings actually resolve the missing search bar issue. So, you might give it a try, as well.

But keep in mind, this will reset all your settings, so you’ll have to adjust everything from the start. But if that doesn’t bother you, feel free to proceed.

Here’s how to reset all your settings in iOS 12:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to General Reset.
  3. Tap Reset All Settings.
  4. Confirm and wait for the process to finish.

Solution 4 – Factory reset the phone

And finally, instead of resetting the settings, you can reset the whole phone. Normally, I would advise against this workaround, because it will reset your phone to the factory state. But if the missing search bar really annoys you that much, you can try this. Just remembered to back up all your data to iCloud.

Here’s how to perform the factory reset in iOS 12:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Tap Reset.
  4. Select Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Confirm selection and start the process (later on, you can choose Restore from the iCloud Backup feature).

That’s about it. If the forum reports are to be believed, resetting the settings will probably do. But who knows, maybe some other solution will resolve the problem.

If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, just write them down in the comments below.

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1 thought on “Fix: Settings search bar disappeared in iOS 12”

  1. wow – it’s a pity that this issue still persists in iPadOS 13.4.1 (iOS13)

    admittedly, it’s not reproducible. but given iOS was quite reliable in the iOS10 days, it didn’t make me happy this happened on day 4 of owning a new iPad Pro!


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