Have your iPhone icons gone all crazy?


It was a day like any other, my routine always the same: Roll out of bed an hour later than I should, then walk over to my iPhone and haphazardly bat at it to try and stop the alarm from screeching for the fifth time that morning. Walk to the bathroom, then pop open the Mail app while I brush my – Wait, what the heck?

Everything on my homescreen was wrong. Mint was now Yammer. AT&T Nav was a creepy blank space. Icons were doubling, overlapping, and just being generally wrong. It looked like my icons had decided to spend the night boozing and fornicating, with everyone falling asleep in the wrong bed.

Googling wasn’t turning up much, so I assumed it was an isolated event. I took a few stabs in the dark at fixing it before finally giving in and just dumping everything and restoring from a backup.

Turns out, this is more far more common than I had imagined. It’s happened to me again once since then. At a recent iPhone developer meetup I attended, at least a handful of people mentioned the same thing had happened to them. All of them were running iPhone 3.0, and it happened to both Windows and OS X users.

With that, I ask: has this happened to you? How did you go about fixing it? I tried everything from deleting and resyncing the applications to yelling at the handset in a very stern manner, and the only thing that seemed to work was wiping everything and starting over. This can be done through iTunes, or on the device itself at Settings > Reset > Reset all settings. Either way, make sure you backup first; both methods dump all your data, but restoring from a backup doesn’t seem to bring the issue back.