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Some Google Play Store users are missing the search bar after redesign

Google is slowly rolling out the redesign to users.
By
December 15, 2023
Google Play Store app on smartphone UI stock photo (2)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Google has released a new design for the Play Store.
  • The redesign removes the search bar from the top of the page and gives the store a dedicated search page accessed from the new search tab at the bottom.
  • Some users didn’t get the search tab after the redesign, making it harder to search for specific apps.

It’s rare that we see the look of the Play Store change, but Google recently released a redesign. After rolling out the redesign, some users have been left without a direct way to search for apps.

First spotted by 9to5Google, Google has added a dedicated search page to the Play Store that can be accessed by tapping on the new search tab located at the bottom of the page. In turn, for adding the search tab, it appears Google has taken away the search bar that used to appear at the top of the page.

This move makes sense as having a search bar and a dedicated search page would be kind of redundant. However, this breaks the experience if the user doesn’t have a search tab to tap on.

Some users, including myself, appear to be missing the search tab altogether. You can see an example of the missing tab in the images below. The image on the left shows what the Play Store should look like and the image on the right shows the Play Store without a search tab. Interestingly, it appears you’ll still see a search bar when you tap on the Books tab.

If you’re missing the search tab, you can still search for apps, but it will take a few more steps. Tapping on the arrows on the right of the screen will take you to a recommendations page that should have a search icon you can tap on. A search icon will also appear when you tap on any suggested app. You can also try clearing the Play Store app’s data, but this should be a last resort as doing so can create other problems.

It appears Google is slowly rolling out the redesign, so you may not have seen it yet. Hopefully Google will fix the issue soon before the redesign reaches more users.