All Sections

How to bring back the app drawer on the Huawei P9, P9 Plus or P9 Lite

Although the hardware design of Huawei’s P9, P9 Plus and P9 Lite smartphones is seriously gorgeous, the software side isn’t quite as hot. One of the biggest drawbacks of Huawei’s EMUI launcher is the lack of an apps tray (otherwise known as an app drawer), meaning all of your apps are lumped on your desktops, iPhone-style.

If you’re sick of the clutter, here’s how to tidy up the Huawei P9, P9 Plus or P9 Lite’s desktops and hide away your apps in an Android-style apps tray or app drawer, by installing a new launcher on the phone.

Step one: Download a new launcher onto your P9

If you’re not sure what a phone launcher is, then check out our complete guide to Android launchers. But if you’re short on time, it’s essentially a new interface that sits on top of your mobile’s operating system, offering a fresh new look and feel.

Huawei’s own EMUI launcher is the reason that your P9, P9 Plus or P9 Lite doesn’t have an apps tray, despite running Android Marshmallow. So what we need to do is replace the launcher with another, to bring back the apps tray.

We’ve compiled a list of our favourite Android launchers, so take a look there to find a replacement. As a heads up, the Google Now launcher is your best bet for a vanilla Android experience.

When you’ve made your pick, head to the Google Play store on your P9 handset and search for your chosen launcher. Download it and then head to the next step.

Step two: Switch the P9’s launcher to your new choice

Once the launcher is installed on your P9, P9 Plus or P9 Lite, there’s still one more step to go.

First, head to the settings menu on your phone. From here, scroll down to Apps. Inside the Apps menu, tap the ‘Advanced’ option down at the bottom of the screen. One of the menu options that pops up is ‘Default App Settings’ – give this a tap.

The very first option you’ll see is ‘Launcher’. This is where you set which launcher sits on top of Android. The default is ‘Huawei Home’, which is Huawei’s own Emotion UI-based launcher. Give this a poke and you’ll have the choice of Huawei’s launcher and the new launcher that you just downloaded.

All you need to do is select the new launcher and it will replace Huawei’s EMUI. Hit the P9’s home button and you should see your new launcher in place, complete with a wonderful apps tray for hiding your least-loved apps in.

Video: How to change the Huawei P9’s launcher and bring back the app drawer

Here’s our video guide on how to change the phone launcher on your Huawei P9, P9 Plus or P9 Lite and revive the apps tray/app drawer.