Moto G4 & home screen black status bar icons all of a sudden

Updated: May 17, 2020

Here's a weird little problem what I encountered. As you probably (don't) recall, I have a Moto G4 phone in me arsenal of smart thingies. Everything was cushty for a long while, without any issues or whatnot. One merry afternoon, this changed.

I noticed the status bar icons - the top of the home screen - had suddenly turned black. This rendered them almost invisible, and indeed, by default, they are white. I also noticed the problem only affected the home screen, as the correct color transition from white to black and vice versa was happening across the rest of the system. All right. Weird problems require weird solutions.

Black status bar icons

Problem in more detail

Without advanced debugging, this is only a hypothesis - an update to one of the system apps caused a glitch. This might be related to an incorrectly designed theme, so the expected change of color based on the app background isn't happening. I guess this is a tiny, transient problem, and you will most likely never encounter it. But if you do, then there are ways around it.

Solution

You can undo the problem by removing any customization to the home screen - this will "force" the home screen to use the defaults. This makes senses - you basically "reset" the home screen app. This also means losing any custom changes. Now, the really weird part is that I wasn't really using anything special - the original widgets were there, and the only change was slight rearrangement of application icons. But anyway.

To access the home screen settings, long press on an empty section. If there isn't an empty section, drag one of the existing icons or widgets to create a second home screen (temporarily). Then, long press until you see a screen that reads "Wallpapers Widgets Settings" in the bottom half of the screen. Click on Settings, and then turn off Personalized updates. As the option says: you will not see any weather, traffic and calendar information.

Home screen settings Personalized updates

I made the change - and the icons were back to their normal styling. Now, the really really weird part is that I didn't actually lose any personalized content. Perhaps the stuff I have there doesn't fall into this category, or perhaps I'm missing something obvious. But we had a problem, and we fixed it.

Icons restored

Conclusion

I'm not an avid smartphone user, by any means. But even my OCD demons can't let something like this rest. Theming problems do occasionally happen, of course, but they can really be jarring. Worse, they can often be really hard to diagnose - 'tis just a bit of color off. If you've been bitten by this glitch, you know what to do. Alternatively, just wait it out, and the issue ought to be resolved in one of the upcoming updates.

That's it for now from Dedoimedoland. Take care.

Cheers.

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