How to organize apps on an iPhone

How to organize apps on an iPhone

by Kurt Knutsson

Recently, a viewer asked me a question about how she can organize all of the apps on her iPhone.

Before I show you exactly how to move apps around, let’s first review a few important related items.

With iOS 14 and later, apps can continue to exist on your home screens, but they are now also organized into a new “App Library” page.  As I’ll explain, you can choose to keep as many apps as you want present on your home screens and shift all those apps you never use into the App Library.  This way, your important apps are always easily accessible on the first few screens without any additional clutter.

Where is the App Library on my iPhone?

Keep swiping left  on your home screen, past all the pages you may have, all the way to the end until you see the App Library screen.

How to Organize Apps on an iPhone


How to search for an app

As mentioned above, by default, when you download an app, newly downloaded apps are saved to your “Home Screen“.  If you want to find an app, there are 2 ways you can search for it:

  • Quickly tap the middle of your home screen and drag down. It will reveal a search bar to search your entire phone.  You can search for the app (or anything on your iphone!) here as well.
  • Swipe left on your home screen until you get to the final “App Library” screen and enter the name of the app in the search bar at top.  You can also browse for the icon in the organized squares. As you’ll see in the image below, you’ll note how the labels are organized: “Recently Added”, “Utilities”, “Creativity”, “Social”, etc..

How to move apps from the home screen into my app library

If you have pages upon pages of apps you’ve downloaded over the years, you can send these apps to the App Library so that they don’t take up valuable real estate on your first few home screen pages.

In order to move your apps into the home library, press and hold the app icon on your home screen until a menu opens up.

  • Touch and hold the app
  • Tap “Remove from Home Screen
  • Tap “Move to App Library”

How to move apps from the home screen into my app library

How to move apps from the home screen into my app library


How to organize your apps into folders

Once you have all of your main apps on your home screens, I like to organize them into folders.  You can do this by:

  • Clicking and holding on the app icon until the app menu appears.
  • This time, select “Edit Home Screen“.
  • Once you do that all of the icons on your home screens will start to jiggle.
  • You can proceed to move that icon on top of another icon that you’d want to group together.
  • After you do that it will create a folder and automatically create a label for that folder.  Note you can easily change the name of the folder by clicking on the text label of that folder and then clicking the blue “done” button.


How to organize apps into folders by moving multiple apps at once from one screen to the next

As you start to sift through the many pages of icons you may have, you’ll begin to see that you’ll want to move an icon on a later page to an earlier page.  For example, I may have a folder of all of my photography apps on my first page and I may have a random amount of additional photography apps on my 4th page that I never organized.  I now want to move these apps on the 4th page into my folder on the first page.  Instead of tapping and dragging each app on my 4th page into the folder on the first page, here’s a way you can quickly drag all of these apps at once:

  • Touch and hold an app
  • Press “Edit Home Screen”
  • Start to drag the first app out of its initial position.  Once you move it slightly, you can pause any further movement.
  • Then, with your other hand, use your finger to tap all the additional apps to be added to this stack.  (make sure you’re still keeping the first finger on the original app you started to drag in the step above)
  • You’ll see these additional apps will be added to this new stack.
  • Once you have your stack, drag it to the screen you want to and then release your finger.  You can either directly release them into a folder you have already created, or you can just release all the icons onto the screen to be organized later.
  • Once the icons are in place, click the “done” icon in the upper right hand corner.


How to move apps from the App Library onto my Home Screen

If you already have apps in your app library that you want to move onto your home screen, all you need to do is search for it in the search bar in your App library.

  • Touch and hold the app until you see the small menu item appear
  • Tap “Remove from Home Screen”


Can I have all apps download directly into the App Library?

By default, when you download an app, newly downloaded apps are saved to your “Home Screen”.

Because I often don’t remember some of the names of apps I download, I keep the settings as is.  However, if you prefer, you can also download any new apps directly into the app library first.

In order to do this:

  • Go to Settings
  • Click “Home Screen” (13 rows down in “Settings”).
  • Select “App Library Only


How to make sure apps are downloaded directly into the app library






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