How to rearrange app icons to customize your iPhone or iPad Home screen

How to rearrange app icons to customize your iPhone or iPad Home screen

The iPhone and iPad Home screen is an app launcher — it contains a grid of icons that represent all the apps on your device, and if you tap one, you launch the app. The iPhone and iPad come with a full suite of Apple apps built-in, but you can add many, many more through the App Store. Once you have a bunch of apps, however, you might want to change the way they're organized. For example, if you use Facebook a lot you might want to put that on the front page. If you use Camera a lot and Phone not very much, maybe you want to switch its place in the dock? Luckily, iOS makes it easy to organize your apps just the way you want!

How to organize the apps on your iPhone or iPad Home screen

  • Go to your iPhone or iPad Home screen
  • Touch and hold any icon until all of the icons start to jiggle (this is called "jiggly mode")
  • Once they're jiggling, keep touching the icon and move it around the page until it's exactly where you want it.
  • If you drag an icon to the extreme left or right of your home screen, almost off the edge, you'll scroll to the previous or next page and be able to place the icon on a new or different home screen.
  • You can even drag apps out of the dock that you might not use that often and put more frequently used apps in the dock, like replacing Music with Messages. (You have to drag an icon out of the dock before you can place a different icon there.)
  • Click the Home button to exit jiggly mode when you're done.

If you tap the X on top of a jiggling icon, you'll delete it so make sure you don't do that unless you really want to!

Also, if you drag one icon on top of another icon, you'll start a new folder. (And yes, you can put folders in the dock as well!)

Note: Originally published December, 2010. Updated July 2014.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

How to rearrange app icons to customize your iPhone or iPad Home screen


Yes I can saiyng it's better! People say it's better all the time. If it's my opinion I can't be wrong. It's what I think. How have you not ever heard that before? I could say orange juice is better than apple juice. And it's completely valid because it's my opinion.

This is one thing Apple does right. On andoid when you want to move icons around you can't trade places with another icon.
Thats just a small gripe for me. I don't spend all day making my phone look pretty. I set it and forget it.

Yes you can. Not only that, you can place the icons any way you wish on Android, unlike the Apple way.

Everytime you start safari, you get the history pop up. Any way to stop that. I usually clear my history leaving safari, and the pop up, even quick as it is, can bug you.

Would be cool to add "how to use fast app switcher" with this Sooo many people I know, had no idea the phone did this.

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I have just updated an app on my iPad, but I can't find it now. If I try to download it again by going through the app store it says it is already installed? Advise?