Daily Tip: How to rearrange iPhone and iPad app icons [Beginner]

Rearrange icons.

Just get a new iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad an curious how to rearrange your app icons and put your favorite programs exactly where you want them for faster, easier access? Maybe you want Facebook right up front and that default stock app to get lost? It's easy to do and we'll show you how, after the break.

  • From the 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, just touch an hold an icon and then 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 iPod with Messages for frequent SMSers).
  • If you drag an icon on top of another icon, you'll start a new folder. You can put up to 12 apps in an iPhone folder and 20 apps in iPad folder. (And yes, you can put folders in the dock as well!)
  • 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!
  • Once you're done, click the home button to exit jiggly mode.

Bonus tip: If you want to rearrange a lot of icons all at once it can be a lot faster to plug your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into your Mac or Windows PC and do the heavy lifting in iTunes. Then, when the virtual screen in iTunes is just the way you want it, click to sync and all the changes will be carrier over.

Bonus Jailbreak tip: If you are jailbroken you can use Gridlock to leave blank spaces and otherwise more precisely place your icons.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments. If you've already rearranged your iPhone or iPad apps and found something that really works well for you, let us know!

Tips of the day will range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you'd like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it's especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we'll even give ya a reward...)


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George Lim

Writer for iMore, YouTube Vlogger, and Host for [TEChBrits]

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There are 14 comments. Add yours.

Marco says:

If I want to rearrange my Icons through my computer but without iTunes, is that possible?

Lello says:

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.

Bmxbiker46 says:

@Marco no, you can only do it in iTunes, unless your jailbroken

Chris Gonzales says:

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.

Just Us says:

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

Glenn#IM says:

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.

Limegrntaln says:

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.

Eslam says:

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Karen says:

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?

MonkeyJB1988 says:

Thanks for the article. Was able to put my all time favorite on the first page. Thanks again.

Donna Hewitt says:

How can I lock down after rearranging apps, so they will not move.

Donna Hewitt says:

Is there an app for copying pictures off Facebook and saving into camera roll?

Donna Hewitt says:

Why do my apps disappear from my page? Are these answers for iPhone and iPad too?