App Library on iPhoneSource: iMore

The App Library is one of the tentpole features announced for iOS 14 (you can read our iOS 14 review for more on the new features). It's a way to organize your apps that allows you to get away from the ever-expanding pages of apps that you may have had before.

Your applications are collected into automatically-generated categories and are easily accessible from there. You can even turn on a setting that will keep newly-downloaded apps from appearing on your Home screen, and just appearing in the library instead.

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Finding App Library

The App Library is actually very easy to find. Just swipe to the left to move to your last page of apps or widgets, then swipe one more time.

Accessing App LibrarySource: iMore

You'll see the App Library immediately, full of pre-populated categories like Productivity or Games. There is also a category full of your most recent downloads, as well as a set of suggested apps, with suggestions powered by on-device machine learning.

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Once you're in the App Library, you can launch apps directly from their categories, or even expand the categories to see all of the apps contained within.

How to add an app to the App Library

While technically, all of your apps are in the App Library already, if you want an app to only appear in the Library, rather than your Home screen, here's how you do that.

  1. Hold your finger on an app for one second to bring up the context menu.
  2. Tap Remove App on the context menu.
  3. Tap Add to Library.

    Adding an app to App Library showing the steps to hold on an app and then tap remove app and then tap add to librarySource: iMore

How to set app downloads to only appear in the App Library

If you don't want downloaded apps to appear on your Home screen, you can switch on an option in Settings to make sure they only appear in the App Library.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Home Screens.

    Setting app downloads to only appear on your Home screen showing the steps to open the Settings app and then tap Home ScreensSource: iMore

  3. Tap App Library only to keep new apps off of your Home screen.
  4. Tap the Show in App Library switch on or off to control whether or not notification badges show up in the App Library.

    Setting app downloads to only appear on your Home screen showing the steps to tap App Library Only and then tao Show in App Library if you want notification badges to appear in the App LibrarySource: iMore

How to open apps from categories in App Library

When you want to open an app from the App Library, you might have a couple of questions about doing that. If you just head over to the library and tap on one of the larger icons you see, that app will launch. But what if you want to dig through a category?

  1. Swipe to the App Library.
  2. Tap one of the larger icons on an app category if it's the app you want to open.

    Opening apps from categories in the App Library showing the steps to swipe to the App Library and then tap a large icon to open it directlySource: iMore

  3. Tap the smaller icons to open the category.
  4. Find and tap on the app you want to open.

    Opening apps from categories in the App Library showing the steps to tap a grouping of small app icons to access the app group categorySource: iMore

If you don't want to dig through categories, you can always search in the App Library.

  1. Swipe to the App Library.
  2. Tap the Search Bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Type the name of the app you want to use.

    Searching in the App Library showing the steps to swipe to the App Library then tap the Search bar and then type in the name of the app you want to search forSource: iMore

How to find the alphabetical app list in App Library

You can also navigate the App Library in an alphabetical list.

  1. Swipe to the App Library.
  2. Swipe down on the App Library.
  3. Tap the app you're looking for on the list. Your apps are in alphabetical order, so whatever you're looking for should be easy to find.

    Showing apps alphabetically in the App Library showing the steps to swipe to the App Library then swipe down and then tap the app you want to openSource: iMore

How to hide a Home screen page

In combination with the App Library and Home screen widgets, you can also customize a Home page and hide it until you want to use it. For example, you can customize a Home screen page with only apps you use for work and then hide it in the evenings and on weekends so you're not distracted by work while relaxing.

  1. Hold your finger on a blank spot on any Home screen page to trigger jiggle mode.
  2. Tap the series of dots at the bottom of the Home screen page. These dots represent the number of Home screen pages you have.
  3. Untick the Home screen page you want to hide.

    Edit Home Screen Pages showing the steps to trigger jiggle mode by holding a spot on the Home screen for one second, then tapping the series of dots at the bottom of the screen and then uncheck the Home screen page you want to hideSource: iMore

When you hide a Home screen page, it will no longer appear on your Home screen. You can create and customize any number of Home screen pages to fit your lifestyle and then hide them out of the way until you need them. All of your apps are still on your iPhone and accessible from your App Library.

How to unhide a Home screen page

Hiding a Home screen page doesn't mean it's gone forever. You can get it back any time and even have a variety of Home screen pages for different occasions.

  1. Hold your finger on a blank spot on any Home screen page to trigger jiggle mode.
  2. Tap the series of dots at the bottom of the Home screen page.
  3. Tick the Home screen page you want to unhide.

    Edit Home Screen Pages showing the steps to trigger jiggle mode by holding a spot on the Home screen for one second, then tapping the series of dots at the bottom of the screen and then check the Home screen page you want to unhideSource: iMore

Questions?

If you have any questions about using the App Library, let us know in the comments. Don't forget to check out our pick for best iPhone if you're thinking about upgrading this year.

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