How to Make Folders and Group Apps on the iPhone

Organize your iPhone to save time and avoid aggravation

close-up of hand moving iPhone apps
Sean Gallup/Getty Images News

Making folders on your iPhone is a terrific way to reduce clutter on your home screen. Grouping apps together can also make it easier to use your phone — if all of your music apps are in the same place, you won't have to go hunting through folders or searching your phone when you want to use them. 

How you create folders isn't immediately obvious, but once you learn the trick, it's simple. Here's what you need to know about how to create a folder on your iPhone.

How to Create Folders and Group Apps on the iPhone

  1. To create a folder, you'll need at least two apps to put into the folder. Decide which two you want to use.

  2. Lightly tap and hold one of the apps until all apps on the screen start shaking (this is the same process that you use to re-arrange apps).

    Making folders on the iPhone 6S and 7 series, the iPhone 8 and iPhone X, and iPhone XS and XR, is a little trickier. That's because the 3D Touch screen on those models responds differently to different presses on the screen. If you have one of those phones, don't press too hard or you'll trigger a menu or shortcut. Just a light tap and hold is enough.

  3. Drag one of the apps on top the other. When the first app seems to merge into the second one, take your finger off the screen. Dropping one app into the other creates the folder.

  4. What happens next depends on what version of the iOS you're running. 

    • In iOS 7 and higher, the folder and its suggested name take up the entire screen.
    • In iOS 4-6, you'll see the two apps and a name for the folder in a strip across the screen 
  5. Every folder has a name assigned to it by default (more on this in a minute), but you can change that name. Tap the x icon to clear the suggested name and then type the name you want.

    Three iOS screens showing an app icon
  6. If you want to add more apps to the folder, tap the wallpaper to close the folder. Then drag more apps into the new folder.

  7. When you've added all the apps you want and edited the name, click the Home button on the front center of the iPhone and your changes will be saved (just like when re-arranging icons).

If you have an iPhone X, XS, XR, or newer, there's no Home button to click. Instead, you should tap Done in the top right corner of the screen.

How Default iPhone Folder Names Are Suggested

When you first create a folder, the iPhone assigns a suggested name to it. That name is chosen based on the App Store category that the apps in the folder come from. For example, if the apps come from the Games category, the suggested name of the folder is Games. You can use the suggested name or add your own using the instructions in step 5 above.

How to Edit Folders On Your iPhone

If you've already created a folder on your iPhone, you may want to edit it by changing the name, adding or removing apps, and more. Here's how:

  1. To edit an existing folder, tap and hold the folder until it begins to move.

  2. Tap it a second time and the folder will open and its contents will fill the screen.

  3. You can make the following changes:

    • Edit the folder's name by tapping on the text.
    • Add more apps by dragging them in.
    • Remove apps from the folder by dragging them out.
  4. Click the Home button or the Done button to save your changes.

How to Remove Apps From Folders on iPhone

If you want to remove an app from a folder on your iPhone or iPod touch, follow these steps:

  1. Tap and hold the folder that you want to remove the app from.

  2. When the apps and folders start wiggling, remove your finger from the screen.

  3. Tap the folder you want to remove the app from.

  4. Drag the app out of the folder and onto the home screen.

  5. Click the Home or Done button to save the new arrangement.

How to Add Folders to the iPhone Dock

The four apps across the bottom of the iPhone live in what's called the Dock. You can add folders to the dock if you want. To do that:

  1. Move one of the apps currently in the dock out by tapping, holding, and dragging it to the main area of the home screen.

  2. Drag a folder into the empty space.

    Moving the Safari app out of the Dock, moving a folder into the Dock on iOS
  3. Press the Home or Done button, depending on your iPhone model, to save the change.

How to Delete a Folder on the iPhone

Deleting a folder is similar to removing an app. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Drag all the apps out of the folder and onto the home screen.

  2. When you do this, the folder disappears.

  3. Press the Home or Done button to save the change and you're done.