How to Rearrange Apps and Folders on the iPhone

Organize your iPhone apps by task, location, or color

Rearranging apps on iPhone

One of the easiest and most satisfying ways to customize your iPhone is by rearranging the apps and folders on its Home screen. Apple sets a default, but that arrangement doesn't work for most people, so change your Home screen to fit how you use your iPhone.

From storing apps in folders to putting your favorites on the Home screen so you can easily access them, rearranging your apps and folders is useful and straightforward. Because the iPod Touch runs the same operating system, you can use these tips to customize it, too.

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 4 through iOS 12.

Rearranging iPhone Apps

To rearrange the iPhone's screen apps, do the following:

  1. Tap and hold on an app until all the icons start to shake.

  2. When the app icons are shaking, drag and drop the app icon to a new location on the screen. You can rearrange them in whatever order you want, but they can't have empty space between them. 

  3. To move the icon to a new screen, drag the icon off the screen to the right or left side and let it go when the new screen appears.

  4. When the icon is in the place you want it, take your finger off the screen to drop the app there.

    Three iOS screens showing moving Fallout Shelter app from one screen to another
  5. To save the changes, swipe up from the bottom of the screen in iPhone X or press the Home button in earlier iPhone versions.

You can also choose the apps that appear in the dock at the bottom of the iPhone screen. Rearrange those apps the same way you rearrange those on the Home screen or replace the apps with new ones by dragging the old ones out and new ones in while they are shaking. The dock is visible on all of the Home screen pages, so fill it with your most frequently used apps for convenience.

Creating iPhone Folders

You can store iPhone apps or web clips in folders, which is a handy way to keep your Home screen neat or to store similar apps together. In iOS 6 and earlier, each folder could contain up to 12 apps on the iPhone and 20 apps on the iPad. In iOS 7 and later, that number is virtually unlimited.

Create an iPhone folder by dragging one shaking app on top of another. Then drag other apps in as well and assign a name. You rearrange folders the same way as apps. Just press until they shake, drag, and drop.

Creating Multiple Home Screen Pages for Apps and Folders

Most people have dozens of apps on their iPhone. If you had to jam all of those into folders on a single screen, you'd have a mess that wouldn't be easy to use. That's where multiple Home screens come in. You can swipe side-to-side to access these other screens, called pages.

There are lots of different ways to use Home screen pages. For example, you can use them as overflow so new apps are added there as you install them, or you could order them by app type with all music apps on one page and all productivity apps on another. A third approach is to organize pages by location: a page of apps you use at work, another for travel, and a third you use at home.

To create a new page: 

  1. Tap and hold on an app or folder until everything starts shaking.

  2. Drag the app or folder off the right side of the screen. It should slide over to a new, blank page, which the iPhone adds automatically.

  3. Let go of the app so that it drops onto the new page.

    Moving an app icon from one screen to another
  4. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone X and up) or click the Home button to save the new page.

Scrolling Through iPhone Pages

If you have more than one page of apps on your iPhone after rearranging them, you can scroll through the pages either by flicking them left or right or by tapping the white dots just above the dock. The white dots indicate how many pages you have.