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 ways to customize an iPhone is to rearrange the apps and folders on the 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. Store apps in folders, put your favorites on the Home screen so you can easily access them, and rearrange your apps and folders. 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.

Rearrange iPhone Apps

To rearrange the iPhone's screen apps:

  1. Tap and hold an app until the app icons shake.

  2. Drag the app icon to a new location on the screen. Rearrange apps in whatever order you want, but there can't be an empty space between apps. 

  3. To move an icon to a new screen, drag the icon to the right or left side, then release the icon when a new screen appears.

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

    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 apps on the Home screen. Or, replace apps with new ones by dragging the old ones out and new ones in while the apps are shaking. The dock is visible on all Home screen pages, so fill it with your most frequently used apps for convenience.

Create iPhone Folders

You can store iPhone apps or web clips in folders, which is a handy way to keep the 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 to the folder and assign a name. Rearrange folders the same way as apps. Just press until they shake, drag, and drop.

Create Multiple Home Screen Pages for Apps and Folders

Most people have dozens of apps on their iPhone. If all of these apps are stored in folders on a single screen, it wouldn't be easy to use. That's where multiple Home screens come in. Swipe side-to-side to access these other screens called pages.

There are different ways to use Home screen pages. For example, use them as an overflow so new apps are added there, or 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 used at work, another for travel, and a third for use at home.

To create a new page: 

  1. Tap and hold an app or folder until the screen shakes.

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

  3. Release the app so that it moves to 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.

Scroll Through iPhone Pages

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