How to Manage Apps on the iPhone Home Screen

Use the dock, folders, and Home screen pages

Managing apps on your iPhone's Home screen is one of the easiest and most effective ways to customize your iPhone. It's especially helpful because it allows you to organize apps in a way that makes sense to you.

Whether you prefer to categorize your apps by function, productivity, or even color, you can do it.

Information in this article applies to iPhones running iOS 6 through iOS 12.

How to Manage Apps on the iPhone Home Screen

iPhone apps
Chesnot / Getty Images

The iPhone's multitouch screen makes it easy to move or delete apps, create and delete folders, and create new Home screen pages.

Rearranging Apps on iPhone Home Screen Pages

It makes sense to change the location of apps on your iPhone. You probably want the apps you use frequently on the Home screen, while an app you only use occasionally might be hidden away in a folder on another page. To move apps, follow these steps:

  1. Tap and hold the app you want to move. When all the apps start wiggling, indicating they are in editing mode, the app is ready to move.

    If you have an iPhone with a 3D Touch screen, don't press the screen firmly because that triggers the 3D Touch menus. Use a light tap and hold instead.

  2. Drag the app to the new location you want it to occupy.

  3. When the app is where you want it, lift your finger off the screen.

  4. Tap the Home button to stop the apps from wiggling and save the new arrangement. On iPhones without a Home button, tap Done at the top of the screen to stop the wiggling and exit the editing mode.

    iPhone Home screen with wiggling apps

About the Dock

The dock is the bottom bar on the iPhone. It shows on every Home screen and has room for four apps or folders. It is visible on all the Home screen pages on your iPhone, so it makes sense to park your favorite apps here. They wiggle and move in the same way any of the apps on the screen do. If you already have four apps in the dock, you need to move one off before you can add another.

Deleting Apps on iPhone

If you want to get rid of an app, the process is simple:

  1. Tap and hold an app until all the apps wiggle. Any app with an X in the corner can be deleted.

  2. Tap the X on the apps you want to delete.

  3. Tap Delete in the confirmation pop-up. For apps that store data in iCloud, you are asked whether you want to delete the data as well.

    iPhone Home screen showing app deletion confirmation option
  4. Make your choice, and the app is deleted. Tap Done (or the Home button) to stop the apps from wiggling.

There's one scenario in which your apps might seem to be deleted but are still on your iPhone. Learn how to get missing apps back on your iPhone.

Creating and Deleting Folders on iPhone

Storing apps in folders is a great way to manage apps. It makes sense to put similar apps in the same place. To create a folder on your iPhone:

  1. Tap and hold one of the apps you want to put into a folder.

  2. Drop the app you are holding onto a second app intended for the folder (every folder needs at least two apps). The first app appears to merge with the second app.

  3. When you take your finger off the screen, a folder is created.

  4. In the text bar above the new folder is a name assigned by the iPhone. Change the name by tapping in the name field and typing a new name.

  5. Drag any other apps you want to include into the folder.

    iPhone showing creation of a folder
  6. When you're done, tap the Home button (or Done) to save the changes.

Deleting Folders

Deleting folders is easy. Just drag all the apps out of a folder to the Home screen to delete the folder.

Creating Home Screen Pages on iPhone

You can also organize your apps by putting them on different Home screen pages. Pages are the multiple screens of apps that are created when you have too many apps to fit on one screen. To create a new page:

  1. Tap and hold the app or folder you want to move to a new page.

  2. While the apps are wiggling, drag the app or folder to the right edge of the iPhone screen.

  3. Hold the app there until it moves to a new page.

  4. When you're on the page where you want to leave the app or folder, remove your finger from the screen.

  5. Click the Home button (or Done) to save the change.

Deleting Pages on iPhone

Deleting pages is similar to deleting folders. Drag every app or folder off the page by dragging it to the left edge of the screen to a previous page or to the right edge if there are additional pages after the one you are deleting. When the page is empty and you click the Home or Done button, the page is deleted.