Organizing Your Home Screen: How to Move Apps & Make Folders on the iPhone

* This post is part of iPhone Life's Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

If you enjoy downloading and trying new apps, the Home screen on your iPhone or iPad will quickly fill up with little app icons. At a certain point, you may want to organize those apps into folders, which you can label. I’ll go over everything you need to know about organizing your home screen on the iPhone or iPad, including how to move app icons, how to create and add folders to your Home screen, and how to put those apps into the new folders. Creating a folder is fairly easy once you get the hang of it, and you can create new folders on iPhone for all the different categories of apps you might have. On my Home screen, I have a folder dedicated to Apple apps, games, productivity, social media, and more. 

Related: How to Delete App Folders on iPhone: Quickest Method Ever

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Why Make App Folders on Your iPhone?

Folders are the best way to organize your apps when they start to get out of hand. I recommend looking at the apps you already have and seeing if any categories stick out to you. Do you have a few fitness and health apps? What about recipe apps? It will vary from person to person, but in general, creating new folders for your apps is a smart way to make the various app icons look clean and organized. Once you know how to make folders on your iPhone, you may just end up wanting to put all your apps in folders (like I did).

How to Move App Icons on the iPhone

When you want to move an app icon on your iPhone Home screen:

  • Hold your finger on an app icon until they all start to wiggle.
  • iPhone users with 3D Touch have complained about this no longer working, but I assure you it does. Remember, it’s not a tap and hold when trying to move icons. Simply hold your finger on an app icon without pressing and all of them will begin to wiggle.
  • Next put your finger on the app icon you want to move and drag it to where you want to move it.

  • If you’re moving the icon to a different Home screen, drag the app to the edge of the screen.  
  • This will cause your iPhone to go to the next Home screen, where you can drag the app to its new place.

  • It’s good to note that dragging an app from one Home screen to another takes a bit of finesse. Sometimes, it works perfectly for me. And other times I have to try three or four times to drag the app from one screen to the next.
  • Tap your Home button, or if you have an iPhone X and later, tap Done in the upper right corner when you want the apps to stop wiggling.

Pro-tip: Your Dock on your Home screen is located at the very bottom. Those four apps are the only apps that stay in the same place as you scroll through your Home screens, so it makes sense that you would put your most used apps there or the apps you need to quickly access. To change what apps are in your iPhone Dock:

  • Once your apps are wiggling, drag app icons out of your Dock to create space.

  • Then drag other apps into your Dock.

  • Tap Home button or Done to make the apps stop wiggling.

How to Make App Folders on an iPhone

Now that you’re comfortable with how to move app icons, let’s create a new folder:

  • Hold your finger on an app until they all move.
  • Drag one app directly into another app. When they overlap, the apps will merge into a folder.
  • Your iPhone will suggest a folder name, but you can tap on the name field to edit it to whatever you prefer.

  • Now that you’ve created a folder, you can drag other apps into the folder. So long as all the apps are wiggling, simply drag apps from Home screen over the folder and lift your finger. There you go! You know how to put apps in folders.

How to Use App Folders on Your iPhone

  • A folder on your iPhone can have multiple pages for apps, which means you can easily store a lot apps in a single folder, while also having multiple folders.
  • To open a folder on the iPhone, simply tap on the folder.

  • At the top of the folder will be its label. Tap on the label to edit the name of your folder.
  • Swipe left or right to move between pages within the folder.

By organizing your apps into folders you’ll drastically increase the number of apps you can fit on your iPhone's Home screens.

Top Image Credit:  Denys Prykhodov / Shutterstock.com
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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.