Organize Your iPhone Home Screen with These 10 Tips

What to Know

  • Organizing your iPhone Home Screen is a great way to reduce distraction, stress, and general bad vibes every time you look at your phone.
  • The best tools to utilize for Home Screen organization are app folders, widgets, and moving apps to the App Library to declutter and keep tidy.

I love my apps and widgets, but I can't stand clutter. It drives me nuts to have to spend several minutes looking for an app on my iPhone. To solve this problem, I've put together some tips and tricks to help you remove clutter while keeping your apps and data easy to access. Let's look at the ten best ways to declutter your iPhone Home Screen.

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How to Organize Your iPhone Home Screen

There are a lot of ways to personalize and organize your iPhone Home Screen, Dock, and folders. These are my favorite methods to remove clutter, keep things easy to find, and add a little bit of visual appeal to your iPhone Home Screen.

Move through these tips in order; they're set up so that as you move through them, you've already minimized the number of steps you'll have to take on later steps. I also recommend thinking carefully as you move through these about what you want your screen to look like. The first thing you notice about your screen is how it looks and how it flows. Next, you notice whether it's easy or difficult to find what you're looking for. 

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If you mess up and go a little too declutter-happy on any steps, don't worry! There's a section at the end to help you undo the more major iPhone organizing steps in case you change your mind or accidentally delete something you need. When you're done, be sure to sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter for more guides on how to manage your digital life.

1. Organize Your iPhone's Home Screen by Customizing Your iPhone Dock

iPhone home screen dock
Did you know you can customize what appears in your iPhone's Dock? This is a great place to start when organizing your iPhone Home Screen. You can select exactly which apps appear in the fixed menu bar at the bottom of your Home Screen—a tip that has made my life much simpler. As a bonus, you can even place a folder into your Dock for easier access! That's where I store my Productivity folder so that I never have to swipe through Home Screen pages to find it when I'm in a hurry.

2. Add Widgets That Save Space & Look Cool

iPhone Home Screen widgets

I'll freely admit I'm obsessed with widgets. My primary Home Screen is filled with only widgets, and I rearrange them according to what I think looks best at any given time. You can use widget stacks to save space, or you can simply choose Apple or third-party widgets that give you the information you need without ever having to open the app. If you're looking for even further customization of your widgets, we recommend an app called Widgetsmith.

My favorite Home Screen widget is the Smart Stack, which predicts what I need based on my activity. It offers me music selections during the times of day when I normally play background music from my iPhone, it suggests news articles each day when I typically sit on my couch and relax while catching up on headlines, and it even reminds me to text my mom mid-afternoon when I usually check in with her.

3. Arrange Your Apps in Alphabetical Order

If you want your Home Screen to be neat and simple, then arranging apps in alphabetical order is one of the best ways to organize an iPhone's Home Screen. The good news is that you don't have to sort your apps manually since there's a simple trick to automatically sort your apps in alphabetical order. As a result, Apple's native apps will be listed first in non-alphabetical order. Then your third-party apps will be listed alphabetically. If you have widgets on your Home Screen, keep in mind that they will be removed as a result of completing the following steps. So, you might want to sort your apps alphabetically first, then add organizational widgets. To sort your apps alphabetically:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap General.

  2. Tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

  3. Tap Reset.

  4. Tap Reset Home Screen Layout.


As a result, you'll be able to find a particular app with ease. 

Did You Know?

You can navigate between apps and your Home Screen quickly with this trick!

4. Delete Unnecessary Apps & Bookmarks from the Home Screen.

Remove unwanted apps

Of course, the removal of icons is key when considering how to organize the iPhone Home Screen. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's multi-faceted since iOS 16 allows users to either remove items from the Home Screen or delete them entirely from the device. I go through the items on my Home Screen about once per month (yes, I hate clutter that much) and see if I've held onto any Safari bookmarks I no longer need, or if  I have any apps I thought I'd use that I don't. If I want to keep the app on my iPhone, I simply delete it from my Home Screen but don't remove it from my phone. If I want to remove it entirely, I go ahead and delete it from my iPhone.

5. Automatically Download New Apps to App Library

When you download apps, the apps will automatically appear on the Home Screen or an ensuing screen of apps on your iPhone. As a result, the Home Screen can quickly become cluttered with apps. Fortunately, you can prevent your Home Screen from over-accumulating apps by automatically downloading new apps to the App Library

6. Hide Infrequently Used Apps in the App Library to Organize Your iPhone's Home Screen

App Library in iOS 14

The App Library can be a blessing and a curse. I treat my App Library like a vault. It holds the things I don't want to get rid of entirely, but that I don't want to have lying around where just anyone can see them. Complaints about the App Library are usually centered around the fact that it's massive and awkwardly organized. Your iPhone does the compartmentalizing of apps in the App Library; users can't move the apps around inside it.

Not to worry, it's still pretty easy to navigate, as it comes with a search function. This means you can hide apps in the App Library to remove them from your Home Screen but still be able to find them when you need to.

7. Organize Your iPhone's Home Screen by Sorting Necessary Apps into Folders

Health folder for apps

If your apps are spread out across your Home Screen pages or jumbled up in a labyrinth on fewer pages, you may enjoy the relief that comes from sorting apps into folders. When organizing my app folders, I give myself the same advice I give my son when he cleans his room: if you sort items into containers, it'll be much easier to find them later while still looking tidy on the outside. Whatever works, right?

Folders can be named and organized however you like! I used to organize my DVD shelves by color because I'm a very visual person, so naturally, I organize apps this way as well. 

Other themes for folder organization include Social, Business, Creative, Private, Health, Kids, Education, Games, and Home.

You can get as creative as you like! If you need to remove app folders, you can do that as well.

8. Hide or Unhide Home Screen Pages

organize iphone home screen pages

If you have a lot of apps or folders that you need to keep but don't use often and don't want to have to scroll through or look at often, you're in good company. 

The solution is to make a page of apps you want to be able to get to quickly without searching, but that you don't have to scroll through when flipping through your Home Screen pages. Once you've placed all of these apps and folders that you only infrequently use onto one page, you hide that page in an easy-to-find place so that if you ever need it, it's there and takes just seconds to restore. Essentially, it's a half-measure between hiding the apps (making them harder to find) and just leaving a collection of apps or folders on a later Home Screen page. You can restore the hidden Home page and scroll through the apps anytime without losing the organization you put so much time into.

9. Organize Your iPhone's Home Screen by Customizing Your App Icons

Custom app icons

At the beginning of this article, we talked about how much the aesthetics of your Home Screen contribute to your perception of its organization. This may seem silly, but customizing your app icons can trick your mind into thinking your iPhone is more organized than it is. Using a common color scheme or design style for your app icons makes things look more cohesive, reducing the disorienting effects of a messy Home Screen. You can create custom app icons using the Shortcuts app, which is a simple way to go about it if you don't want to download a third-party app. Or you can search and download a third-party app icon customizing app from the App Store.

10. Change Your Home Screen or Lock Screen Background

Lock Screen customization screen showing the best dog, Scarlet.

Last but not least, choosing a different background for your Home Screen can completely change how it looks. Opt for one that makes you smile whenever you see it, and that isn't obstructed by your chosen method of laying out your Home Screen icons and folders. With iOS 16, there are also a lot of new and fun options for customizing your Lock Screen to give it a unique look. For now, I've gone with a pretty basic wallpaper of my dog, Scarlet.

Related: How to Hide Apps on the iPhone & Find Them Later

    How to Fix It If You Accidentally Get Rid of Something You Need

    Whoops! Did you accidentally delete an app that you needed? No worries. If you've gone overboard and taken your organization a little too far, here are some fixes for the most common issues:


    • How do I customize my iPhone home screen? If you really want to take your iPhone's Home Screen to the next level, consider utilizing the Shortcuts app to customize your app icons and downloading an app called Widgetsmith, which lets you create and customize dozens of widgets. 
    • How do I organize my iPhone apps aesthetically? If you're willing to go through the process of customizing each app icon with an aesthetic theme, you can create a whole new vibe for your iPhone. You can also utilize folders and customize the names to create an aesthetically pleasing Home Screen that's also neat and tidy.
    • How do I organize my iPhone apps quickly? Unfortunately, organizing your Home Screen and reorganizing your apps may take some time. The quickest way would be to reset your Home Screen layout, as demonstrated in section 3

    Now that you know the top tips for organizing your iPhone screens, you can fiddle with them and see what works best for you! 

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    Author Details

    Erin MacPherson's picture

    Author Details

    Erin MacPherson

    Erin is a Web Editor for iPhone Life and has been a writer, editor, and researcher for many years. She has a degree in communication with an emphasis on psychology and communication, and has spent many of her professional years as a coach in various business and specialty fields. Erin officially joined the ranks of iPhone and Apple users everywhere around nine years ago, and has since enjoyed the unique and customized feel of Apple technology and its many gadgets. When she’s not working, Erin and her son enjoy outdoor adventures, camping, and spending time with their eclectic collection of pets.