How to Organize Your iPhone Apps

Iphone Apps Arrange

There are over two million apps in Apple’s App Store. You may not have every single one installed on your iPhone, but it can feel like it! If your home screen is starting to look cluttered, here we show you how you can better organize your iPhone apps. We show how to organize your apps based on how you use your smartphone. This ensures that your favorite applications are always within easy reach.

1. Arrange your apps into folders

Organizing your applications into folders can reduce the clutter on your home screen. By grouping related apps together, you can also make it easier to access the application you need. For example, you might create a folder for all your social media apps and a folder for all your productivity applications. Alternatively, you can create a “Most Frequently Used” folder.

Organizing apps on iOS.

To create a folder:

  • Press and hold any application on your homescreen.
  • When prompted, tap “Edit Home Screen.” All of your app icons should now start to shake.
  • Drag and drop an application onto another application. This creates a folder containing both applications.
  • Drag and drop any other relevant applications into this folder. You can have multiple pages of apps within a single folder.
  • By default, iOS will try to assign your folder a name that represents its contents. To rename a folder, press and hold until a “Rename” option appears.
  • Once you’ve finished, press the physical Home button or Done button.

Rinse and repeat these steps to organize your applications into multiple folders. To delete a folder, simply drag all the applications out of that folder, and the folder will disappear automatically.

2. Use the App Library

Introduced in iOS 14, the App Library organizes your applications into folders automatically, based on usage. This makes the App Library a great way to access your most frequently-used apps. You can find the App Library by swiping left through all your home screen pages.

Apple's App Library on an iPhone.

By default, new applications appear on both your home screen and App Library. However, you can tell iOS to add these applications to the App Library only. To make this change, navigate to “Settings -> Home Screen.”

Apple's Home Screen settings.

You can now choose between “Add to Home Screen” and “App Library Only.”

3. Consider how you hold your phone

It’s worth thinking about how you hold your phone. You may want to try strategically placing your most frequently-used applications at the point where your thumb naturally rests on the home screen.

You can arrange your apps, based on how you hold your iPhone.

For example, if you naturally place your thumb along the perimeter of your iPhone, you may benefit from positioning your favorite apps around the edges of your home screen.

3. App usage frequency

When it comes to organizing your home screen, it’s always a good idea to prioritize your most frequently-used applications.

Your iPhone records how much time you spend in each application. This can help you identify which applications deserve prime position on your home screen.

To see how much of your life you’re devoting to each app, navigate to “Settings -> Battery” and select the “Last 10 Days” tab. This will display a breakdown of battery usage for each application.

Your iPhone automatically records your app usage.

To see how much time you’re spending in each app, select “Show Activity.” You can use this information to identify your most frequently-used application. You can then place these applications prominently on your home screen (and perhaps look into ways to reduce your screen time if you’re horrified by just how much time you’re spending on Twitter!).

4. Color Codes

You can organize your applications based on color. Although this is a more unusual technique, it can be useful if you have a more visual memory. This technique involves creating folders and then placing applications inside these folders, based on the color of their icons.

Although it's an unusual organization method, you can arrange apps based on the color of their icons.

For multicolored icons, we recommend organizing the apps based on their dominant colors. It may also help to name these folder using emojis with the same color scheme as the applications. For example, you may use a star emoji for yellow apps, a water droplet for blue, and a heart for your red applications. This can be an opportunity to get creative and add some fun to your home screen!

5. Alphabetize your apps

This is a tried and tested method of organizing your iPhone apps. The built-in iOS applications will remain in their default locations, but you can arrange all your other applications alphabetically.

To arrange your apps, launch the “Settings” application. Navigate to “General -> Reset” and tap “Reset Home Screen Layout.” Navigate back to your home screen, and all your applications should now be organized alphabetically.

6. Use Spotlight Search

If your home screen is cluttered, then why not avoid it completely? You can launch any application by typing its name into Spotlight search.

To access Spotlight search, either swipe downwards from the middle of your home screen, or keep swiping left until you see the search bar.

Why not bypass the home screen entirely, with Spotlight Search?

You can then type the name of the application you want to launch and select it when it appears – all without having to trawl through your home screen.

Wrapping Up

Now that you have organized your iPhone apps, if you need more ways to get more productive on your phone, try out Siri shortcuts. Here are some of the best Siri shortcuts you should try.

Jessica Thornsby
Jessica Thornsby

Jessica Thornsby is a technical writer based in Derbyshire, UK. When she isn’t obsessing over all things tech, she enjoys researching her family tree, and spending far too much time with her house rabbits.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox