Manage iPhone Home Screen: Complete Guide To iOS 13

Once past the Lock screen, you’re presented with the Home screen—the grid of icons that you tap to launch apps. Resting at the bottom of the Home screen

is the Dock, which makes it easy to get to a fixed set of your most-used apps regardless of which Home screen page you’re on. On an iPhone or iPod touch,

the Dock can hold icons for four apps. In this article, I will teach you how to manage your iPhone home screen: Move apps, create folders, delete apps, manage notifications as well as working with reachability. 

Note: For unique attributes of the iPad Home screen, see

Special iPad Features in iPadOS


Learn Home Screen Basics

To return to the Home screen from any app, press the Home button on your device. If your device doesn’t have a Home button, swipe up from the bottom of

the screen—this also works on the iPad. Except as otherwise noted, this gesture acts the same as the Home button.

The Home screen is divided into pages, which iOS automatically adds and removes as you install and delete apps. The small white dots above the Dock indicate

which page is currently visible on the Home screen To flip between pages, flick the screen left or right.

Tip: To jump to the first (“main”) page of the Home screen from some other page, press the Home button. If you don’t have a Home button, swipe up from

the bottom of the screen.

Manage the Home Screen

From the Home screen, you can move and delete apps, and arrange them into folders.

Move Apps

To move app icons around the Home screen:

  1. Touch and hold any icon for a few seconds, until all the icons start to shake
  2. Touch, hold, and begin dragging the app icon you want to move
  3. To move multiple icons, tap them with another finger as you’re dragging the first icon. They’re added to a stack beneath your fingertip, and a blue
    badge appears in the upper-right corner of the stack with the number of apps you’re moving).
  4. You can move multiple apps at once. While dragging an app, tap additional apps to add them to the stack. The blue badge tells you how many

    you’re moving.

  5. Drag the icon or icons to where you want them. To move an icon to another page, move it to the edge of the screen and pause until the page flips
  6. Once you’ve moved the icon or icons where you want them, you can move more as long as the icons are still shaking
  7. Press the Home button (swipe up from the bottom of the screen if you don’t have one) or tap Done in the upper-right corner to exit editing mode.

Tips for Rearranging Home Screen Icons

Here are a couple of quick tips for getting your Home screen how you want it:

  • Use the Dock, Luke: It can be difficult to move an icon over multiple pages. It’s easier to drop it in an empty spot on the Dock, flick to the destination
    page, and drag it out of the Dock than to drag it across multiple pages.
  • Start fresh: Unhappy with your icon layout? Visit Settings > General > Reset and tap Reset Home Screen Layout. iOS moves the icons for the built-in apps
    to their default locations, and places any others in alphabetical order on subsequent pages. Any folders you’ve created are removed.

Touch and Hold for Hidden Features

In iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, you can touch and hold Home screen icons to access a shortcuts menu. This used to be limited to devices with 3D Touch, but is

now available for all devices. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Touch and hold an app and choose Rearrange Apps from the popup menu to rearrange the apps on your Home screen.
  • Touch and hold the Camera app icon to quickly take a selfie, record video, scan a QR code, or take a regular photo.
  • If an app has a corresponding widget, a touch and hold on its icon displays it.
  • Touch and hold a folder to rename it.
  • Firmly press a downloading app to pause or cancel the download.
  • Touch and hold the Maps icon to mark or share your current location.
  • Touch and hold the Phone icon to quickly access your favorites list.

Delete Apps

Deleting an app’s icon from the Home screen also removes the app from your device and deletes all the data stored in the app, except for anything that

might have been stored in the cloud.

Tip: Instead of deleting an app, you can offload it to save storage space without destroying the app data; see

Control Device Storage


To delete an app:

  1. Touch and hold its icon for a few seconds until all the icons start to shake.
  2. Tap the delete button in the upper-left corner of the icon, tap Remove when prompted, and the icon disappears.
  3. While the apps are shaking, you can delete another app—or move apps, if you like.
  4. Press the Home button (or swipe up from the bottom of the screen) to exit editing mode.

You can also delete apps in Settings > General > iPhone (or iPad) Storage.

Note: To re-download a deleted app, go to App Store app, tap your Apple ID profile picture, and tap Purchased. If the app is still available, you’ll be

able to get it again. See

Obtain Apps


Make and Delete Folders

A folder is a handy way to group apps. To create one:

  1. Touch and hold any icon until all the icons begin to shake.
  2. Move one app icon on top of another and hold it there for a moment. iOS displays the new folder and suggests a name for it.
  3. If you like the suggested name, tap Done on the keyboard. If you don’t, tap the delete button to the right of the suggested name, type a new name,
    and tap Done on the keyboard.
    You can now tap outside the folder and continue to drag app icons into your new folder. Press Home (or swipe up from the bottom) when you’re finished.
    To remove a folder, simply move all its icons outside of the folder. The folder disappears automatically.

Manage Home Screen Notifications

I’ve discussed the Lock screen and Notification Center in

Manage Notifications

, but those aren’t the only places you’ll receive notifications. Notification badges appear on the Home screen, and badges and alerts can appear on the

Home screen or in any app:

  • Badges: These small rounded images display on app icons and folders to show how many unread items are in an app
  • Badges are hard to miss, but if they’re overused, they’re easy to ignore.
    Tip: Touch and hold a folder with a badge notification to see which apps have notifications.
    Enable badges for only the apps that truly need them, so the badges you see are important to you. For example, my email inbox has thousands of unread junk
    messages that I haven’t pruned, so I disable the badge for Mail. But I leave it on for Messages, since I read all my messages there. To turn badges on
    and off per app, go to Settings > Notifications > App Name and flip the Badges switch.

  • Temporary Banners: Banners drop down from the top of the screen and disappear automatically after a few seconds.Tap the notification to open its associated app or pull it down to access quick actions, like responding to a message from the notification.
    You can also swipe up on it to dismiss it for later.
    Banners appear at the top of the screen. Pull them down to open, or tap them to open the app.
  • Persistent Banners: These are the more annoying version of banners. These banners do not disappear automatically—you must act on them before they’ll
    go away. Persistent banners are useful for notifications that you absolutely don’t want to miss, like Calendar events or alarms.
    To set the banner style, go to Settings > Notifications > App Name > Banner Style.

When you launch an app for the first time, if it has a Notifications feature, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to receive notifications from that app.
I suggest denying notifications from apps that you don’t need notifications from, like most games. You could also adjust the app’s notification settings
so that notifications only show up in Notification Center and don’t otherwise disturb you The Deliver Quietly option is also helpful here—refer

my article

Manage Notifications


In Settings > Notifications > App Name , you can choose where notifications for that app appear. If you want to keep tabs on an app without

being hassled, you can choose to make that app’s notifications less intrusive by only showing them in Notification Center.

Use Reachability

To make it easier to use big-screen iPhones with one hand, Apple introduced Reachability. Double-tap the Home button while in portrait orientation—not

a double- press , but two light taps. On iPhones without Home buttons, swipe down on the bottom of the screen. The entire screen drops down so you can

access interface elements near the top with your thumb. To exit Reachability, tap the empty space at the top, double tap on the Home button, or on iPhones

without Home buttons, swipe up on the bottom of the screen.

Reachability works in all apps. If you don’t need it, you can disable it in Settings > Accessibility > Touch.

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