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5 Genius Ways to Organize Your iPhone Apps & Home Screen

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Writer, Productivity & Phone Organization

Lise is a master of phone organization and a nerd of the internet! She writes a regular column for Gotechtor focusing on quick tips for decluttering and organizing your phone to be more productive, while still keeping it aesthetic.

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Getting a new iPhone is always a great experience. In the palm of your hand, you have so much potential, and it can easily get overwhelming. That’s amazing, but over time, you notice one big flaw. 

It tends to get cluttered up pretty quickly. 

As you’re downloading every little thing that seems useful, adding widgets, and customizing it to be the ultimate pocket pal, the sheer number of icons can get ridiculous. 

You can find yourself having trouble finding apps you actually need. You go to check the weather on a widget, and it’s surrounded by 20 other distracting things. Your entire experience tends to go down the drain. 

This is an even bigger problem if you rely on your phone professionally. You can’t afford to have your productivity screeching to a halt. You need to access apps and features quickly.  

Luckily, you can fix the problem pretty simply. Just organize the apps on your iPhone. It takes time, and it’s not fun. However, you’ll notice that your phone is infinitely more enjoyable once you do it. 

So, we’re going to help. Here is a comprehensive guide to decluttering and organizing your iPhone apps to keep yourself focused and productive. 

How to Declutter iPhone Apps

First and foremost, you can’t do much if you don’t know how to delete apps and content from your iPhone. So, we’ll cover that in two different methods here. 

1. Check Your iPhone Storage

The first method is to use the storage and check how many resources each app uses. This is the slightly more complicated way. 

iPhone storage

To start, navigate to you’re settings, go to iPhone Storage, and start looking through your apps. You’ll get a bit of information, such as how large each app is.

Find apps you don’t want, hold down on them, and tap “Delete” when it pops up. This is useful because all your apps will be in a scrollable list. You don’t have to swipe through screens or anything.

2. Check Your Home Screen

Then, you have a simpler method. Start on your home screen and look at the apps you have on it.

If there’s anything you want to delete, press on it and tap “Delete.” Then, swipe to the next screen and repeat the same. 

Either method works just fine, and it really comes down to your own preference. We’ll highlight how to choose what to remove in the coming sections. 

Hide Apps You Don’t Want to Remove

Don’t forget. This isn’t about removing things. It’s just about decluttering so you can increase your productivity

You’ll find some apps you don’t use often, but they’re still very important when needed. In that case, you won’t want to delete them. 

Luckily, you can hide them. 

Remove app from Home Screen on iPhone

If you use the home screen swiping method, you can choose “Remove from Home Screen” instead of “Delete App.” This will remove the thumbnail from your home screen.

This helps declutter your main screens, but you don’t have to reinstall those apps when you do need them. 

We recommend using this option sparingly. Only use it for apps you know you’re going to need but don’t want to have in the way. 

Otherwise, you’ll declutter your phone, but its storage will be filled up regardless. 

What Type of Apps Should You Declutter From Your Phone? 

Now, we can get to the hard part. This is a lot like spring cleaning. You’re going to want to keep things you shouldn’t. You just have to stick to our list, and you’ll end up with a much more optimized phone. 

Here are five types of apps to declutter from your phone. 

1. Apps that Negatively Impact Your Life

This should be your first target, and it will often suck. However, any app that isn’t essential and has a negative impact should go. 

This can encompass a lot of different types of apps. Take social media, for example. 

Social media probably seems like a great way for you to stay in touch with friends. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it.

However, if you’re addicted and open it during work, often find yourself depressed or sad because of it, or anything else, it’s not good for you. 

The same can go for gambling apps, online games, dating apps, or anything else that has a good purpose, but can ultimately harm you. If it’s not working, delete it. 

2. Duplicates or Apps that Serve the Same Purpose

This one tends to be a problem for people who fit into a niche. You’ll find yourself with either two versions of the same app. You might even have several apps that do the same thing. 

duplicate note-taking apps on iPhone

For example, let’s say you’re a writer. 

As a writer, you need to take a lot of notes. Inspiration hits all the time, but you can’t always integrate those ideas. So, you write notes. Let’s say you have 4 different note-taking apps. Do you really need all of those? 

If you have multiple apps that do the same thing, pick one. Preferably, pick the best one. Then, delete the rest. They just take up space. 

Now, there are exceptions to consider. 

Sometimes, an app might do the same task, but it treats that task as a secondary feature. For example, some “note-taker” apps are actually meant to be PDF readers. They let you manipulate PDFs, and their note-taking systems are rather lacking. 

In that event, it would be okay to keep that app for PDFs. Plus, you can keep a more dedicated note-taking app. 

Use your judgment a bit. 

3. Unrecognized Apps

This is one category that can be harmless or serious. If you see apps you don’t recognize, delete them immediately. 

unrecognized app on iPhone

There are three reasons for this. 

First, your phone might have come with those preinstalled. If you haven’t even noticed them yet, you don’t need them. 

Secondly, you could have downloaded them or forgotten about them, and now you can’t even remember downloading them. That’s a good sign that you never needed those apps. There’s no point in keeping them. 

Finally, and unfortunately, there might be a more malicious reason. 

Some of the apps you download start installing bloatware in the background. That bloatware can steal information, infect your device, or otherwise cause harm. You didn’t intentionally download it. So, get rid of it. 

It’s also recommended to delete any app that autoloaded that sort of software. If the developer was willing to do that, you don’t know what else they’re willing to do. 

All three situations show that you don’t need the app in question. 

4. Apps You Aren’t Using

This is just like the category above, but you’re not shocked to see these apps. These are just apps that you downloaded and don’t really use anymore. 

This can be complicated. If you used the app a lot, or you really like the idea, you might be sitting on it. You just swear up and down that, you’ll use it. However, you never do. Guess what. You won’t, either. 

unused apps on iPhone

For example, maybe you got in on a trendy mobile game. You played it for months. Now, the fad is over. You don’t play anymore. You have fond memories, and you think, “Just in case.” From experience, we’re telling you, you will never use it again. 

If you have apps that haven’t been used in months, it’s time to get rid of them. They’re taking up space on your phone.

Their thumbnails make it harder to navigate your phone. In general, they have a negative impact on your experience. 

Don’t get ahead of yourself, though. There are exceptions to this. We’ll talk about them soon. 

If, for some reason, you are decluttering while reading this, don’t automatically delete everything that is unused. We’ll get to that shortly. 

5. Outdated Apps

Technology evolves constantly. An app that you might have relied on a year ago might be entirely pointless, now. 

When you’re going through your apps, see if any of them have become obsolete. Maybe the thing they were used for is no longer available? 

For example, maybe you had an app for an online store. That store closed down, and now you have the app on your phone. You can’t order anything or use it. So, get rid of it. 

This can also coincide with duplicate apps. Sometimes, an app developer will release a new iteration of their app.

They won’t remove the legacy version. So, you’ll end up with the old one and the new one. Always delete the old one. 

What Apps Should You Hide on Your iPhone? 

Remember how we said not to delete every app you’re not using? This is why. 

First, this only pertains to unused apps. Every other category we mentioned needs to go. There’s no reason to hide anything from the other categories. 

Sometimes, you don’t use an app, but it’s extremely useful. 

Take a banking app, for example. 

Maybe you really dislike online banking. You prefer to go to a bank headquarters and talk to a real person. So, you haven’t used your banking app in a year. 

However, what happens if you’re notified that someone is trying to steal your money? What if it’s after hours, and your bank is closed? The app will let you freeze your account instantly. 

What if you forgot the password to a streaming service? Now, you don’t want it, but you can’t use the app to cancel the payment. You can block the transaction with your banking app. 

That’s an obvious example. We doubt anyone will delete their bank apps. However, you get the point. 

If you have any apps that you don’t use but you get a lot of value from, hide them. 

This will free up visual space and make the phone easier to navigate. You’ll still have the app, though. 

How to Organize Apps on Your iPhone

Before diving into creative and aesthetic methods for organizing your apps on your iPhone, let’s start with some fundamental guides on phone organization.

Importance of Using Folders on Your iPhone

Decluttering doesn’t just mean clearing up space, either. You can organize many things you use to ensure quick and easy access. 

Folders are a big help with this process. Instead of deleting or hiding things, you can organize apps into folders with similar apps. 

For example, let’s say you use your phone to write and you love gaming. You have a lot of apps that help with both of those things. 

You could create a “Gaming” folder, and you could have a “Writing” folder next to that. All of the relevant apps would go into their respective folder.

The only apps you’d have outside of folders would be your immediate-use apps, such as your calculator.

Below, we provide step-by-step instructions on creating and renaming folders on your iPhone to organize your apps or make your favorites more easily accessible.

How to Create a Folder on iPhone

create a folder on iPhone
  1. Press and hold the app icon until it starts wiggling.
  2. Drag it on top of another app.
  3. This will automatically create a new folder.
  4. Continue dragging and dropping apps into the folder until you’ve included all the apps you want.
  5. You can either press “Done” at the top or tap the home screen when you’re happy with your folder to finish.

How to Rename App Folders on iPhone

rename a folder on iPhone

If you decide to rename your folder or change a preexisting folder name, follow these steps:

  1. Tap to open the folder you want to rename.
  2. Press your finger onto the title above the folder; this action will open an editable text box.
  3. Tap the “X” symbol to remove the current name.
  4. Enter your desired folder name. You can also use emojis in the folder name to spice things up.

How to Change Your iPhone Wallpaper

Changing your home screen to fit your theme or aesthetic is a fun way to personalize your iPhone.

Here’s how to change your wallpaper to create aesthetically pleasing home screens.

  • Unlock your iPhone and navigate to the “Settings” app.
  • Select “Wallpaper.”
  • You can select a wallpaper from the available options or tap the “+Add New Wallpaper” button.
  • Pick the one you want. Feel free to add widgets, then tap the “Add” button at the top right.
  • Decide whether to set it as wallpaper pair or customize your Home Screen.

You can change your Wallpaper from the Lock Screen. Wake up your ‌‌iPhone‌‌ and use Face ID or Touch ID to unlock it, then press and hold on to the Lock Screen until the wallpaper gallery appears.

5 Ways to Organize Apps on iPhone

Now that we get the basics out of the way, here are 5 clever ways to organize apps on your iPhone.

1. Arrange Apps in Alphabetical Order

Sorting your iPhone apps alphabetically is a quick and simple way to find any apps you’re looking for, provided you remember their names.

Reset Home Screen layout on iPhone

Don’t worry. You’re not going to arrange them manually. You can do that easily with just a few taps. Here’s how:

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • Go to General.
  • Scroll down to find and tap on the “Transfer or Reset iPhone” option.
  • Tap Reset.
  • Tap Reset Home Screen Layout.
  • Then, tap Reset Home Screen.

By following these steps, any default iPhone apps will return to their original positions, and the rest of your apps will be neatly organized in alphabetical order from A to Z.

Keep in mind if you previously created app folders, they will be deleted. You’ll lose your dock customization and any layout changes you’ve made, such as extra home screen pages.

2. Arrange Apps Into Folders

Folders help tidy up your Home Screen by grouping similar apps together, making the interface look cleaner. But be careful not to create too many folders, as it can make it difficult to find a specific app.

Organize apps into folder on iPhone

If you often lend your iPhone to friends and family, you can create multiple pages in the folder to hide apps from sight.

For iPhone folder names, you can use the category of apps inside it. For example, you could name a folder with all your banking apps, Finance.

You can be super creative when organizing apps into folders. For example, you can arrange apps based on their background color or app developer.

3. Make Use of the App Library

If you’ve never used the App Library, you’re missing out on a new way to keep your apps organized in labeled groups to make them easier to find.

App Library on iPhone

Introduced with iOS 14, the App Libray acts as a repository for all your apps. Think of it as a special section or drawer where all your apps live, whether or not they’re displayed on your home screen.

Decide Where New Apps Go

When you download new apps, you can choose where they end up on your iPhone.

  1. Navigate to Settings > Home Screen & App Library.
  2. Select “Add to Home Screen” to add new apps to the Home Screen and the App Library.
  3. Alternatively, choose “App Library Only” to add new apps solely to the App Library without appearing on your Home Screen.

In essence, the App Library is a way to keep your home screen tidy by offloading lesser-used apps to this space while still keeping them on your phone for occasional use.

If you’re not fond of Apple’s default categorization, you can tap the search bar at the top of the App Library, and it displays apps in an alphabetical list. I found it quicker and more efficient, especially when unsure which category Apple might have placed a particular app in.

4. Organize Your Apps by Usage

Another great tip for organizing your apps on your iPhone is to move the apps you use frequently to the first page for easy access right after unlocking the iPhone.

That way, you don’t have to fidget through your Home Screen pages to find an app. 

If you’re unsure which apps are used most often, you can check via Settings > Screen Time > See All Activity.

If you haven’t activated Screen Time, you can check your app usage by checking which apps consume the most battery.

Go to Settings > Battery. The apps you use most frequently consume the most battery and are at the top.

Now, let’s move your most-used apps to the first screen.

  1. Press an empty space on the Home Screen until all your apps wiggle.
  2. Touch and drag the app to the left edge of the screen until it reaches the first page.

You can move multiple apps at once by holding on to the first app and with another finger tapping other app icons you want to move along with it. They’ll stack on top of the first app, then move them to the first screen.

5. Organize Apps by Positive Affirmations

Did you know you could use the law of attraction to organize apps on your iPhone?

The law of attraction is a belief that positive or negative thoughts bring positive or negative experiences into a person’s life.

You’re going to use positive affirmations on your iPhone to help manifest dreams and goals.

declutter and organize iPhone apps

To apply this idea on your iPhone:

  1. Group similar apps together, like putting all communication or social media apps in one folder.
  2. Rename each folder using a positive affirmation that represents a personal goal or aspiration.

This way, every time you access those apps, you are reminded of and affirm your goals.

Things to Consider While Decluttering Your iPhone

We’ve gone over everything we can to help you declutter your phone. However, there are a few words of caution you should heed. 

First, you should understand that your data will be deleted with the app. Let’s say you have a drawing app.

You made a lot of great sketches, but you don’t like that particular app anymore. Make sure you back up those drawings before you delete the app. 

This goes for anything. You might have pictures, messages, music, or anything else on an app. Make sure you save anything you want to keep. 

Then, you should remember that you’ll be logged out of any app you delete. If there is any chance you might redownload it in the future, write down your login information. 

Another thing to consider is how you consolidate your apps. We talked about folders earlier. That’s a great way to do it. However, that works best with things you don’t constantly open. 

For apps you need immediate access to, slide them into groups on the screen. Moving their icons is a small task but can have a big impact. 

After a while, you’ll start to realize the exact placement of certain apps, and you’ll navigate faster. 

Finally, come back to this every few months. If you’ve hidden a bunch of apps, you might notice you don’t actually need them. After three months, your opinion might change. 

Your situation and phone usage might change, too. Things become obsolete, you get bored of once-loved apps, etc. 

Wrap-Up: How to Organize Your iPhone Home Screen

Decluttering and organizing your iPhone apps sounds like a slow, painful mess. It can be. We won’t lie. However, the longer you wait, the worse it gets. 

If you want to get your phone back to the smooth, high-performance, productivity levels it had when you bought it, follow these tips today. 

Do you have a cool app organization idea you want to share with us?

Writer, Productivity & Phone Organization

Lise is a master of phone organization and a nerd of the internet! She writes a regular column for Gotechtor focusing on quick tips for decluttering and organizing your phone to be more productive, while still keeping it aesthetic.

Lise Dieuveuil

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