Is your phone’s home screen cluttered with pages of apps in random order – including some apps that you never use? Sure, you can always find the program you want by searching or using the voice assistant, or by searching through the app drawer. However, app access can be faster if you’ve arranged your icons in a meaningful order and take advantage of context menus and widgets. Here is a guide on how to optimize your home screen.
First, check your collection. You can also reclaim space by cleaning up.
On many newer Android phones, including models from Google and Samsung, you can see all of your apps listed alphabetically by swiping up from the bottom of the screen to open the app drawer. (Depending on your Android version and provider, you may have an app button instead, and icons for installed apps may not automatically appear on the home screen.)
In iOS 14 and later, apps in the app library are automatically sorted by category, which you can see by swiping left repeatedly until you get to the last screen. Tap the search box at the top to see the full list of installed apps.
If you want to keep a minimalist home screen, you can only view newly downloaded apps in the app library and not on the home screen. Just open the Settings icon, select Home Screen, and choose your preference.
Delete dusty apps
Now that you’ve taken stock, it’s time to delete the apps you never use. The steps for Android users depend on the system software, but try pressing down on an app and dragging it to the uninstall icon at the top of the screen. To delete multiple apps at once, open the Google Play app, tap your profile icon in the top right corner and select “Manage apps & device”. On the next screen, tap the Manage tab, select the apps you want to delete, and tap the trash can icon at the top of the screen.
You can also long-press an icon until a menu appears, select App Info, and then tap Uninstall on the app’s information page.
In iOS 14, long press an app icon to open a menu with the delete option. To destroy multiple apps at once, long-press an empty area of the home screen until the icons start jiggling. Then tap the “-” in the corner of each unwanted app and confirm your decision.
To edit entire app home screen pages (including hiding or uncovering pages), long-press an empty area of the screen until it starts jiggling, then tap the row of dots at the bottom to open the Edit Pages screen .
Would you like to change the order of the icons – including the row of favorite programs at the bottom of the home screen? On most phones, just hold your finger on the icon you want to move until you see a screen outline or wobbly icons, and then drag the icon to a new location.
On both Android and iOS, you can also sort app icons into folders on your home screen, which is handy for example for grouping all of your photo apps together. To create an app folder, just drag one icon over the other. Tap the folder icon to name it. Once the folder is set up, drag in (or out) additional app icons.
Use context menus
With some apps, you can use popular functions without opening the program completely. In newer versions of the Android and iOS systems, if you long press an app’s icon, you’re looking for a menu of quick actions.
On some Android phones, you can drag these shortcuts from the menu onto the home screen for quicker access.
Widgets are mini versions of apps that display small pieces of information. To add a widget on Android 9 and above, swipe to the home screen that you want to use, and then press and hold your finger on an empty area. When the menu appears, select Widgets.
Press the desired widget version with your finger and drag it to the home screen; Some widgets can be resized by pressing the icon and adjusting the outline. To remove a widget, long-press it and drag it to the Remove area at the top of the screen.
To add a widget on iOS 14 and later, long-press an app or blank area of the screen until the icons jiggle. Tap the Add (+) button in the top left and choose a widget from the menu.
To save on screen space, add a “smart stack” – a series of widgets ready to be swiped – or create your own stacks by dragging widgets on top of each other. To edit or remove a widget, long-press the widget and select a menu option.