If you get annoyed with the number of apps that crowd your iPhone’s homescreen, you probably welcomed a feature that originally came with iOS 14: the App Library, which gathers all of your apps into various categories and displays them on a separate page to the right of your homepages.
The App Library not only adds some automatic organization to your iPhone’s homepages but also allows you to clean up your homescreen by hiding as many apps as you want. You can keep your favorites front and center and get the more utilitarian or less used apps out of the way. (In fact, one way to keep a clean screen is to have all your newly installed apps appear in your App Library only. We offer directions on how to do that here.)
If you want to organize your current apps by hiding some of them, there are several ways to do it. You can remove individual apps from the homescreen, you can hide an entire screen of apps, or you can organize several apps by putting them into a folder.
Hide a single app
It’s really simple to hide an individual app from your home screen and stash it in the App Library.
- Press on your selected app until a menu appears. The menu will include a number of options depending on the app’s features. (For example, if I press on an app for Microsoft Teams, the menu will let me make a new call or start a chat.) But you will always get an option (in red) to remove the app. Tap on that.
- You will now have the choice of deleting the app from the phone or removing it from the Home Screen. Select the latter. You’ll still find the app in the App Library.
- If the app is not already in the App Library, then after you tap “Remove App,” you will instead be given the choice of either deleting the app or moving it to the App Library.
Hide a page of apps
You can also hide an entire page of apps — and get rid of that page — in one blow if you want. And since it’s really easy to also restore that same page, it’s a great way to hide groups of apps that you only use occasionally.
- Tap and hold on an empty part of your screen until the apps begin to jiggle.
- Tap on the dots at the bottom of the screen.
- You’ll now be able to see small versions of all your screens (except the App Library and Today View). Beneath each visible screen is a checkmark; uncheck any screen you want to hide and tap “Done” in the upper-right corner.
- To “unhide” any of the screens, follow these same directions and replace the checkmark of the screen that you want to see again.
Use folders to organize apps
You can use folders on the homescreen to gather similar apps together and save space. You won’t be completely hiding the apps. They’ll be there, but they’ll be consolidated in a single space.
It’s very simple to create a folder:
- Long-press on an app in the homescreen until the icons jiggle.
- Move the app onto one of the other apps you want to group it with.
- You’ll now have a large space that contains the icons for the apps in the folder, including an automatically generated name (usually created in response to the app you moved). Tap on the space to close it. Now you have an icon that “contains” those apps. Just tap on it to open the folder and access the apps in it.
- iOS will assign a name to the folder depending on what apps you’ve put in it. To change the name, long-press on the folder and select “Rename” from the pop-up menu. Then type in the new name.
- To remove an app from a folder, simply open the folder, long-press the app until it jiggles, and move it out of the folder and to another space on your homescreen. If you remove all the apps from a folder, the folder will disappear.
- If you want to get rid of a folder, you can also long-press on it and select “Remove Folder.” Any apps that were in the folder can then be found in the App Library.
Update October 12th, 2022, 11:20AM ET: This article was originally published on May 6th, 2021, and has been updated to account for slight changes in the OS.