Have you ever looked at an app on your iPhone and desperately wished you could change its icon, as those damn app icons keep messing with your aesthetic? Or your one true wish has always been to be able to customize your iPhone Home Screen, but the only thing you can change is your wallpaper? Well, your days of wishful thinking are now behind you!
With this simple trick, you can change any and all of your app icons. And don’t fret, it’s easy peasy. It doesn’t require you to go hunting for an app that might or might not deliver on what it promised; you don’t have to jailbreak your iPhone. Nothing too complicated. Everything you need for this is already on your phone! So let’s sally forth on this quest to change the look of your iPhone.
Changing App Icons on iPhone
With this trick, you can use any photo (read icon) you want and set it as your app icon. But before moving forward, keep the icon you want to use as the app icon handy in your Photos. Open the ‘Shortcuts’ app on your iPhone.
Tap on the ‘New Shortcut’ button (+ icon) on the top right corner of the screen.
Then, tap the ‘Add Action’ to create the new shortcut.
Search for the ‘Open app’ action and tap on the one with the colorful boxes as the icon and select it.
Now, tap on the ‘Choose’ option.
The list of all apps on your phone will open. Select the app for which you want to change the icon. Then, tap on the ‘More’ icon (three dots).
Enter the name for the Shortcut. This is not the name that will appear on your Home screen with the app icon, so you can or cannot enter the app name as the shortcut. It won’t make much of a difference. Then, tap on the ‘Add to Home Screen’ option.
Go to the textbox under the ‘Home Screen Name and Icon’ label and enter the app name here as this is the name that will appear on your Home Screen.
Tip: You can even use a Font keyboard while entering the app name here and customize your app icon with a custom font as well.
Then, tap on the icon thumbnail. A few options will appear. Tap on ‘Choose Photo’.
Your iPhone gallery will open. Select the photo you want to use as the new icon. You can resize the photo in the square. After adjusting the photo thumbnail, tap on ‘Choose’.
Your new app icon is ready. You can also see how it will appear in the Preview section. If you’re happy with it, tap on the ‘Add’ option on the upper right corner of the screen. It will add the icon to the Home Screen.
Then, tap the ‘Done’ option to save the shortcut.
The new app icon will appear on your Home screen. You can rearrange it just like any other app. Repeat the trick for all the apps you want new icons for. And when you’re done, your iPhone will feel completely different, but in a good way.
Note: When you tap the new app icon, i.e., the shortcut from your Home screen, it will first open the Shortcut app and then the app the shortcut is for. The whole step only adds one extra second to the opening process. And it doesn’t add any extra steps for you either. That’s the only catch with the trick. But if you don’t want the extra step, this trick isn’t for you.
What About the Original App Icons?
That’s where iOS 14 and its ‘App Library’ comes in
Creating new icons for all the apps can make a mess of your Home Screen. Now, you can’t delete the original apps for obvious reasons; the shortcut needs the original app to work. So, does that mean you’ll have to live with the mess? Well, thanks to iOS 14, no. Your phone doesn’t have to look like a carefully-curated, aesthetically pleasing Pinterest board on one screen, and a dumpster-on-fire on another.
With the addition of App Library in iOS 14, you can tuck away individual app icons or entire Home screen pages for that matter. Nothing’s messing with your vibe anymore!
To hide an app icon from home screen, tap and hold the app for a couple of seconds until it starts to jiggle. Then, tap the ‘Remove’ icon (- sign).
Where previously, there used to be an ‘x’ icon instead of the ‘-‘ and tapping it would bring up the confirmation message to delete the app, now a couple of options would appear on your screen. Tap the ‘Move to App Library’ option instead of ‘Delete’. And the app would disappear from your Home screen, and you can always access it from the App Library.
Now, there’s another option at your disposal too. You could put all the apps you want to hide on a single Home screen page, and then vanish the whole page instead. It’s the quickest way when there are a lot of apps you need to get rid of.
Tip: If you’re worried about the time it will take to move all the apps to a single page, check out this little bundling trick that lets you move around multiple apps on your Home screen at once. And no, we’re not talking about folders!
To hide a home screen page, enter the jiggly mode on your iPhone by holding an app or any empty place on your screen (a new little addition in iOS 14). Then, tap the dots just above the dock on the screen.
The ‘Edit pages’ screen will open where all your pages will be visible in a zoomed-out view. Tap on the checkmark beneath the page you want to hide to uncheck it and tap on ‘Done’. And voila! All your problems – or rather unwanted apps – have disappeared.
It might take a little time to change the app icons and organize your iPhone to adhere to the new theme you’ve chosen, but it would be completely worth it. No matter what floats your boat – minimal, dark academia, anime, cute, or some other aesthetic – with this trick, the iPhone screen is your oyster, and you can customize it however you want!