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How to Create an Aesthetic Home Screen in iOS 14 with Custom App Icons and Photo Widgets

Your iPhone will never be the same again!

Ever since the iOS 14 update began rolling out, Aesthetic home screens have been are all the craze among iPhone users. People are creating home screens with photo widgets and custom app icons in iOS 14 in a very controlled style that the overall over home screen appears to be aesthetic of one particular style.

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We’ll detail everything about creating an aesthetic home screen in this guide. We’ll be particularly creating a Neon aesthetic screen complete with related widgets and app icons.

But before we get started, for inspiration, we recommend you give yourself a glimpse of what aesthetic screens other users have created on our iOS 14 aesthetic ideas page.

Clear your home screen

Before we get started, you need to de-clutter your iPhone home screen. Do that by hiding all current pages on your device. You’ll still be able to access your apps from the App Library on your iPhone.

Hide all Home Screen Pages

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To hide home screen pages on iPhone, tap and hold on any empty space on your home screen to enter the jiggly mode. Then, tap the dots at the bottom of the screen.

Now, untick all your home screen pages and keep only one page.

Keep only one home screen page and hide everything else

Tap ‘Done’ on the top-right corner or just go to home screen by swiping up from the bottom or pressing the Touch ID button to save your changes.

Remove All App Icons to Get a Clean Home Screen

Now, empty the only home screen page you have by removing all app icons from it (widgets too, if any). Tap and hold on any app until the screen goes jiggly. Then, tap the ‘- minus’ icon on the top-left of each app icon.

On the pop-up interface that shows, tap on ‘Move to App Library’ option instead of ‘Delete’. This will remove the app icon from your home screen but won’t delete it. The app would still be accessible from the ‘App Library’.

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Safely remove all app icons so you have a clean home screen with no app icons other than the ones on the dock.


Set a Wallpaper that Meets your Aesthetic Requirements

Once we have a clean screen, it’s time to set a wallpaper that is aesthetic what you’re trying to build. Since we’re creating a neon aesthetic home screen, we’ll choose and select a wallpaper that complements neon aesthetics. Probably, any dark themed wallpaper (like the one below) will do.

Wallpaper by Radu Spătaru (Download link)

Create Custom App Icons

This is the most critical part. Creating custom app icons that matches your home screen aesthetic can be a challenging task but it’s actually easier done than said.

To get started we need to download and save a bunch of aesthetic pictures that we could use as custom icons for the apps. Our aesthetic for this guide is neon, so we’ll be using some neon pictures to match the aesthetic.

Below are some of the neon icons we found on Icons8. We created 512×512 pixel sized icons and put a black background behind so they appear aesthetic enough when used as icons. Feel free to use them for your own aesthetic screens.

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Once you’ve saved the pictures you want to use as app icons on your iPhone. You can proceed with creating shortcut icons for each app that you want to customize.

To create custom app icons, we’ll be using the shortcuts app. So, open the ‘Shortcuts’ app on your iPhone from the App Library.

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.

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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 what will appear as the name for the app on your home screen.

Then, tap on the ‘Add to Home Screen’ option.

On the next screen, tap on the text box under the ‘Home Screen Name and Icon’ label and enter the app name for which you’re creating the icon. If you want to change the app name as well, feel free to use any name you prefer for the app. Like, instead of ‘Instagram’, you could use ‘Insta’.

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Tip: You can even use a Font keyboard while entering the app name to customize your app icon with a custom font as well.

Finally select a custom picture for the app icon. Tap on the icon thumbnail and select ‘Choose Photo’ photo from the available options.

Select the appropriate picture you want to use for the app to fit your aesthetic screen idea. We’ll just use the Instagram neon picture that we saved on the iPhone in the steps above.

Be sure to resize and fit the picture in the frame so it appears better as an app icon. After adjusting the picture thumbnail, tap on ‘Choose’.

Your new app icon is ready. You can see its final appearance (with rounded corners) in the Preview section. If you’re happy with it, tap on the ‘Add’ option on the upper right corner of the screen and it’ll be added to the Home Screen.

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Tap ‘Done’ on the top-right corner in the screen to save the shortcut.

Go to your iPhone home screen to check the new app icon in action. You can rearrange it just like any other app.

If it feels satisfying enough, repeat the steps above to create icons for all the apps to put on your aesthetic screen.

Add Photo Widget(s)

The second most critical part of creating an aesthetic screen is the photo widget. A widget that could show a specific picture. Not the default ‘Photos’ widget that Apple bundled with iOS 14.

For this purpose, you can either use the simple Photo Widget app or the more advanced Widgetsmith app. For the sake of this post, we’ll be using the Photo Widget app, but we have a separate guide for adding a photo widget using Widgetsmith as well (if you want to check it out).

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Download and install the Photo Widget app from the App Store and open it on your iPhone.

In the ‘Photo widget’ app, tap the ‘+ plus’ icon, and select the photo you want to add to the home screen.

You can add up to 30 photos in the Photo Widget app and have it auto rotate your photos in a fixed time interval.

Close the app after adding the photo you want to appear in the widget. Then, on your iPhone home screen tap and hold on an empty space until the icons and widgets (if any) start to jiggle. Tap the ‘+ plus’ icon on the top-left corner of the screen.

The widget selector screen will open. You can either search for ‘Photo Widget’ from the ‘Search Widgets’ bar or scroll until you see the ‘Photo Widget’ option.

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Depending on the widget size you want to add to your aesthetic home screen, select either Small, Medium, or Large widget option and it’ll be added to your home screen.


Rearrange the Custom App Icons and Photo Widgets

To get the best aesthetic look, rearrange your custom app icons and photo widgets in a way that best compliments your wallpaper.

After doing the customizations above, we arranged our setup in the following way.

If you want to add multiple photo widgets (like we did above), use the Widgetsmith app. We have a detailed guide on adding a photo widget using Widgetsmith.


This is the most basic way of creating an aesthetic iPhone home screen. You can mix in various other cool widgets that Widgetsmith and Color widgets offer to further perfect your aesthetic.