Facebook becomes even more of a time suck if you're forced to fish for it in your app library, and Shazam is just a space waster if the deep-crate ditty that you're trying to identify is over before you can find the app. If your apps are in a random jumble, then it's time to tidy up your iPhone or iPad's home screen. There are several ways to get organized, but the first step is to delete unnecessary apps.

Delete unwanted apps

To delete an app you no longer want, press (that's harder than a tap but less forceful than a deep press) the app icon you'd like to remove. But don't press too hard or you'll activate 3D Touch and summon a quick-action pop-up menu. Once the X appears on the top right of the app icon, tap it to delete the app and all its data. To delete multiple apps, save time by tapping any app with an X, which will be all of them except native apps and those in folders. To delete apps in folders, you must first open the folder.


Move apps on the home screen

After you've deleted space-wasting apps, you may still find you have too many apps to browse easily, so the next step is to organize them. Your most used apps should be at the top of your default home screen. Relegate the ones you use least to the bottom of subsequent screens. To rearrange apps, press an app icon, and once the X appears, press the app icon again (not the X) to drag it to another spot on the current screen or all the way to the left or right for placement on another screen.


If you have many apps to move, you may find it easier to use iTunes. First, connect your device to your computer with a cable. When iTunes launches, tap Apps under Summary in the left-hand menu. You will see a list of apps you've downloaded from the App Store on the left and mirrors of your home screens on the right. Remove apps by clicking the Remove button that appears next to the listed apps.

To move app icons around from iTunes, double-click to zoom on the screen and then drag individual apps around the page or to another screen. To group into folders, just drag an app over another app. To move many apps at once, tap Command on your keyboard, select as many apps as you'd like, and then drag them over en mass. When you're done, click Apply to sync all your changes to your iPhone.

Group apps in folders

Folders make apps easy to find and reduce the number of tiles on your home screen. For example, I put all my car, flight, and hotel booking apps in a folder called Travel. To add an app to an existing folder, simply press it and drag it to the folder. To group apps in a new folder, press the app icon and drop it onto the app icon that you want to merge it with. Apple will want to name the folder for you, but its choice may not be your cup of tea. To rename a folder, open it, press the title, rename it, and then tap outside the field to save it.


Hide native apps

Apple won't let you remove its native apps. In the past, the only way to get unwanted native iOS apps out of your way was to group them in a folder and exile that folder several screens away. However, an enterprising iPhone user recently published a YouTube video demonstrating how to hide native apps in iOS 9-9.2.


First, create a folder and place all the apps in it that you no longer wish to see. We chose some native apps that we never use such as Compass, Stocks, and Tips and then titled the folder Disappear. Next, press the first icon and drag and drop it to the folder's second screen. When there, drag it to the edge of that screen, then back to the middle while pressing the Home button, and the app will magically disappear. Repeat with each subsequent app, and when the final app disappears, so will the folder. But this is only a temporary fix, as the apps are not actually deleted (just the icons on your home screen are) and they do, in fact, return to your home screen the next time your device is powered off and on again.

But don't despair. The ability to delete at least some unwanted native apps may come in the future, according to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

More Resources

How to wipe an iPhone

How to connect your iPhone to Wi-Fi

Joshua Rotter is a copy editor for Download.com and covers iOS.