Skip to Content
Smartphones & gadgets

Pro Tip: Organize your apps in seconds, really!

For too long, we have had to let our fingers do the walking when it comes to finding apps on our mobile devices. We scroll through screen after screen, looking for the right icon. Sometimes we break down and use the search function to figure out where we hid the YouTube app or that game we were playing. But Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 11, is here to make our lives easier with some improved organizational features.

How to quickly and easily wrangle apps into folders

1) Choose an app you would like to group with other apps. Press down and hold (also known as a “long press”) until all the apps begin to wiggle and each one shows a round gray “X” icon.

2) Keep your finger on that app and move it across the screen a little bit until the round “X” symbol disappears.

3) While still holding that app, select other apps you would like to group together with another finger. The stacked apps will come together under your first finger with a number indicating how many apps are in the group you’re building.

4) Drag your stack of apps onto another app and look for a large gray square to pop up with the apps inside. This is the handy new folder that will group those apps together. The folder will now appear on your home screen as a square with small icons of the apps inside. Just touch it to open the folder and access the apps.

The system will suggest a name for your folder, but you’re not married to that title. You can change it when you create the folder or alter it later. Touch and hold a gray folder square until the apps wiggle. Touch it again to open it up. You will see a title box at the top. Click in the box to pull up the keyboard. You can now give it a new name, such as “Favorite Games” or “Work Apps.”

How to move apps around

Once you’ve created a folder, you can go into the app organizational mode (where the apps are wiggling around) and drag and drop more apps into the gray folder squares. To remove an app, touch the folder to open it, choose the app you want to remove, long press on it, and drag it off to the side. It will reappear on the screen outside of the folder.

As with any regular app icon, you can move your folders around and place them where you want them. Just use the usual method of touching a folder and holding it down until the icons wiggle. Now you can relocate it.

This method for organizing your apps may not seem very intuitive at first, but it will make sense once you’ve been through the process. The reward is a tidy home screen that’s easier to navigate with the apps you need sitting right at your fingertips.

Apple released iOS 11 to the public in September. If you don’t already have it, then check the “Settings” section on your iPad or iPhone to see if the update is available for your device. It’s a good idea to do a backup before installing the update. The new system includes more than just this new way to manage your app icons. There are many productivity improvements that will make life easier for you and your iPhone or iPad.

Just installed iOS 11? Get to know the new operating system.

Find your way around Apple’s revamped system for iPhones and iPads, complete with new control center, notifications, and Siri skills.

Click here for the top new iOS 11 features you will use all the time.

Stop robocalls once and for all

Robocalls are not only annoying, but they scam Americans out of millions every year. Learn Kim's tricks for stopping them for good in this handy guide.

Get the eBook