iOS 18: Customize home screen, randomize apps and color icons

From iOS 18 and iPadOS 18 you can customize the home screen even more. You can now place your apps and widgets anywhere on the home screen, for example above the dock so you can find them immediately or along the edge to make your background stand out better.

You can also easily adjust the display of app symbols and widgets. For example, you can display the symbols larger without text underneath, there is a special display for dark mode and you can choose to provide the symbols and widgets with a color effect.

Customize iPad or iPhone home screen

Of course, it has always been possible to determine the position of apps and widgets yourself on an iPhone or iPad. However, Apple did not allow empty spaces between apps. This has changed with iOS 18 and iPadOS 18. So you can now place your apps and widgets anywhere on the home screen.

It is also allowed to leave empty spaces and these are not automatically filled by the software. iOS and iPadOS retain the grid, but you have the freedom to place everything exactly.

Move apps and widgets

  • Place your finger on an app or widget
  • Wait a few moments
  • Choose ‘Customize home screen’
  • Drag the item to the desired location
  • Release to place
  • Repeat this for all parts
Customize iPad or iPhone home screen

Customize the appearance of apps on the home screen

Starting with iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, you can also customize the appearance of app icons. This way you can display them larger or provide them with a color effect. Icons can also be automatically changed to a dark display when using dark mode.

Adjust app icon size

  • Place your finger on an app or widget
  • Wait a few moments
  • Choose ‘Customize home screen’
  • Tap ‘Edit’ at the top
  • Choose ‘Customize’
  • Select ‘Small’ or ‘Large’

Change app icon color

Place your finger on an app, wait a few moments and choose ‘Customize home screen’. Tap ‘Change’ at the top and then choose ‘Customize’. You can then adjust the display for symbols at the bottom. So you can choose to have them Dark or light to display, or automatically to match the dark mode of your device.

Customize iPad or iPhone home screen

You can also change the color of the app icons with a color filter. Tap Tinted, then choose a color you want. This way you can make the home screen personal or match a color to the background.

Quickly add and resize widgets

From iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, you have even more options to add widgets to the home screen. Place your finger on an app for a few moments until the pop-up menu appears. If a widget is available, you can choose it directly from this menu. This way you can also put your finger on an existing widget and resize it immediately.

customize widgets add iphone

More privacy with locked apps

It was already possible to hide applications from the home screen by placing them in the app library. Thanks to iOS 18 and iPadOS 18, you can also lock it and hide it entirely. You can then unlock and use the app using Face ID, Touch ID and/or passcode.

With locked and hidden apps, you can rest assured that the information you want to keep out of sight, such as app notifications and certain content, won’t be visible to anyone else. You can lock apps, and for extra privacy you can also hide them by moving them to a locked, hidden app folder.

Lock apps

  • Place your finger on an app or widget
  • Wait a few moments
  • Choose ‘Requires Face ID / Touch ID’
  • Confirm the adjustment

Do you want to cancel the lock? Then repeat the above steps, but then choose ‘does not require Face ID / Touch ID’.

Hide apps entirely

If desired, you can also hide apps entirely in addition to locking them. Place your finger on an app for a few moments until the pop-up menu appears. Then choose ‘Require Face ID/Touch ID’ and select ‘Hide and require Face ID/Touch ID’. The application is then placed in the ‘Hidden’ folder in the app library.

Customize iPad or iPhone home screen

When you lock an app or put it in a hidden folder, messages, emails, or other content from that app won’t appear in search results, you won’t see notifications, and the content will also be hidden in other places.

Consult hidden apps

Unlock your iPhone or iPad and navigate to the App Library on the last page of the Home screen. Tap Hidden and unlock this folder using Face ID, Touch ID, or your device passcode. Then you can open and use the application.

From this view you can also unhide and/or unlock it by placing your finger on the app icon and choosing ‘Add to Home Screen’ and/or ‘Does not require Face ID / Touch ID’.

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