How to arrange iPhone and iPad apps using iTunes

Dragging around and arranging your iPhone or iPad apps one by one on an iOS device can be a very cumbersome process, especially if you have a lot of apps installed. This guide will show you how to speed up the process of organizing apps by using iTunes.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Arranging apps on your iPhone or iPad is as simple as long-pressing on an app's icon, waiting until all the icons wiggle, and then dragging the apps around to where you want them. The downside to using this method, especially if you have a lot of apps installed, is that you can only move one app at a time. This simple guide will show you how to arrange multiple iOS apps using iTunes.

The first thing you need to do is open up iTunes on your computer. When your iOS device is connected to your computer, you should see it listed in the left sidebar under Devices. Click on the device's name.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

You should then see a screen similar to the one above. While there is a lot of information on this screen, right now we are only concerned with the Apps option at the top. Click on Apps.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

On the left you will be shown a list of what apps are installed on your iOS device, and you can check a box to install or uninstall each app. To the right you will see a picture of your device's screen, complete with your current app placement.

On the far right you will see smaller snapshots of the screens on your device. These can be rearranged just by dragging and placing a screen above or below another screen.

The apps on each screen can also be moved around and rearranged by simply dragging and dropping them where you choose. You can move one app at a time, or select multiple apps and move them as a group. You can also create and rename folders the same way you would on the iOS device.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

To select multiple apps you need to hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and then click on the apps you would like to move. Each app that you have selected will get a blue border around it once it is selected.

In the picture above, we have selected eight apps. Now we are going to move them out of this folder and to a new screen.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Click and hold on one of the selected apps, dragging the group of apps to the right. There will be a grayed-out screen at the bottom of the screens list. Drag the icon stack to this screen, and release the mouse. As you hover your cursor over the new screen, the bigger screen will change to reflect what is currently on that screen. In this instance, the screen starts out blank, then changes to show the apps we dropped there.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

The apps are lined up on the new screen in the same order as they were when we originally selected them. From this point you can move one, two, or more of the apps around and get them in a preferred arrangement.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani

One more thing to note: this is also a great method for deleting apps. When your mouse cursor is hovering over an app icon, you will see an X appear. Clicking on the X will delete the app from your iOS device.

When all of your apps are moved into their new locations and you are happy with the layout, make sure to click Apply in the bottom-right corner of iTunes. Alternatively, if you have moved a ton of stuff around and you aren't happy with the results, click Revert to go back to your current layout.

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About the author

Jason Cipriani has been covering mobile technology news for over five years. His work spans from CNET How To and software review sections to WIRED’s Gadget Lab and Fortune.com.

 

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