How to quickly rearrange your home screen in iOS 11

Tired of moving your apps around one by one? This new trick in iOS 11 will help speed things up.

Taylor Martin CNET Contributor
Taylor Martin has covered technology online for over six years. He has reviewed smartphones for Pocketnow and Android Authority and loves building stuff on his YouTube channel, MOD. He has a dangerous obsession with coffee and is afraid of free time.
Taylor Martin
2 min read
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If you're an app hoarder, setting up a new phone can be a slog. Dragging and dropping all the application icons into their correct place can take quite a long time, especially with iOS devices, since there's no drawer for all those overflow apps you don't necessarily want to store on your home screens.

However, in iOS 11 , Apple introduced a subtle change that will dramatically speed up the process. Here's how it works.

Rearranging home screen icons in iOS 11

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Taylor Martin/CNET

Before iOS 11, to move icons around on your home screen, you could only move one icon at a time. Long press on it until it begins to wiggle, drag it to where you want it and drop.

When you have several pages of applications and you like to meticulously organize everything, this can take upward of an hour. Maybe two.

The only workaround to move multiple icons at once was to move several icons into a folder, move the entire folder to another page, then position the icons individually.

In iOS 11, Apple has made it possible to move multiple icons at once. To do this:

  • Long-press on an icon until all the icons begin to jiggle.
  • Press and drag an icon to begin moving it.
  • With another finger, tap any other icons to also select them for moving. (This will not work with folders. If you tap a folder, it will simply open.)
  • Once you've selected all the icons you want to move, drag the group to the desired location and release.

The trick here is that when you drop the group of icons, they will be placed in reverse order. So the icon you selected first will be placed last, and the last icon you selected will be placed where you dropped the group.

And since this trick doesn't work with folders, it makes it very easy to organize quickly. If you keep all your games in a single folder, for instance, you can pick up all the games from a single page and add them to your Games folder in one fell swoop.

Thank you, Apple. Seriously.