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Organize apps in iTunes

Posted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 11:42 am
by Stephen Hart
I just realized I was doing something wrong while trying to organize my iPhone apps in iTunes, and thought I'd pass along what I learned.

You can organize all your home screens while in iTunes using your Mac's big screen. There are many web pages explaining this:

1. Select your iPhone in the Devices tab in iTunes. Your iPhone doesn't need to be plugged in to USB if you've checked the sync with WiFi choice in the Summary tab on the left.
2. Select the Apps tab to display all your apps and your home screens.
3. Choose which apps to install or remove. If you remove an app, it remains in iTunes, and can easily be added back later. (If you delete an app from the My Apps screen, you can download it again from the App Store.)
4. Organize the app icons and your home screens.

Drag home screens around and add another home screen. If you empty a home screen, it will disappear eventually.
Double click a home screen to organize the app icons within it. You can click an app icon to select it or command click to select more than one. You can drag the icons within the home screen.
Now here's where I was doing it wrong. To drag an app icon or a group of app icons to another home screen, drag them off the expanded home screen and hover over the target home screen until it expands. Trying to just drop the icon onto an unexpanded home screen is hit and miss at best, mostly miss. Hovering and waiting for the target home screen to expand always works exactly they way you want.

You can also drag one app icon onto another app icon to make a folder. I've experimented with folders, but find it far easier to use more home screens instead. I could never remember which apps were in a folder.

If you have some apps Apple app icons that you can't remove from the iPhone but that you never use (Stocks, Watch, Game Center), you can put them all on the last home screen and forget them. This includes apps you always access from the Control Center (Calculator, Clock, Camera), or Contacts, if you always access Contacts from the Phone app.

All of this works just as well on an iPad.