Have you ever wanted to make your iPhone your own, with your individualized style and flair? Sure, you can change your home screen wallpaper. But if you really want to personalize your phone, why not create your own app icons?
Itâs doable, using Appleâs built-in Shortcuts app. You actually wonât be replacing the icons that the apps came with â rather, youâll be creating separate Shortcuts that lead to the app. Itâs a tedious and time-consuming process, but in the end, you can have a fully customized iPhone home screen.
Hereâs how you do it:
- First, find and tap on the Shortcuts app. Itâs pre-installed; if you canât see it immediately on your home screen, swipe left until youâre at the App Library and start typing âShortcutsâ into the top search bar.
- Once youâre in the app, tap on the âplusâ sign in the upper-right corner, and then on âAdd Actionâ
- There are a lot of interesting things to try out in Shortcuts. But right now, what we want to do is switch app icons. Type âOpen appâ in the search bar and then tap on the âOpen Appâ link.
- Tap on the word âChoose.â Youâll see a list of your apps; pick the one you want to customize and youâll be taken back to the New Shortcut page.
- Select the three dots in the upper-right corner. Youâre now in the Details page. Give your shortcut a name and tap âAdd to Home Screen.â
- Youâll now see a preview of the icon (which will be a standard, uninteresting icon that Shortcuts automatically adds). Donât worry, weâre going to make it better. Select Add in the top-right corner.
- Now itâs time to find your substitute icon. There are a bunch of icon sources online (Flaticon, for example), or if youâre artistic and / or ambitious, you can create your own. Whether you use someone elseâs or your own, save the image to Photos.
- Now go back to the Shortcuts preview area. (You can find it again by going to the Details section and tapping on âAdd to Home Screen.â) Tap on the icon under âHome Screen Name and Icon.â Youâll have the choice of either taking a photo, choosing a photo, or choosing a file. Assuming youâve already saved an image in Photo, tap on âChoose Photoâ and select the photo you want to use.
- On the next screen, a highlighted area will indicate what part of the photo will appear as an icon; you can move the photo around until youâre happy with the section indicated. Tap âChooseâ in the lower-right corner.
- Now, youâll see your new icon. Tap Add.
- You should see your new customized icon on your home screen. Congrats!
- Thereâs the possibility you may see two new icons on your home screen: one with the first boring icon, and one with your wonderful new icon. If thatâs the case, just press and hold the icon that you donât want, and then select âDelete bookmark.â Remember, this (and the other you created) is a bookmark / shortcut â not the original.
- You can also hide the original app icon so youâll just have the new one visible. (You donât want to delete it completely, of course; that would delete the app.)
- Long-press on the original app icon and select âEdit Home Screenâ
- Tap on the minus sign. On the pop-up menu, tap âRemove from Home Screen.â The original icon wonât be deleted, just hidden; you can always find it in the App Library.
One note: when you use your new icon to go to the app, you will occasionally get a small drop-down notice that tells you what the original app is called and to remind you of the fact that it is a shortcut. But the drop-down will only last for a second or two, so it shouldnât be much of a bother.