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Apr 12, 2001
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As the trend of customizing your home screen becomes popular in the aftermath of the release of iOS 14, some users are choosing to add custom app icons to their home screen using the Shortcuts app.

custom-icons.png

Custom home screen posted by @BenZhu8. Custom cloud icons from icons8.


Replacing default app icons with images of your choosing allows you to freely customize the look of your home screen. Before you follow this guide, you will need to find or make an image for your new home screen app icon, and there are plenty of alternate looks available for download online.

The following steps explain how you can add a custom icon, for any app of your choosing, to the home screen. The process effectively involves creating a Shortcut to open an app, and then adding an image to that Shortcut on the home screen.

Widgets and App Icon Tutorial Video

We've also made a video that walks through the topic of widgets, home screens, as well as custom app icons.


If you want to skip to the section where we go step-by-step on how to customize your App Icon, it's at timestamp 3:58. But before embarking on this plan, you should understand there are two major limitations in this technique.

Limitations

  • Tapping Custom App Icons launch Shortcuts first, and then the App
  • No Notification badges
If you feel that being kicked to and from the Shortcuts app whenever you open an app with a custom icon is a nuisance, it may be best to only create Shortcuts for apps you use infrequently, or not at all.

Shortcuts can be a complex app to use, as it allows users to create multi-step processes to run on their device, but in this instance, the Shortcut only involves one basic component.

  1. Launch the Shortcuts app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap the + icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Tap Add Action.

    home-screen-icons-how-to-1.jpg

  4. Use the text field to search for Open App.
  5. Select Open App.
  6. Tap Choose.

    home-screen-icons-how-to-2.jpg

  7. Use the search for the app you want to change the icon of, and select it.
  8. Tap the three dots in the top-right corner.
  9. Tap Add to Home Screen.

    home-screen-icons-how-to-3.jpg

  10. Tap the placeholder app icon.
  11. From the drop-down menu, select Take Photo, Choose Photo, or Choose File, depending on where your replacement app icon image is located.
  12. Select your replacement image.
  13. In the text field, rename the app as you want it to appear on the home screen.
  14. Tap Add.

    home-screen-icons-how-to-4.jpg

  15. Tap Done. Your Shortcut has now been created.
  16. Return to the home screen.

home-screen-icons-how-to-5.jpg


If you already had the app on your home screen, you will now have two icons. In order to keep only your newly-created icon, simply move the old icon to the App Library. You must not delete the original app.

Since this process can be quite time-consuming, especially when it includes finding or making custom icons, you will likely not want to do it for every app.

Article Link: How to Change App Icons on iOS 14 Home Screen
 
Last edited:

newyorksole

macrumors 601
Apr 2, 2008
4,317
4,960
New York.
I’m all for options and customization, but to me a lot of what I’m seeing people post looks tacky Lol.

I’m very much a “default home screen / wallpaper” guy. I like the way things look as is.

But again, people seem to be loving it so that’s great.

EDIT: Also, this just seems like sooo many steps. 😂
 
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masteroflondon

macrumors regular
Sep 17, 2007
244
176
London, UK
I’m all for options and customization, but to me a lot of what I’m seeing people post looks tacky Lol.

I’m very much a “default home screen / wallpaper” guy. I like the way things look as is.

But again, people seem to be loving it so that’s great.

EDIT: Also, this just seems like sooo many steps. 😂
-"You're all individuals"
-"I'm not"
;)
 
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neuregulin

macrumors newbie
Feb 17, 2010
18
12
New York City
Totally agree! don't understand why people waste so many time on their phone! It is a communication tool, you can put 16 apps on the homepage, are you so eager to put even more on it?? I am traditional and use mostly no more than 5-7 apps routinely. And I don't need any fancy screen to .... impress myself ?? LOL
 
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4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
4,072
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You wouldn’t notice. That wouldn’t touch your shortcut, which would now just launch the newer version of the app.

Do shortcuts always bandaid the app after it's been pushed to your device? Does that mean that deleting the app saves the icon as well when reinstalled?
 
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ghanwani

macrumors 68020
Dec 8, 2008
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I was happy with the Home Screen in iOS 1. The only thing I have changed since upgrading to iOS 14 is the wallpaper.
 
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hlfway2anywhere

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2006
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Do shortcuts always bandaid the app after it's been pushed to your device? Does that mean that deleting the app saves the icon as well when reinstalled?
It’s not doing any patching of the app. It’s creating a redirect to a script that launches the real app via Shortcuts, and you move the real app off to the App Library.
 
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tha_man

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2016
106
136
Sorry but this just looks awful. Apple shouldn’t allow it. Looks cheap and android.

Yes, it should also not allow to put the iPhones into cheap case, other than the Apple one. And while we're at it, government shouldn't allow us to dress into cheap clothing from H&M and only allow us to drive black premium limos from now on...

I think it's great to be able to customise the look of your device. Some people are more than just simple users, they are enthusiast and enjoy doing stuff like this. If you want the default look on your device, nothing is stopping you to not change absolutely anything.
 
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jsmith189

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2014
1,625
3,194
I've definitely seem some really nice ones. People do tend to let their tackiness shine when given the chance to customise, but some get it right lol.
 
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