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The trend of customizing your home screen has become ever more popular in iOS, and some users are choosing to add custom app icons to their home screen using the Shortcuts app in iOS 14 and later.

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 using Shortcuts, it's at timestamp 3:58.

How to Change an App's Icon With Shortcuts

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, then tap the + icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Add Action, then use the text field to search for Open App.
  3. Select Open App.
  4. Tap App.

    change-app-icons2.jpg

  5. Use the search field to find the app you want to change the icon of, then select it in the list.
  6. Tap the down facing chevron at the top next to "Open App".
  7. Tap Add to Home Screen.

    change-app-icons1.jpg

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

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

  13. Tap Done. Your Shortcut has now been created.
  14. 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 Your iPhone's Home Screen
 
Last edited:

newyorksole

macrumors 603
Apr 2, 2008
5,120
6,428
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. ?
 

masteroflondon

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2007
260
294
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
25
18
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
 

4jasontv

Suspended
Jul 31, 2011
6,272
7,548
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?
 

ghanwani

macrumors 601
Dec 8, 2008
4,628
5,810
I was happy with the Home Screen in iOS 1. The only thing I have changed since upgrading to iOS 14 is the wallpaper.
 

hlfway2anywhere

Cancelled
Jul 15, 2006
1,544
2,338
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
117
155
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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