Organizing and Arranging iPhone and iPad Apps Using iTunes

June 03, 2014

Organizing and Arranging iPhone and iPad Apps Using iTunes

For many these days, iPhones and iPads have become an integral part of their digital photography endeavors. These digital devices are often required accessories in many photographers' camera bag.

I'm completely on board with that. My iPhone is always with me and, like most folks, I pull it out frequently to snap pictures of whatever is going on around me whenever I'm without my DSLR. Plus, I have a plethora of camera apps on my iPhone and I like to try out any new ones whenever I get a chance. And even when I have my DSLR with me, I always tuck my iPad in my bag whenever I go out shooting. I use it for previewing images and, occasionally, for editing them on the go.

I find that my workflow runs smoother, whatever task I'm about, if I have taken the time to organize the way that the apps show on the iPad and iPhone screen. Having the apps arranged and organized in a logical way can cut down on the time spent hunting around for a particular app or icon.

If you own an iPhone or iPad, you're probably already familiar with how to rearrange the icons by pressing on the app until the icons start to wiggle and then dragging each around the screen until they appear where you want them.

The problem with that method is that it can be fairly time consuming because you can only move one icon at a time. So that can mean a significant time commitment if you have a lot of apps loaded on your phone (and who doesn't have a lot of apps?) Beyond that, I find this approach cumbersome and frustrating because it always seems to take a couple of tries to get the icon to show up where I want. Maybe it's my fat fingers.

For that reason, I like to organize my apps using the iTunes interface on my laptop, I especially like using iTunes when I have a lot of organizing and rearranging to do. Organizing iPhone apps via iTunes allows you to see all of the Home screens at once, move multiple icons at a time and even rearrange the order of the Home screens.

Here's how to do it.

Step 1

Connect your iPhone or iPad to your computer and go into iTunes. There, depending on how you have your iTunes screen set up, you will either see the iPhone/iPad listed as a device in the left hand sidebar:

organize iphone using itunes

…or, if the sidebar is hidden, you will see the icon in the menu bar at the top of the interface:

organize iphone using itunes

In either case, click on the iPhone/iPad icon to select it.

Step 2

After selecting the iPhone/iPad, you will see a screen, similar to one below, showing basic information about the device.

Click on the Apps option in the top menu bar.

organize iphone using itunes

The Apps screen will appear. On the left side of the screen, you will see a list of the available apps. There, you can install or remove apps to and from your iOS device.

On the right of the Apps screen, you'll see a Window labeled 'Home Screens' containing a graphical depiction of your Home screens, showing the current location of all of your apps.

organize iphone using itunes

To begin organizing the app icons, first double-click on any of the Home screen and it will get bigger.

organize iphone using itunes

Then:

    • To rearrange and move the apps, click to select an icon (a blue border will appear around the icon) and then drag and drop it wherever you choose, either to another location on the same screen or to another Home screen.
    • To move multiple icons, hold down the Shift key and click on the app icons that you would like to move. A blue border will appear around each icon as you click on it. Then click and drag the group of apps to move them.
    • To add an additional Home screen, click on the plus sign at the top right-hand corner of the Home Screens window.
organize iphone using itunes
  • Group apps into folders the same way you do on the individual iOS devices. To do this, drag and drop one icon on top of another and a folder will be created.
  • To move and rearrange the order of the Home screens, click and drag the screens to the position of your choice.
  • To delete an app, hover your cursor over the app icon until you see an X appear and then click on that X to delete the app from your device.

When you are finished and happy with your changes, click on the Apply button at the bottom right of the interface. But if you're not so happy with the changes and you'd like to start again, hit Revert to undo.

For more great iPhone and iPad tips and tricks, check out Terry White's latest video, 10 iPad Tips and Tricks. This video contains all sorts of helpful pointers that will make using and working with your iPad and/or iPhone quicker and easier.




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