How to Use the App Library on iPhone and iPad?

Declutter your Home Screen!

by: - Last updated on: May 20th, 2022
Key Takeaways
  • App Library is an app organization feature that categorically organizes apps inside folders on a dedicated page to make it easier to find them on your iPhone or iPad.
  • By using App Library effectively, you can reduce the unnecessary clutter on your Home Screen and have all your apps organized in one place.
  • App Library is available on iOS 14 and above on the iPhone and on iPadOS 15 on the iPad side of things.

With iOS 14, Apple introduced several new features that affect the core experience of using an iPhone. One such feature was App Library, which continues to be available in the current version of iOS — the iOS 15 — to help users reduce clutter on their Home Screen. In fact, Apple also introduced it on iPadOS 15 to provide similar app organization functionality on the iPad.

iPhone App Library

But what exactly is App Library? And how do you use it on your iPhone or iPad to reduce Home Screen clutter?

Follow along as we answer these questions in detail to help you get the most out of App Library on iPhone and iPad.

What is iPhone App Library?

App Library is an app organization feature on iOS 14 (and later) and iPadOS 15 that categorically organizes your apps inside folders on a dedicated page to make it easier for you to find them and reduce clutter on the Home Screen.

It groups your existing as well as new apps into folders categorized as Suggestions, Recently Added, Social, Entertainment, Utilities, Photo & Video, etc.

Each of these groups has four sections. In groups with only four apps, you’ll find all four places occupied by four different apps, whereas in groups with more apps, the last section again splits into a section of four with smaller app icons.

Irrespective of whether you’re on an iPhone or iPad, the App Library functionality remains the same on both devices.

How to Access App Library on iPhone and iPad

App Library is available on iPhones running iOS 14 or later and iPads running iPadOS 15. So to use it, make sure your iPhone or iPad is running these versions.

Getting to the App Library on your iPhone is pretty straightforward. All you need to do is simply swipe left on the Home Screen till you get to the last page. This is your iPhone App Library, and you should see all your apps categorically organized into folders on this page.

iPhone App Library

Here, you can open apps, search for installed apps, delete apps, or move apps out of the App Library to the Home Screen. To open an app in App Library, you can click on an app category to expand it and open an app, search for the app from the search field, or scroll through the alphabetic list of apps to find your app and launch it from there.

How to Use App Library on iOS 14/iOS 15 and iPadOS 15

Now that you’re on the App Library on your iPhone/iPad, you can perform a bunch of different operations here.

Follow the steps in the sections below to carry out these operations on your device. These instructions are common for both iPhone and iPad, so you can use them to perform different App Library operations on either device.

Search for an App in App Library

  1. While in the App Library, click on the search bar that says App Library or swipe down from the top to bring up the keyboard.
  2. Start typing the name of the app you want to open in the search field.
    search an app in App Library
  3. Tap on the app from the results to open it.

Alternatively, instead of using the App Library search, you can swipe on the alphabetical app list on the right to scroll through the App Library apps and click on one to open it.

Delete an App from App Library

  1. In the App Library, either search for the app you want to delete using the search box or locate it in the app folders.
  2. Touch and hold the app icon and select Delete App from the menu options.
    delete an app from App Library
  3. When prompted to confirm the deletion, hit Delete.
    delete an app from App Library

Move an App to App Library

  1. Open the Home Screen with the app you want to move to the App Library.
  2. Tap and hold the app icon and select Remove App from the context menu. Alternatively, long press and hold an app to put it into jiggle mode, tap the minus () button on the top-left of the icon, and select Remove from Home Screen from the menu.
    move an app to App Library
  3. If you go with the former method, you’ll get the Remove prompt. Tap on Remove from Home Screen here.
    move an app to App Library

As soon as you do that, the app will be hidden from the Home Screen. It will now appear on the App Library, and you can launch it or perform other operations on it, as you do with other App Library apps.

Move an App out of App Library

  1. Either search the app you want to move out of the App Library on iPhone or locate it from the grouped folders.
  2. Tap and hold the app icon and drag it out of the App Library to the Home Screen where you want to move it.
  3. Let go of the app to place it on the Home Screen.

Show/Hide Notification Badges in App Library

Similar to how iOS (and iPadOS) show notification badges for apps on the Home Screen, the operating systems do the same for apps in App Library as well. However, if you want a cleaner experience and don’t want notification icons on apps in the App Library on iPhone, you can hide these notification badges using the following steps.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Scroll down to find Home Screen setting and click on it.
    show/hide notifications on App Library apps
  3. Toggle off the button next to Show in App Library under NOTIFICATION BADGES.
    show/hide notifications on App Library apps

Download New Apps to the App Library

By default, iOS 14 & 15 and iPadOS 15 are configured to show newly-downloaded apps on the Home Screen. However, if you’re after that clean UI look on your Home Screen, you can choose to add new apps to the App Library only.

Follow the steps below to do this.

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down to the Home Screen setting.
    add new apps to App Library only
  3. Select the App Library Only option under NEWLY DOWNLOADED APPS.
    add new apps to App Library only

Now, every time you download a new app on your iPhone or iPad, it will go straight into the App Library. You can find it under the Recently Added app group for the time being, after which it will appear in one of the folders.

Use App Library Effectively to Keep Your iPhone or iPad Organized

Since you spend a lot of time on your device’s Home Screen viewing widgets or launching apps, it’s wise to reduce its clutter and limit the number of pages on it.

App Library helps you do just that, and with the help of this guide, you should be able to use App Library on your iPhone or iPad effectively and keep your device organized.

FAQs About iPhone App Library

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't offer the ability to organize App Library on iPhone or iPad as of iOS 14/iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. You can, however, access apps in the App Library and perform a few other operations on them, as explained in the guide above.

Sadly, you can't get rid of the App Library on your iPhone or iPad. Apple doesn't give you an option to hide or delete the App Library page. However, if you find App Library confusing and don't wish to use it, you can create new pages and add apps to them. Moreover, if required, you can change the option to add newly-downloaded apps from the App Store from App Library Only to Add to Home Screen.

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