iOS 16 Home Screen Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Features

If you’ve been an iPhone user for any significant period of time, chances are you’re well-versed in iOS home screen management. Old-timers have certainly adopted best practices for managing home screen app icons, interacting with the app library, widgets, etc. But here’s my challenge: Even if you consider yourself a home screen expert, chances are you’ll find at least a few tips in this guide that you didn’t know before.

And if you are new to the iPhone? Then this nearly hour-long tutorial will help you handle your iOS home screen like never before in 4K60p HDR. Check out our how-to video, and be sure to subscribe to 9to5mac on YouTube for more videos like this.

In this written post, I’ve selected three of the items covered in this video that I think more experienced iOS users might appreciate, but that’s just a small taste of what you’ll learn. If you want to see the full tutorial with all 85+ tips, you can check out the embedded video below.

I’ve included handy timestamps so you can consume the video non-linearly, if you want. In fact, if you click the links in the headers of each of the three tips below, you’ll jump right to that point in the embedded video.

Video: 85+ Tips, Tricks, and Hidden Features for the iOS Home Screen

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The iOS home screen page editor provides users with an expanded view that shows all available home screen pages. It is possible to drag an app icon from Spotlight search directly into the page editor by opening the editor while holding down the app icon. While this seems to be more of a bug or glitch, it is possible.

Drag an icon from Spotlight search directly to the home screen page editor interface.Drop Spotlight Search Icons on Home Screen Page Editor

Step 1: Open Spotlight search and drag an icon from Spotlight suggestions or via a direct search query to the home screen.

Step 2: Continue to hold the app icon and enter editing mode.

Step 3: While holding the app icon, touch the dots on the home screen page to enter the page editor.

Stage 4: Drag and drop the app icon onto a home screen page. You can specify the exact location on the page of your choice and even add the icon to folders.

It always amazes me how few people realize that it’s possible to move multiple app icons on the home screen at once. For example, you can move a group of five icons from one place on the Home screen to another place on the Home screen. You can also move that same group of apps to a new home screen page, to a folder, or completely off the home screen and into the app library.

There are many reasons why you’d want to move multiple app icons around, and some of the more advanced tips covered in my video tutorial, like quick icon reordering, build on this trick as a prerequisite.

Move four app icons on the home screen in iOS 16 while in edit mode.Move multiple app icons

Step 1: Enter edit mode.

Step 2: Touch, hold, and drag an app icon you’d like to move.

Step 3: While holding down the first app icon, use your other hand to touch another app icon. This will add the second app to the app icon stack.

Stage 4: Continue adding more icons to the stack by touching the apps you want to move.

Step 5: Move the app icons to the desired location, just as you would when moving a single app.

Step 6: Exit edit mode.

Have you ever been moving an app icon around, but then changed your mind? The next time this happens, use this handy home screen edit break technique to quickly move your icons back to their previous location.

About to exit edit mode before finishing the movement of an app icon, effectively interrupting the movement.Easily stop the movement of an app icon when exiting edit mode

Step 1: Enter edit mode.

Step 2: Continue editing the home screen page (move app icons, widgets, etc.), but don’t release your finger to solidify the changes.

Step 3: Before you release your finger, exit editing mode. Your changes will be discontinued and all items will return to their previous locations, even if you moved multiple items between pages.


These three tips are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home screen management. Even long time power iOS users will likely learn some new tips or tricks from the comprehensive and detailed video guide. Ring below and let me know if you learned anything new!

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