How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

Change your icons on your iPhone home screen for the themed home screen of your dreams.
2 minutes

It was an exciting day when Apple introduced Shortcuts. With Shortcuts, came an uncountable amount of capabilities for making your phone more as convenient as possible with... you guessed it: shortcuts.

Many people became excited about the potential that came with these shortcuts, and for good reason. Turning a task from several taps to one tap or one voice command is certainly a shortcut any iPhone user would want to have. However, Shortcuts came with a particular capability iPhone users had long been wanting: the ability to change home screen icons.

With this came people with full-on phone themes of every kind. Harry Potter iPhone themes, neon iPhone themes, minimalistic iPhone themes, and the list goes on. Customizing your iPhone home screen icons means a layout and theme that looks like you want it to look. Plus, it's a lot of fun to customize them, and the combinations are endless.

Before moving forward, I want to clarify that you aren't actually changing the icon image of the app itself; instead, you are replacing the icon with a new icon/shortcut and a fancy image of your choosing, which can be used as a Shortcut. We will then remove the original app so we can use its prettier doppelganger.

Note: If you do not have iOS 12 or iPadOS 12 or later, the Shortcuts app will not be on your device and you will not be able to change your iPhone home screen icons until you update. You may need to update further, to iOS or iPadOS 14, in order to have this capability to do the steps in this guide. Also, this process will take time if you have a lot of apps you plan on doing this for.

iPhone 11 (256GB + Green)iPhone 11 (256GB + Green) ×1

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How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

First things first, choose an image! This is where you can get creative, but you have two general choices:

  1. Choose an image from one of your photos, download a photo, or search for a photo you want to replace the usual icon image with.
  2. Download an icon pack. The icon packs out there are plentiful. There is so much to choose from, so try to have an idea before moving into it. There are several apps that you can use, which will do an overhaul of all your apps for you, so that you don't have to add them one by one, but you will still have to remove the original apps from the home screen and reorganize the new apps. I recommend finding a free icon pack for iOS like the free icon pack I used here.

The first option is more time-consuming and a bit less organized. The second is a bit more realistic, and you can get an entire matching pack to use as icons. That is what I would recommend.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

Find the Shortcuts app on your home screen and give it a tap.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

Here, you will click the "add action" button.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

In the search bar up top, type in "open app." Then click the "open app" option that populates below.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

To the right of "open," you will see "choose." Here, you will want to click choose so that you can choose the right app to create the icon shortcut for.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

A list will appear. You can either scroll to find the app that you are trying to change the icon for, or you can type it in the "search apps" search bar.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

Now, you will notice that it says "open" followed by the app's name. In my case, it is Pinterest, because that is the icon I am choosing to change. To continue, click the ellipsis "..." in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

To the right of the app name, in my case Pinterest, there will be a small app icon. This is how the app will appear on the screen, so this is also where we make magic happen. Click that little app icon to bring down the drop-down.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

There will be three options in the drop-down. Select the one where the icon or photo you want to be displayed for that app icon is stored. In my case, I downloaded an icon pack, and that pack was saved to the Files app.

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

Select the image you want to be used as the app icon. See how I have an app icon I previously downloaded for Pinterest? Click on the image and boom! Icon changed (sort of).

How to Change Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

See how I have two of the same app now (one of the original app and the new app shortcut with the new icon)?

Hide the original app by removing it from the home screen, so that the shortcut, with the preferred, new icon can be viewable and you don't have duplicates.

Hide the Original App

To delete the original app do the following:

  1. Press and hold the original app until it jiggles.
  2. Click "remove from home screen."

All done! Look at your shiny new app!

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