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Customize your Home Screen layout and app colors | iOS 18 Guide

iOS 18 offers more freedom than ever to customize your Home Screen. You can place app icons wherever you choose, adjust their colors, and even remove their text labels if you so please. Here’s how you can make the most of these new features.

Note: This guide previews upcoming features. iOS 18 is due for release September 2024, with a public beta in July.

A range of arrangements

You can now place apps and widgets anywhere on the Home Screen, leaving gaps as you see fit. This flexibility allows you to create a layout that’s uniquely yours. For instance, you might position your favorite apps directly above the dock for easy access, or arrange widgets to perfectly frame your wallpaper.

To start, press and hold anywhere on your Home Screen until your apps start to jiggle. Then press and hold to drag an app or widget to any open space. They still snap to an invisible grid for neatness, but you no longer have to start at the top left of the screen. Short-thumbed users, rejoice!

Dark mode and custom colors

You can also enhance your Home Screen with color.

As before, long-press anywhere to enter jiggle mode, then press Edit > Customize. You’ll see a menu allowing you to adjust all your apps in one fell swoop. Choose Light to stick with the standard app icons, or Dark to adjust them to darker alternatives that won’t be so harsh on the eyes. These are created by inverting the white elements to black and so on, while dark and mid-toned apps are left alone. Choose Automatic to switch between Light and Dark when you toggle Dark Mode on your device.

Pro tip: tapping the sun icon in the corner of this menu will toggle between Light and Dark Mode so you can preview what the icons will look like in both situations.

The final option here is Tinted, which washes over an entire page of apps with a color of your choosing. Play around with the Hue and Brightness sliders until you see a style you like. If you’re trying to color-match with your wallpaper, hit the eyedropper tool in the right-hand corner and you’ll be able to pick out a precise color from the background.

Use this setting wisely, as unscrupulous changes can look… well, pretty bad. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Go big or go Home

Finally, you can resize app icons, making them much bigger at the expense of seeing their titles. This is great for legibility if you find the standard sizing too small, and it can also be used to create a minimalist look with no text in sight. Simply choose Large or Small from the Customize menu to see the difference.

Dive in, experiment with these new features, and make your iPhone truly yours.