How to move iPhone application (app) icons around

iPhone/iOS apps FAQ: How do I move iPhone apps or app icons? (Related: How do I move iPod or iPad app icons?)

Way back when I first started using an iPhone, I learned (by accident) how to move iPhone apps (applications) from one place to another on the iPhone screen. And while this tutorial shows an older iOS image, the technique works on all iOS versions, including iOS 12, which is the current version in 2019.

How to move iPhone apps (iPhone app icons)

To move iPhone app icons, just press and hold one of the iPhone app icons until all the icons on screen appear to get very nervous and start wiggling around (shaking in place). You just have to press down on the app icon for about a second for this to start, and believe me, you'll recognize this behavior when you see it.

Once all the iPhone app icons start shaking, you can move an app icon by pressing it and dragging it to a new location. You can even move iPhone apps from the first screen over to the second screen, and vice versa. As you start to move an iPhone app, you'll see the other iPhone app icons move to get out of its way, which is pretty entertaining.

Without creating a video I can't show how the app icons actually shake or move in place, but hopefully this image will give you a little idea of how the iPhone screen changes after you press an app icon for a second or more:

The appearance of the iPhone application icons when they are ready to be moved or deleted.

In particular you'll see the "X" in the upper-left corner of the icons that can be deleted at this time. When the iPhone is in this state you can move the iPhone app icons around as desired.

Dragging/moving iPhone apps (and iPod or iPad app icons)

As you move your app icon around, you'll see all the other applications move around and try to get out of your way. This is actually a fun thing to do just for the sake of goofing around. Of course after you finish goofing around you then realize that you need to plan out your moves ahead of time, but it's still fun.

When you're finished moving your iPhone apps around, just press the round "Home" button at the bottom of the iPhone, and your application icons will quit wiggling, and you'll be back in the "normal" user mode.

(You can also move iPhone/iPad app icons in iTunes when your iPhone or iPad is connected to iTunes, but the process is essentially the same.)

I hope this tip on how to move iPhone apps (iPhone app icons) has been helpful. As mentioned above, because the iPhone, iPod, and iPad all use the iOS operating system, this same technique also lets you move iPod app icons, and also move iPad app icons.


I don't have iTunes 9 installed, but I just read that you can move your iPhone application icons around via iTunes. If so, that would be pretty cool.

With the caveats that I don't have the latest iPhone firmware update or iTunes 9 installed, mine still works fine on the iPhone though. I currently have four screens of application icons, and if I go to any screen, then press and hold an icon for less than two seconds, all the icons start wiggling around.



Thanks buddy, this was very helpful.


Thank you soooo much!


Took a bit of getting used to as I kept trying to "flick" the icons around the screen and from one page to the next, but once I realised you keep your finger on the icon and drag it, it worked perfectly. Thanks for the tip, you're a star ;o)


Thanks for posting this!


My darling son had managed to move all of my icons without either of us knowing how he'd done it, I now have my phone call image back on the bottom toolbar instead of alone on an otherwise empty page 4 of apps.


I accidentally moved all my apps somehow and was trying to figure out what happened - now I know how to fix it even if I didn't know what caused it!


Many thanks! Information & knowledge sure is power.


i was able to move an app to fill the empty space from a previous one that i had deleted. Thanks again!

yes, you have to keep trying in order to get the apps to a different page. just keep your finger on the app and keep trying to move it to a different page. each page only holds 15 icons so you won't be able to move stuff to first page until you make another slot. each folder icon holds 12 apps


After 3 years using my Iphone but still don't know how to do this trick (i can't be bothered really..). Finally found this post and only take me 5 second to master. Thanks again and you are the best!!


Great tip! I'd been wondering how to do this and how to delete apps. Clearly written and easily followed. Thanks!