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How to Customize Your iPhone Home Screen

written by: Jimmy Rogers•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 7/13/2010

One of the best features of the iPhone and iPod Touch is the "everything you need" aspect of the Home screen. These three tips, creating buttons, organizing them in panes, and creating folders, will serve you well in optimizing your Home screen.

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    Home Screen Basics

    The Home screen is where you are taken when you press the appropriately named "Home button." If you have some specific needs for your Home screen, there are a few things you can do to change it.

    For instance, if you want to rearrange the icons on the Home screen, simple hold down your finger on one of them until they all begin to "shake." From there you can drag them around or, if appropriate to the icon, delete it by pressing the small "X" in the upper left corner of the shaking icon. Click the Home button to end "shake mode." This will be useful in for the next three organizational tips as well.

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    Create New Buttons

    The only kind of icons that you can delete are installed Apps and the ones you create yourself. Apps can be downloaded from the App store (over WiFi or in iTunes). If you delete an App from your iPhone interface, it will be removed from your phone, but the program and data will remain in iTunes (up to your last sync) in case you would like to reactivate it sometime.

    The self-made icons are links to websites. When in Safari, you can click the "+" symbol that you would usually use to add a bookmark, but in this case, select "Add to Home Screen" instead. Selecting this option will cause the page's icon and name, which you can change, to pop up as a preview of the new button. Once you are satisfied with the name you can click "Add" in the upper right corner and it will be added to the next available space on your Home screen.

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    Use Multiple Panes

    Remember, there are multiple panes on your iPhone's Home screen now, so by shifting into "shake mode" you can move your new icon (and any others) onto a new pane by simply dragging that icon over to the right side of the screen. After you have added one or more bookmarks to a new pane, you will be able to "swipe" over to that pane.

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    Create Folders

    New in iOS 4, you can also make folders! Whenever you want to group several Apps together, just drag one on top of another. This will generate a folder and auto-populate a name based on the type of Apps grouped. You can change this name if you like. To add other Apps, just repeat the process of dragging new Apps onto the folder button. Whenever you like, you can rearrange the Apps with your finger in "shake mode."

    These three tips, creating buttons, organizing them on panes, and creating folders, will serve you well in accessing your iPhone's iPod Touch's features as quickly as you need to. Good luck and enjoy the mulit-touch goodness!