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How to customize your iPhone’s app icons

Customizing your iPhone’s app icons can be a rewarding way to enhance your homescreen’s aesthetics and functionality. Sometimes, the default icons of certain apps may not match your preferences. If you wish to change these icons without actually replacing the app itself, you can achieve this using Apple’s Shortcuts app. It’s worth noting that the process may be a bit time-consuming, but the end result will be a personalized iPhone homescreen that’s uniquely yours. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

Prepare Your Icon: Before you begin, you’ll need an icon for your new shortcut. You can find icon sources online, like Flaticon, or create your own if you’re artistically inclined. Regardless of the source, save the image to your Photos for easy access.

Access the Shortcuts App: If you can’t find the Shortcuts app on your homescreen, swipe left until you reach the App Library, and then start typing “Shortcuts” in the search bar. Tap on the Shortcuts app to open it.

Create a New Shortcut: In the Shortcuts app, tap the plus sign located in the upper-right corner.

Name Your Shortcut: You’ll notice that your new shortcut is initially named something generic like “New Shortcut 1.” If you prefer a custom name, tap the arrow next to it and select “Rename.”

Add Action: Under the name, tap the “Add Action” button.

Open App Action: Use the search bar to type “Open app,” and then select the “Open App” link that appears.

Select the App: Tap the word “App” that appears next to “Open” in the search bar. Choose the app you want to customize, and its name will be displayed next to “Open.”

iOS 16 Users: If you are using iOS 16, tap “Done” in the upper-right corner to return to your shortcut page. For iOS 17 public beta users, proceed directly to the next step.

Add to Home Screen: At the bottom of the screen, select the information icon (represented by an “i” in a circle) and tap “Add to Home Screen.”

Preview the Icon: You’ll see a preview of the icon, which will initially be a standard, uninteresting icon added by Shortcuts. Don’t worry; you can improve it.

Choose Your Photo: Tap the icon under “Home Screen Name and Icon.” You can either take a photo, choose an existing one, or pick a file. If you’ve saved an image in Photos, select “Choose Photo” and pick the image you want to use.

Adjust the Icon: If you’ve chosen an existing photo, a highlighted area will indicate which part of the photo will be the icon. You can reposition the photo until you’re satisfied with the selection. Tap “Choose” in the lower-right corner.

Review Your Icon: Now, you’ll see your new icon. If you haven’t added a name for your shortcut yet, you can do so here by typing the name next to the icon.

Finalize Your Custom Icon: When you’re ready, tap “Add” in the upper-right corner.

See Your Customized Icon: Your new customized icon should now appear on your homescreen. Congratulations!

Hide the Original App Icon: You can also hide the original app icon, leaving only the new one visible. To do this, long-press on your wallpaper until your icons start wiggling, then tap the minus sign on the app you want to hide. From the pop-up menu, select “Remove from Home Screen.” The original icon will be hidden but not deleted, and you can always access it in the App Library.

Keep in mind that when you use your new icon to access the app, you may occasionally receive a brief drop-down notice indicating the original app’s name and the fact that it is a shortcut. However, this notice will only last for a second or two, minimizing any potential inconvenience.

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