How To Make Your Home Screen More Manageable and Efficient in Minutes – Android Edition

If you have never tried to organize your apps, you may find yourself frustrated, flipping from screen to screen looking for the app you want. As a librarian, I am always looking for ways to better organize my environment to minimize frustration and maximize efficiency.

Both iOS and Android have options to organize your home screen, and many of them are similar. In fact, last week we published an article on this same subject for iOS. However, Android comes with so many opportunities for customization, the screenshots you see here may not reflect what is on your phone.

Fun Fact: Beyond the differences between Android version numbers (currently 13), Pixel phones and Samsung phones have differences added by their manufacturers. Your mobile carrier may also have made changes to your version of Android if you bought your phone from them. Android users also have the option to use “launcher” apps, which provide many more customization options for the look and operation of your device.

Your Home Screen vs. Your App Drawer

Icons for your apps live in two different places. Whenever you install an app, it is always installed in your app drawer. Depending on your settings, it may or may not also create an icon on your home screen automatically. The home screen is the default screen you see when you unlock your phone. The app drawer can be accessed either by swiping up from the bottom of your phone screen or by tapping the app drawer icon (if available):

Screenshot of app drawer "waffle" icon

The app drawer arranges apps alphabetically, with a search bar at the top. There isn’t much room for customization here without a third-party launcher app, so the rest of this article will focus on organizing the home screen.

The home screen is what you see when you tap the home button/icon or swipe up from the bottom of the screen, depending on whether you have gestures set up. The home screen can actually be several “pages.” Swiping to the left or right from the home page will show you how many pages your home screen is.

Create a New Home Screen Page

To create a new home screen page, press and hold a blank space (between icons/widgets) until the menu overlay pops up. Lift your finger and swipe to the left or right until you see the +. Click on it to add a page.

Screenshot of the home screen options overlay showing the plus icon to add a new page

Adding and Removing Icons from the Home Screen

To add an icon to the home screen:

  • Open the app drawer
  • Press and hold on the app to add to home
  • When the home screen appears, slide your finger to the desired spot and lift your finger off the screen to drop the icon
  • If you receive a message that there is no more room on the home screen, try again, and drag the icon to the edge of the full page to create a new, blank page.

To see the same app icons at the bottom of every page, which is handy for apps you use often, you can drag icons to the “dock” (bottom row on the page).

To remove an icon from the home screen:

  • Press and hold an icon to reveal a menu
  • Lift your finger without sliding it on the screen to reveal a menu
  • Tap remove
Screenshot of the menu that appears with a long press of the app icon, where remove is the bottom option

Note: Deleting the icon from the home screen does not delete the app from your phone.

Quick Menus for Apps

Some app icons are designed to display a context menu when long-pressed (press and hold). These menus contain shortcuts to popular app options. Here is an example of the context menu that pops up when I long-press the Fitbit icon on my phone:

Fitbit context menu with shortcuts to track exercise, log food, log water, and log weight.

Tapping any of these brings me directly to the entry screen, rather than having to open the app and navigate to the logging screen.

Moving Icons Between Home Screen Pages

  • Press and hold an icon to select it
  • Drag it to the edge of the screen until it flips to the next page.
  • Slide your finger to the desired spot and lift your finger off the screen to drop the icon
  • If the screen does not have another page to put the icon on, you may need to follow the instructions above for adding a page.

Creating Folders to Group App Icons

To group icons, long-press an icon and drag it over the top of another icon and let go. The icon will now look like a split of both icons. Tap that to open the folder. Tap on “edit name” to add a name, if desired. Tap the three-button icon to sort or select additional apps.

Screenshot of the folder overlay, zoomed in on the app icons

To separate the icons again, open the folder and tap and hold one. Drag it out of the folder and lift your finger to let it drop on the home screen in a blank spot. You may need to slide between screens or create a new page to find an open spot.

Adding Widgets to Your Home Screen

  • Press and hold a blank space (between icons/widgets) until the menu overlay pops up.
  • Tap”widgets”
Screenshot showing menu overlay with wallpapers, settings, and widgets options showing
  • Scroll through the resulting page to see what widgets are available
  • To add one, press and hold until the home screen appears
  • Slide your finger to find the desired spot to drop the widget. Make sure there is enough room, as some widgets have minimum size requirements.
  • To resize a widget, press and hold it until a menu pops up. Select resize, then drag the dots on any side of the widget to make it larger or smaller.
Screenshot of widget menu with options: configure, app info, remove, padding, and resize.


Using folders and widgets to organize icons on your home screen can help you maximize productivity while minimizing frustration trying to find your apps. Do you use folders and widgets on your phone? Let us know in the comments.

How To Make Your Home Screen More Manageable and Efficient in Minutes: Apple Edition

Depending on how long you’ve had your smartphone, your home screen may be pretty crowded and unorganized. Luckily, there are easy ways you can organize your home screen.

screenshot of an iphone showing the home screen.

A Home screen is the main screen or screens on a smartphone where you can tap app icons to access the apps you have installed on your phone. In this post, we will discuss the Apple home screen. Stay tuned for an Android home screen post.

Home Screen and Dock

By default, an iOS device (iPhone or iPad) automatically adds a newly installed app to your home screen.

Screenshot showing location of page indicators and dock on an iPhone.

There is a dot for each home screen page you have. At the bottom of the screen some apps are displayed regardless of which page you are on. This area is called the dock.

Moving and Deleting Apps

To rearrange apps, hold your finger down on an empty area of the screen. The apps will start to wiggle and each app will have a minus symbol next to it. From here, drag the apps into the desired order. If there is an app you use frequently, you can drag it into the dock on the bottom of the screen.

screenshot showing the screen with minus symbols next to each icon

Tapping on the minus symbol next to an app gives you several options. Delete app removes the app completely from your device. You will get a confirmation that verifies that you want to remove the app completely. The second option is to remove the app from the Home Screen. This removes the app icon shortcut, but the app is still on your device and can be accessed on the App Library screen.

screenshot show the message that appears when remove app is tapped. The options include delete app, remove from home screen, and cancel.

Using Folders

You can group your apps into folders. For example, if you have more than one weather app, you may want to put them into a folder called Weather. To create a folder, long-press a blank area of the screen until the apps wiggle. Next, drag an app to another app you’d like to group it with. This automatically creates a folder. A default name is given, usually related to the type of apps you are grouping. To change the name, tap on the folder, and then the name of the folder. To remove a folder, drag all items out of the folder.

GIF showing how to drag an app onto another app in order to create a folder.

Long Pressing an App

Holding your finger down on an app icon gives you quick app shortcuts specific to that app. For example, long pressing the Notes app has several options. You can write a new note, a new checklist, scan a document, and more. There is also the option to choose edit home screen to rearrange your app icons.

screenshot showing what happens when you long press on an app.

The App Library

Starting with iOS 14, there is also the addition of the App Library, which lists all of your installed apps in organized groups. With the addition of the App Library, you no longer need to have all of your apps on the home screen. Each screen where you see app icons is called a page.

The App Library is accessed by swiping through all of your existing pages until you get to the last screen.

GIF showing how to swipe through all the home screen pages to get to the app library

The App Library organizes all of your installed apps into categories such as social, utilities, and more. You can also search your app library to easily access any of your currently installed apps.

screenshot showing app library

If there is an app that is in your App Library and it’s not on one of your home screen pages, tap into the search box. You will get a complete list of all your installed apps in alphabetical order or you can search for a particular app.

screenshot showing an alphabetical list of the app library

If an app is in your App Library but not on your home screen, locate the app in the app library. Once you have located the app, long press on the app icon and tap on add to home screen.

Home Screen Settings

There are several home screen settings you can change depending on your preferences. Go to the Settings App, then Home Screen (Home Screen & Multitasking on a iPad). You can choose whether newly downloaded apps should be added to the home screen or only the app library and whether you want to see notification badges in the App Library. On an iPad, you will also get the option to change app icon size and whether you want to show or hide the dock. Also in iPad settings, you have the option whether you want to see suggested and recent apps in the dock. The image below is a screenshot of the iPad settings.

screenshot showing the home screen and multitasking settings screen from an iPad

Have you used any of these methods to organize your home screen? Let us know in the comments!

View Saved Passwords with This One Easy Trick

If you’ve used a web browser on a laptop or desktop computer, chances are you have been prompted to save your password when logging into a website site for the first time. It’s a convenient tool when browsing because as we all know, there are so many passwords to remember. But what happens if you saved a password a long time ago and can’t remember it? Good news! In all the popular browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge), there is an easy way to reveal these saved passwords. Security note: if you are saving passwords in a browser on a shared computer, others may also be able to access these passwords using this method.


In Firefox, click on the three lines in the top right corner, to the right of the address bar, and then click Passwords.

Screenshot showing Firefox preferences menu

You’ll see a list of all your saved passwords. If you have a large number of saved passwords, you can also search for a specific site in the top search box. Each entry will have the website where your password was saved, along with the username, if applicable. Clicking on one of the entries will give you more details.

Screenshot showing Firefox password manager.

You can see the website in bold. Clicking on edit will allow you to change the username and/or password associated with that site. If you want to delete this saved password, click on remove. You can copy both the username and password. To reveal the saved password, click on the eye icon next to the password field. You also have details about when the saved entry was created, modified, and last used. If you make any changes, click on the save changes button, which will appear if you click edit.

Google Chrome

In the Google Chrome browser, click on the three dots in the top right corner, and then click on settings.

Screenshot showing Chrome menu to access settings.

Next, click on Autofill on the left, and then Password Manager.

Screenshot showing how to access password manager in Chrome

On the next screen, you’ll see your list of passwords. There is the option to search to find a specific password. You can also turn off Chrome prompting you to save passwords by clicking the blue button next to Offer to save passwords. Chrome also gives you the option to automatically sign in using saved credentials. Clicking check passwords will allow you to see if Chrome considers your passwords weak and to see if your password has been compromised in a data breach.

Screenshot showing Chrome's password manager.

Under Saved Passwords, you will see the website, username, and password. To reveal the password, click the eye icon. With Chrome, you will be prompted to enter the password you use to sign into Windows or Mac as an extra layer of security. Clicking on the three dots will give you the option to change, edit, or remove that particular saved password. Chrome will autosave any changes you make on this screen. You can add a new saved password by clicking the add button. You can import or export your list of saved passwords by clicking the three dots next to the Add button.

Safari (Mac/Apple Browser)

In Safari, click on Safari in bold on the top taskbar, and then click Preferences.

Screenshot showing menu to access Safari preferences.

Next, click on the Passwords tab. You will be prompted to enter the password you use to sign onto your Mac at startup as an extra layer of security.

Screenshot showing Safari's password manager.

From here, you will see your list of passwords on the left. If you click on a particular entry in the list, you will see the website URL, when it was modified, the user name, and the password.

To view the saved password, move your mouse pointer over the black dots in the password field. You can also see it by clicking the edit button. Clicking the edit button will also allow you to edit the password or remove it. Clicking the share icon will allow you to share the password via AirDrop if another Apple user is nearby.

Additionally, if you click on the website name in the list on the left, you can click the minus button on the bottom to delete the password. Clicking the plus icon will allow you to add a new website and saved password. If the Detect compromised passwords option is checked, when you click on a particular entry and there are issues with the password, you will see a message that says “easily guessed password” or “compromised password.” Compromised password means that particular password has appeared in a data leak, which puts that account at high risk of compromise.

Edge (Microsoft Windows browser)

The Edge browser in Windows uses an icon that looks like this:

Image of Edge browser icon.

The website How-To Geek has written up some great instructions on how to view your saved passwords in Edge.

Have you tried out any of the methods described above to view a saved password? Let us know in the comments!

Has Tech-Talk Improved Your Tech Skills Yet?

The East Greenbush Library provides technology help in a variety of formats. We conduct classes, offer one-on-one assistance by appointment, post help videos, and have a page dedicated to online help articles and videos gathered from vetted websites around the internet. Did you know we also have a subscription resource available to our patrons with great articles, videos, and webinars for users of all skill levels? Whether you’re a technology pro or you’re just getting started, Tech-Talk has something for everyone.

While we’ve featured Tech-Talk and some of their articles before, this time we’ve made a quick video to highlight how to find what you are looking for in Tech-Talk. Can’t find what you’re looking for? You can submit requests for future articles and videos on whatever tech topic you need.

If you’d like to receive a weekly quick tip from Tech-Talk in your inbox, along with information about upcoming webinars, sign up for the Tech-Talk newsletter on the main page.

Have you tried Tech-Talk yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Using Canva for Video

Our last post highlighted Snagit as an image and video editing tool, so we thought we’d highlight another popular graphic editing tool – Canva. You may have used Canva as an image editing tool, but did you know it can also edit videos?

If you aren’t familiar with Canva, you may want to start with this introductory webinar and article to get an overview.

The Canva: Getting Started webinar goes into more detail about Canva basics and starting a design from scratch.

The next video/article in the series, Canva: Graphic Design, focuses on more advanced concepts to make eye-catching designs and collaborate with teams.

When you are comfortable creating and editing still images, you can dive into the new video-creation features Canva has to offer intermediate users. Tech-Talk created two webinars about creating video in Canva:

Have you tried making videos in Canva? Let us know what you think in the comments below.