iOS 14: How to Use App Library on iPhone

BY Parth Shah

Published 24 Jul 2020

The iPhone home screen is getting a much-needed makeover and gaining some useful customization options in iOS 14. Users will no longer be limited to the endless list of scrolling apps pages on the home screen.  With iOS 14 on your iPhone, you can implement resizable widgets on the home screen or hide the home screen pages. The biggest change, however, is the addition of the App Library. Let’s understand what’s App Library, how to use it effectively on the iPhone, and answer some of the commonly asked questions around it.

What is an App Library on iPhone?

There is a new space on your iPhone’s Home screen that’s called the App Library that automatically organizes all of your apps and games into one simple, easy‑to‑navigate view. You will find it by swiping to the left-most home screen. Users don’t need to enable or toggle-on any option to use the App Library on their iPhone.

You will find that all the apps and games that you have installed on your iPhone are already categorized. These categories or folders are created automatically by iOS and are pretty generic—for example, Entertainment, Social, and Productivity, Utilities, Lifestyle, Education, and more. Apple sorts out these apps based on its App Store listing. For example, the Netflix app is listed under the Entertainment category in the App Store, so it goes to the Entertainment folder in the App Library. Amazon comes under the Lifestyle category in the App Store and that’s why you will find the popular shopping app in the Lifestyle category.

There are two smart folders named Recently Added and Suggestions at the top. The Recently Added folder will display all the apps that you have installed recently or last used on your iPhone. Suggestions category offers a list of apps that Apple deems you would open or likely to use based on your recent activity, location, and time.

The folders consist of your most-used three apps upfront with the remaining ones in the category. I like Apple’s implementation as you can access your frequently-used apps without opening a folder in the App Library.

Unfortunately, users can’t create, edit, or delete categories in the App Library menu. If you don’t like it, you can’t do anything about it. There is no way to drag and drop apps even inside a category. The app categorization is handled by the iOS system.

How to Access App Library On iPhone

Step 1: Swipe right to the last page of installed apps on the Home screen.

Step 2: Swipe one more time and you will see a new section called App Library.

The App Library menu stays at the end of installed apps on your iPhone’s home screen. It’s quite easy to fill up the home screen with an endless list of pages. The practice makes it hard to use the App Library menu as it requires too much swiping on the home screen. The good news is, iOS 14 now allows you to hide or remove home screen pages on your iPhone. So you can hide the remaining home screen pages on the iPhone and quickly access the App Library menu with a single swipe on the home screen. You can check our article for the step-by-step guide on how to hide or remove Home screen pages on your iPhone.

Why You Should Use iPhone App Library?

  • Tap on the individual apps to open
  • Tap on the small app-bundle to open the full folder
  • Use the search bar above to quickly find apps
  • Swipe down from the App Libray menu to see a vertical list of installed apps
  • Long-tap on any app to quickly delete the app from the iPhone
  • Find your most-used apps in one place
  • Take a look at all your TestFlight apps in a single TestFlight folder

How to Use App Library Search Menu on iPhone

Users don’t have control over the app categorization in the App Library menu. And that’s why it can be confusing to find the relevant apps from the App Library menu. Thankfully, Apple has implemented the search bar at the top in the App Library menu. You can simply tap on it start typing for the open the app.

Users can also swipe down in the App Library menu and start looking for the app from a vertical scrolling app list. Alternatively, you can tap on the alphabetical letter and jump to the app.

How to Add Newly Installed Apps to App Library

Even though you have removed home screen pages on the iPhone, new pages will automatically be created as you download new apps and games from the App Store in the future. However, Apple offers an option to add new apps and games directly to the App Library. Go through the steps below to change this behavior.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

Step 2: Navigate to Home Screen option.

Step 3: From the ‘New App Downloads’ menu, choose App Library only.

From now on, all the newly installed apps and games will go directly to the App Library menu. You won’t see them on the home screen. You can also long-tap on any app on the home screen and select Remove App. The option will allow you to remove the app from Home Screen and send it to App Library.

How to Delete Apps From the App Library

Users can delete apps from the App Library. Long tap on the app that you want to delete and select the Delete option.

Can You Disable App Library?

No, you can’t disable the App Library. I think Apple will analyze how much percentage of users are using the App Library menu and based on feedback, the company may or may not offer the ability to disable App Library in iOS 15.

You can also check out the video below on how to use App Library in iOS 14 on your iPhone.

App Library is just the tip of the iOS 14 iceberg. Don’t forget to check out the 100+ new iOS 14 features for iPhone that we have discovered so far. Have you installed the iOS 14 beta on your iPhone yet? How’s your experience so far? Sound off in the comments section below.

Learn how to use the cool new iOS 14 features with our step-by-step guide: