How to Use Custom App Icons on iPhone’s Home Screen Using This Hack

BY Parth Shah

Published 23 Sep 2020

change app icon on iphone

iOS 14 opens the door to a number of customization options for iPhone users. Users can now set resizable widgets on the home screen. On top of that, Apple has added a smart stack of widgets and App Library to efficiently place widgets and app icons on the home screen. Speaking of app icons, you can change the default app icon on your iPhone as well. The process isn’t as straight-forward as Android but it’s worth a try if you want to spice up your iPhone’s home screen with a makeover.

You simply can’t download a third-party icon pack from the App Store and change the app icons on your iPhone’s home screen. Instead, you will have to rely on the Shortcuts app to personalize the look of an app icon. The process effectively involves creating a Shortcut to open an app, and then adding an image to that Shortcut on the home screen.

The Shortcuts app is a powerful automation utility that may seem confusing at first glance. You are effectively creating rules and relying on Shortcuts to run and execute the process. Follow our step-by-step guide to change app icons on your iPhone’s home screen.

Before we start, I would advise you to download your preferrable app icons from sources such as Flaticon and Icons8. Now let’s get started with the steps below.

Change App Icons on Your iPhone Home Screen

Step 1: If you have previously deleted the Shortcuts app then go to the App Store and download the app.

➤ Download: Shortcuts

Step 2: Open the Shortcuts app.

Step 3: On the Shortcuts home, you will see your created Siri Shortcuts. Tap on the + icon at the upper right corner.

Step 4: Select Add Action and search for Open App from the following search bar menu.

use shortcuts app to change app icon

Step 5: Select the installed app from the device and hit the three-dot menu at the upper right corner.

Step 6: Give the Shortcut a relevant name. For example, I’m changing the Facebook app icon so I labeled it as Facebook. Select Add to Home Screen.

add shortcut to home - change app icon

Step 7: It will ask you to add a relevant label to an app icon.

Step 8: Tap on the shortcut icon and choose the custom app icon from the gallery or Apple Files app.

Step 9: Select Add at the upper right corner and hit Done.

icon changed on iOS 14

Go back to the home screen and you will notice a new app icon with the Facebook name. Repeat the process for each app that you want to customize on the iPhone and after a while, you will have the perfect look for the home screen.


  • As you can see from the steps above, the whole process to change a single app icon isn’t as seamless as one might have hoped on an Apple platform. It’s manual and time-consuming.
  • It requires you to download app icons from third-party websites. The download process is simple but your app icons might look inconsistent if you are choosing various design styles for different apps.
  • You are not placing app icons on the home screen. You are only creating shortcuts/bookmarks with images. So you won’t enjoy a traditional app icon benefits such as notification badges on it.
  • Tapping Custom App Icons launch Shortcuts first, and then the App.

For a better experience, I would advise you to change app icons for apps that you use infrequently. Regular apps aren’t going anywhere soon. So you will end up with duplicate app icons (one original and other with a custom app icon). I would suggest hiding the original app in the App Library.

Simply long tap on the app icon and select Remove app. Tap Move to App Library and it will remove the app from the home screen and hide it into the App Library.

move app to app library - hide app

Repeat the process for each app and apply new icons on your iPhone. It will take time but you will end up with a visually pleasing home screen to share on social media. Which icons did you apply on the home screen? Show off your perfect home screen setup in the comments section below. While you are at it, don’t forget to check our list of 100+ new iOS 14 features that we have discovered so far.

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