How to Change Icons on Your iPhone: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing icons on your iPhone is a simple process that involves using the Shortcuts app to create a new shortcut for the app with a custom icon. Once you’ve picked out a new icon, you can add the shortcut to your home screen and move the original app to the App Library for a clean look.

After completing the action, your iPhone’s home screen will have a fresh, personalized look with icons that reflect your style or mood. It’s a fun way to customize your device and make it truly unique.


In the digital age, personalization is everything. We want our devices to reflect who we are, from the wallpaper we choose to the cases we buy. And for iPhone users, customizing app icons has become a popular way to add a personal touch to our devices. Whether you’re aiming for an aesthetic look, reflecting your personality, or just bored with the default icons, changing them is a cool way to make your iPhone stand out.

It’s a trend that has caught on, especially with the release of iOS 14, which introduced widgets and more opportunities for customization. This article is perfect for iPhone users who love to add their flair to everything they own. So, if you’re ready to spruce up your home screen, keep reading!

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Change Icons on Your iPhone

Before diving into the steps, it’s important to note that changing icons on your iPhone involves creating shortcuts to apps with custom images. This method doesn’t replace the original app icons but rather creates a new shortcut with your preferred image.

Step 1: Open the Shortcuts App

Open the Shortcuts app on your iPhone.

The Shortcuts app is pre-installed on all iPhones and is the tool you’ll use to create new app shortcuts with custom icons. If you can’t find it, swipe down on the home screen and use the search bar to locate the app.

Step 2: Create a New Shortcut

Tap the “+” icon to create a new shortcut.

Once you’ve opened the Shortcuts app, you’ll see a blue ‘+’ sign in the top right corner. Tapping this will allow you to start creating a new shortcut.

Step 3: Add Action

Tap “Add Action” and search for “Open App” then select it.

In the new shortcut screen, you’ll need to add an action that the shortcut will perform. By choosing “Open App,” you’re telling the shortcut to launch a specific app when it’s tapped.

Step 4: Choose the App

Tap “Choose” and select the app you want to change the icon for.

After adding the “Open App” action, you’ll be prompted to select which app the shortcut will open. Choose the app whose icon you want to change.

Step 5: Tap the Three Dots

Tap the three dots in the upper right corner to access more options.

After choosing the app, you’ll see three dots in the corner of the screen. Tapping them will open a menu where you can name the shortcut and change its icon.

Step 6: Select “Add to Home Screen”

Tap “Add to Home Screen” to add the shortcut with the custom icon.

In the menu that appears after tapping the three dots, you’ll see an option to “Add to Home Screen.” This is where you’ll add the custom icon and name for your shortcut.

Step 7: Choose a Custom Icon

Tap the icon next to the shortcut name and choose a custom image.

When you’re adding the shortcut to your home screen, you’ll see a small icon next to the name field. Tapping on it will allow you to choose a custom image from your photos or files to use as the new icon.

Step 8: Add Shortcut to Home Screen

Tap “Add” to save the shortcut to your home screen.

After selecting your custom icon and naming your shortcut, tap “Add” in the upper right corner. This will add the shortcut to your home screen. You can then move the original app icon to the App Library for a cleaner look.


PersonalizationCustomizing icons allows you to personalize your iPhone’s home screen to your liking, making your device feel more “you.”
Aesthetic AppealWith custom icons, you can create a cohesive look that’s visually appealing and unique to your style.
Fun and CreativeChanging icons can be a fun and creative process, allowing you to experiment with different designs and layouts.


Additional StepsTo open apps, you’ll need to tap the shortcut rather than the app itself, adding an extra step to the process.
No Notification BadgesCustom shortcuts do not display notification badges, so you won’t see unread counts on apps like Messages or Mail.
Potential for ConfusionIf not organized well, custom icons can lead to confusion, especially if the images are not clear representations of the apps they’re linked to.

Additional Information

When changing icons on your iPhone, it’s important to remember that this process is about creating shortcuts, not changing the original app icons. As a result, the original apps will still exist on your phone, and you’ll need to move them to the App Library to avoid duplication on your home screen. This can be done by pressing and holding the original app icon, then selecting “Remove App” and “Move to App Library.”

Also, keep in mind that since these are shortcuts, they won’t support notification badges, which might be a deal-breaker for some. It’s also worth noting that if you ever want to revert to the original icons, you can simply delete the shortcuts and move the original apps back to the home screen. Customizing your iPhone icons can be a fun way to express yourself, so don’t be afraid to get creative and try out different images or themes!


  1. Open the Shortcuts app.
  2. Create a new shortcut.
  3. Add the “Open App” action.
  4. Choose the app to customize.
  5. Tap the three dots for more options.
  6. Select “Add to Home Screen.”
  7. Choose a custom icon.
  8. Add the shortcut to the home screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the icons for all my apps?

Yes, you can create custom shortcuts for as many apps as you’d like.

Will changing icons delete my app data?

No, changing icons through shortcuts does not affect your app data.

Can I use any image for my custom icon?

Yes, you can use any image saved on your iPhone for your custom icon.

Do custom icons support notification badges?

No, custom shortcuts created through the Shortcuts app do not support notification badges.

Can I easily revert to the original app icons?

Yes, you can revert to the original icons by deleting the shortcuts and moving the original apps back to the home screen.


Changing icons on your iPhone is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance the personalization and aesthetic appeal of your device. Whether you’re going for a minimalist look, a vibrant theme, or simply want your favorite characters on your home screen, the possibilities are endless.

Just remember that these changes are made through shortcuts, and there are some limitations, like the lack of notification badges. Nevertheless, the process is a fun and creative way to make your iPhone feel more like your own. So go ahead, get creative, and change up those icons to showcase your unique style!