It’s hard to believe that there was once a time when iPhone owners had to do without folders. To make matters worse, iPad owners are just recently reaping the benefits of folders.

Prior to this revelation in organization, our apps were scattered across screen upon screen, making it extremely difficult to find a specific app quickly.

If you’re new to the iPhone, or just need a brief refresher course, this iPhone Basics tutorial will explain how to use and manage your folders properly…

In a nutshell, folders allow you to better manage your cache of apps. Using them helps you to avoid having page after page of app icons littering your Home screen.

Remember, that folders have a 12 app limit, so keep that in mind when it comes to organizing your apps. There are workarounds to the 12 app limit, but they all require your iPhone to be jailbroken, which is beyond the scope of this iPhone Basics tutorial.

Do you have any tips or tricks that you find helpful regarding folders? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Josh


    • Hey, new ones have to start somewhere!

  • Kerstin

    Thank you! Ahh superb, now I have a “pointless waste of data traffic” folder! Bookmarked this entry too, Ty 🙂

    Seriously though, what target audience DO you want here? Pretty patronising stuff.

    • Jeff


      Hi, my intent wasn’t to be patronizing at all. I know quite a few people who just got iPhones, and some of them have asked similar questions. Basic questions. Of course this isn’t iDB’s main course, but it’s a nice side dish for those trying to quickly get up to speed.

      There’s only a few more ‘basics’ aspects that we’ve yet to cover, and from there we’ll be touching on some more advanced points.

    • You’d be amazed to see how many people were surprised to see Folders on my iPhone. New users usually don’t have any idea they can do that.

      • Kerstin

        Having re-read my response I realise it was pretty offensive if read wrong (note-to-self: don’t post hastily while waiting for the train)

        In truth, Jeff, I rather like your narrative style and enjoy your write ups. I think my (mild) annoyance came from a dreadfully long wait (poor signal, not your fault) only to find it a “beginner ” subject.

        Some of the more interesting articles are often found under obscure titles, so I was just curious enough to click through 😉

        Theres nothing wrong with your article in ANY way, and superbly written for your intended audience. I just wasn’t it. Perhaps a “Beginner: ” in the title for those of us browsing on iPhone?

        Again, apologies and don’t be disheartened by thoughtless or hastily typed feedback. The most of us do love this blog 🙂

    • Ah, I understand. Signal issues can be annoying as all get out. I think you made a good point, maybe we’ll try to distinguish the ‘Basics’ series a bit better in the future. Thanks, and appreciate the feedback!

  • Radu

    for instance: me!
    I just love this blog <3
    Thanks for your great work, Jeff! Keep it up.

  • @LappyGirl

    My BFF just bought her very first iPhone a month ago. She not only had no idea how to make folders, but she didn’t know how to rearrange or delete apps. If people haven’t owned one before, they don’t know how do things that you and I find simple.

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been trying to explain via phone & text (we’re in different states) but this made it much easier 

  • Z

    You’d be surprised how many people don’t even know they have a switcher bar, how to close out apps individually, and why and what they are doing in the switcher. So, Jeff, keep up the good work and I’m sure these tips for new users will result in more loyal idb readers and, eventually, more experienced and happy with their devices.

  • Uri

    I can’t find an article about how to personalize the icons for EVERY folder (not change the default folder icon). I mean, if I have a folder with games, I want a different icon that my “Social Media” folder has.

    Any tips?


  • Wil

    Thank you for this and the Spotlight Search Tutorial. I am brand new in the iPhone/Apple world and it can be very frustrating sometimes. I plan to watch all of your tutorials so I can get the max out of my phone.