How to create blank iPhone icons for the Home screen using Shortcuts

Blank Icons on iPhone on Desk

The way that you arrange the apps on your iPhone Home screen is important. You probably put those you use most often on the main screen and you may use folders for collecting similar apps in one spot. But for many, the way that these apps look on the screen is just as important as their arrangement.

For instance, as you already know, the apps reside in a grid format. If you have a lot of apps on each of your screens, it can look a bit cluttered and might even make it harder for you to see what you want at a glance.

Would you like to add some space before, after, or between your apps? If so, here’s how to create blank iPhone icons for the Home screen using Shortcuts.

Creating the blank iPhone icons

There are a few keys to making this work correctly. One of them is that you’ll need a plain background or at least one that you can match for the color of the icon. Otherwise, you’ll be able to see it and the point is lost.

For this example, I used the plain black background that’s available in Settings > Wallpaper > Choose a New Wallpaper > Stills.

Next, you can open up the Shortcuts app to create the blank icon.

1) Tap Create Shortcut.

2) You can leave the shortcut as it is without any actions. But, if you want that invisible icon to do something when you tap it on your screen, like open your Photos or add a Calendar event, you can select one of those actions.

3) Tap the Toggle button on the top right.

Create Blank Icons iPhone Shortcuts

4) Enter the Name for the shortcut as invisible characters. You can do this easily by copying and pasting the characters between the brackets below. Do not copy the brackets. Tap Done.


5) Change the Icon by tapping it. You’ll notice that you have colors and glyphs to pick from; instead, tap the Home Screen option. Here you can take a photo or select one from your library that is the exact same color as the background you pick.

Select Icon Background Shortcuts

I simply took a screen shot of the black wallpaper I chose, saved it to my library, and then added it here. Tap Done when you finish.

6) You should be back on the Shortcut screen now. Scroll down and tap Add to Home Screen and follow the instructions.

Add Blank Icons to Home Screen iPhone

The blank icon will appear on your Home screen and you can simply move it where you want it, just as you would move any other app on your screen.

You can continue adding that same shortcut to your Home screen to create more spaces. If you choose to add an action to it in Step 2 above, just note that the action will apply to each one. So, consider creating blank icons without actions if you plan to add many to your screen.

blank iphone icons

Wrapping it up

Having more space between your apps is a great way to declutter your screens. You can even use the blank iPhone icons to arrange your apps in cool patterns. Is this is a trick you plan to try out with the Shortcuts app? Let us know!

And, be sure to check out some of our other tips and tricks.