You can’t disable App Library, but here’s what you can do

App Library was introduced on iPhone with iOS 14 and iPad with iPadOS 15. Since then, it has stayed on all future versions, including iOS 16. If you aren’t a big fan of App Library, you might want to disable it temporarily or turn it off entirely.

The bad news is you can’t disable or toggle off App Library on iPhone. But there are some things you can do to make sure you do not have to use it ever. So you can’t get rid of App Library, but we show you how to ignore it.

Disable App Library

What’s App Library?

Since you’re looking to disable App Library, I’m confident you already know what it is. Here’s a recap.

App Library is a single screen that has all the apps currently installed on your iPhone. It also displays the apps you have offloaded and the website shortcuts you have added to your Home Screen.

You can access App Library by swiping left on the last Home Screen. Once you’re in App Library:

  • Tap the regular-sized app icon to open that app.
  • Tap the smaller app icons to open that folder/category to see more apps.
  • Swipe down on the App Library screen or tap the top search bar to see all apps in alphabetical order.
App Library on iPhone
This is App Library on iPhone.

Now that you have a better idea of what App Library is, here are some recommendations to ensure you never have to use it if you want to disable it.

Must see: How to hide apps on iPhone and iPad

1. Make all Home Screen pages visible

You can hide Home Screen pages to have less distraction and reach App Library quickly. But since you do not want to use App Library, make sure all your Home Screen pages and apps on these are visible. To do that:

  1. Press an empty area on the Home Screen until all apps start jiggling.
  2. Tap the tiny dots above the Dock.
  3. Ensure all Home Screen pages are checked and tap Done.
Unhide Home Screen pages on iPhone

Interesting: How to have the same iPhone app on multiple Home Screens

2. Use Spotlight Search

Even if you don’t want to unhide all Home Screen pages, you can search for and open any app. To be straightforward, in many cases, this is quicker than going to App Library and locating the app there.

You can access Search by pulling down the Home Screen. Starting with iOS 15, you can also access it from your Lock Screen with the same swipe-down gesture. As soon as Search launches, your iPhone keyboard is already on screen, making it quicker to type the app’s initial letters and open it.

Use Spotlight Search on iPhone

3. Ensure apps do not download only to App Library

To declutter your Home Screen, you can have newly downloaded apps show up only in the App Library and not on the Home Screen. But as you want to use App Library as little as possible, make sure you do the opposite. That is, ensure the new apps show on the Home Screen (like before) and not only in the App Library.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Home Screen.
  3. Under Newly Downloaded Apps, tap Add to Home Screen.
Add apps to Home Screen and not only App Library on iPhone

4. Move apps out of the App Library to the Home Screen

To ensure you never have to go inside the App Library, make sure all your apps are on the Home Screen. So, if you believe any app is hidden and not showing on the Home Screen, go to the App Library, find the app there, and press its icon until you see it on the Home Screen.

Related: How to move apps in and out of the App Library

5. Remove App Library from iPad Dock

If you have an iPad running iPadOS 15 or later, you will notice the App Library shortcut on the Dock.

App Library shortcut on iPad Dock

If you don’t like it, here’s how to disable the App Library shortcut on your iPad:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Home Screen & Dock.
  3. Under Dock, turn off the switch for Show App Library in Dock.
Show App Library in Dock iPad

6. Ignore App Library

I don’t detest App Library, but I’m not fond of it either. Sure, I have heard people liking it. But I’m not one of those.

I wish Apple adds an option in the Settings to disable it. But unless that happens (if ever), your only choice is to ignore it.

7. Jailbreak the iPhone to remove App Library

Finally, what Apple doesn’t let you do, the jailbreaking community often does. So, if you’re into jailbreaking your iPhone, there is a jailbreak tweak to disable App Library entirely.

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