How to Get an App-Free Blank Home Screen in iOS

Jan 21, 2014 - 14 Comments

How to make a blank / empty iOS Home Screen

The iPhone Home Screen has room for 20 app icons on the front page and four Dock icons across the bottom, with even more app spots available for the iPad. If that seems like 20 icons too many for you, using a little trick lets users create a completely blank home screen page in iOS, reducing the primary page to an empty screen that only shows the icons contained in the Dock. The result is a very minimalist home screen appearance for the first page which emphasizes the wallpaper, while no other apps will be visible until you swipe over to the other screen pages.

This will have no impact on the home screen icon arrangements, it simply moves the initial page aside. All you are doing is creating a new blank page and placing that as the first screen you see when you unlock the device. So, want your home screen to be void of icons? Follow along.

Making an Empty Primary Home Screen in iOS for iPhone / iPad

You’ll need iTunes on a computer to complete this process. The walkthrough was done on a Mac but it should function the same with Windows versions of iTunes as well.

  1. Open iTunes and connect the iPhone / iPad to the computer either with Wi-Fi syncing or a USB Lightning cable
  2. Select the iPhone within iTunes, then choose the “Apps” tab
  3. At the ‘Home Screens’ section, tap on the [+] plus button to create a new home screen page at the end of the page list
  4. Creating a new blank home screen page in iTunes

  5. Drag the newly created blank page from the right side all the way to the left so that it’s in front, it will rename to “Page 1″ as it moves to the first position
  6. Arranging the blank home screen into the first position

  7. Now click “Done” in the upper right corner of iTunes, and choose the “Apply” button to set the changes to the iOS Home Screens

(Remember that choosing “Apply” will also sync over any other changes made within iTunes to settings, music, photos, movies, or apps to the iOS device.)

Now go to the iOS device and unlock it as usual, swiping or tapping your way over to the first page of the home screen and you’ll find a completely blank page of emptiness. Minimalism at its finest!

Minimal iPhone home screen with a blank page

Aside from appreciating the scarcity, it’s also a great way to emphasize a wallpaper if you’re using one you’re particularly fond of, even if it doesn’t otherwise play well with the iOS 7 interface.

Empty home screen in iOS

The empty screen will stay in place until you either move an app on and off of the blank page manually, or by installing something new from the App Store. You can also ditch the blank page by re-syncing to iTunes and removing it manually, or by dragging the blank page to the end of the screen section again.

This has been confirmed to work with the latest versions of iTunes 11 and iOS 7, and it doesn’t require any funky tweaks, empty icons, fake apps, jailbreaks, or other modifications to iOS. That’s not necessarily the case with earlier versions of iOS though, which required third party adjustments to achieve the same effect.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in iPad, iPhone, Tips & Tricks

14 Comments

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  1. Jules says:

    “Its” finest, not “it’s.” #Grammar101

  2. DCJ001 says:

    “The iPhone Home Screen has room for 20 app icons on the front page and four Dock icons across the bottom, with even more app spots available for the iPad.”

    Have you counted the number of apps on an iPad’s home screen? My iPad and iPhone both allow 20, plus four in the dock.

    How can I get more in the iPad’s home screen?

    • Paul says:

      The iPad allows up to 6 apps in the Dock, whereas the iPhone and iPod touch only allows 4 apps in the Dock. These are both the maximum icon count, you can have less of course.

      To add another app into the iPad dock, just drag and drop it there.

  3. tomswift says:

    Nice. This is one of those simple tricks that make you say to yourself “Now why didn’t I think of that?”.

  4. Robert says:

    Why don’t u just hide all your apps.

  5. Sanjeet Suhag says:

    iOS developer here. Doesn’t work on iOS 7.1.4 beta

  6. Tommy says:

    You don’t need iTunes to make a blank home screen. Just make a folder with the apps from your home screen, and have some other apps on page 2. Hit the home button. Now move the folder to page 2 and hit the home button again. That’s it.

  7. mammie says:

    swipe left?

  8. Joe says:

    You need iTunes to customize your iPhone home screen?
    Really, I’m shocked…

  9. Bob says:

    whats that wallpaper? could i have a link? thanks!

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