Customizing the app icons on your iPhone is that easy — 2022

iOS customization, or rather the non-customization of iOS, has been one of the main reasons why many Android users have never made the leap to Apple. However, this recently seems to have been alleviated, at least as far as applications are concerned, since as of iOS 14 we can change the icons of all the applications we want and customize the screen of our iPhone much more. Keep reading because we tell you how you can do it very easily.

Apple doesn't let you do it natively

There are some applications that allow us to change their icon, but with certain restrictions. For example, the productivity application Todoist allows us to change the color of the icon from the app itself, offering us a great variety. One of the largest applications worldwide such as Instagram, celebrating its anniversary, allowed us for a period of time to choose the icon of the app from a series of options that they provided us.

However, apart from these mentioned options that the applications themselves can grant us, in iOS we cannot change the icon of the apps that we want and achieve the desired customization that many users demand. But beware, that it cannot be done natively does not mean that we cannot achieve it in some way, and this is where the Shortcuts application comes into play.

Necessary requirements for it

After many years in which Apple hardly incorporated aesthetic changes in its operating system dedicated to iPhones, in 2020 a new possibility arrived with iOS 14. The famous widgets were not the only novelty that we could count on when it came to being able to customize the aesthetics of our device, since through the application of shortcuts The Cupertino company offered us the possibility of creating shortcuts through which to open an application that we choose and, above all, to be able to put the image that we want as an icon to said shortcut to later add it to the home screen of our iPhone.

Therefore, the necessary requirement is to have that iOS 14 or a later version of the operating system . We remind you that the devices compatible with these software versions are the following, so if you have an older one, it will not work for you:

  • iPhone 6s y 6s Plus
  • iPhone SE (1st generation)
  • iPhone 7 and 7Plus
  • iPhone 8 and 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XS and XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone SE (2nd generation)
  • iPhone 12 and 12mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max

It should be noted that also with iPadOS 14 and later it's possible. In this case we find the following compatible tablets:

  • iPad (5th generation)
  • iPad (6th generation)
  • iPad (7th generation)
  • iPad (8th generation)
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini (5th generation)
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • iPad Air (4th generation)
  • iPad Pro (any version)

Change icons with Shortcuts

The process is really simple and the steps to follow are carried out in just a few minutes. In the first place, we recommend that before starting the process, or perhaps, as the first point of this, you have downloaded to your photo library the image you want to set as an icon of the specific application. With this ready, what you have to do is have the Shortcuts application, remember that if you deleted it you can download it from the App Store.

  • Open the Shortcuts app.
  • Tap the + button at the top right to start creating a new shortcut.
  • Select Add action and in the search engine type Open App and choose that action.

  • Where it says Select, press and select the app you want to change.
  • Click on the three dots icon at the top right.
  • Give the app a name, usually the original so it looks like it comes with the new stock icon.

  • At this point you will have to do a two in one, since at the same time that you add your app to the home screen, you can also change its icon. To do this, click on Add to home screen, to later give it the name you want and, above all, click on the icon and click on the Select photo option.
  • Choose the image that you have in the photo library and that will be the icon of the app.

add icon instagram shortcuts

  • Now you just have to click on Add and you will have the application with the icon you have chosen.

instagram in shortcut

Our recommendation now to avoid having two icons of the same application is that you move the original to the Application Library.

Disadvantages of this process

What you have really done is not change the icon of the application, but you have created a shortcut with the icon that we wanted, which what it does is open the app after redirecting it with Shortcuts. The application itself will continue to have the same icon as always, only that from now on you will access the application through the icon you created, which has a disadvantage, which is more or less a disadvantage depending on the version of iOS 14 that you have. have installed on your iPhone.

Until iOS 14.2 when we accessed an app through its shortcut, the system would first go to the shortcut app, open the shortcut, and then open the app. He had only been waiting a few seconds, but it was getting really annoying.

inconvenient instagram shortcuts

However, this handicap is less handicap in iOS 14.3 and later since in this and subsequent versions, every time you enter an application through a shortcut, the application will open directly and the only thing you will have to suffer is a banner at the top of the screen that takes a couple of seconds to disappear.