Changing the app icons on your smartphone is a great way to give your phone a little personality boost. And the best part: it’s easy. We show you which options you have and provide step-by-step instructions.
Android: How to change app icons for individual apps
Changing individual icons on your Android smartphone is fairly easy.
- Search the app icon you want to change. Press and hold the app icon until a popup appears.
- Select “Edit”.
- The following popup window shows you the app icon as well as the application’s name (which you can also change here).
- To choose a different icon, tap on the app icon. Now you can choose a different one from the available selection.
- If you don’t like the default choices, you can always download an icon pack from the playstore.
Change app icons via custom launcher
The second option you have is to use a launcher which allows you many more options to customize your phone’s home screen. There are a wide variety of launchers that each work somewhat differently. In the following, we will describe how to set up the Nova Launcher (for Android) and how to change your phone icons with it.
- After downloading the launcher, open the Nova Launcher app and follow the on-screen setup instructions.
- Once this is done, return to the home screen. Either this will automatically prompt your phone to ask you if you want to switch to the Nova Launcher home screen or you need to tap the app icon again to make the switch.
- To change your app icons, tap the “Nova Settings” icon to open them.
- Select “Look & Feel” and, on the following menu screen “Icon Style”.
- Tap on “Icon Theme” to switch between the different themes installed on your phone. Nova Launcher doesn’t come with its own set of custom icons, so you have to download icon packs from the app store.
- Tip: The preview in the upper third of the screen shows you how the icons will look, so you can make sure they work with your current background.
iOS: How to change app icons on your iPhone
Under Apple’s iOS, only a handful of apps allow you to change their app icons without using additional apps or jailbreaking your phone, and they often don’t advertise this option or lock it away as premium content. However, while you can’t change the icons of the apps themselves, Apple allows you to create Shortcuts or Bookmarks you can customize.
- Open the app “Shortcuts” on your iPhone.
- Select the library tab (the icon shows four squares forming a larger square).
- Tap the plus icon in the upper right corner to create a new shortcut.
- Search or select the actions the shortcut should perform. To add an action to the shortcut, simply tap on it.
- The backwards- and forwards-pointing arrows in the upper left allow you to undo or redo your last few actions.
- Should you merely want to change the order of the individual actions, you can simply tap and hold the action whose position you want to switch and then drag it to the right place.
- You can test your shortcut by pressing the play button (upper middle of the screen).
- Finally, you can name your shortcut by tapping on the symbol with the two toggle switches in the upper right.
- Once you’re done creating your shortcut, confirm by tapping “Done“
- To customize your shortcut, find it in the library tab. Access the settings by tapping on the symbol in the upper right corner of the shortcut (three dots in a gray circle).
- Then tap again on the settings icon in the upper right corner of the current screen.
- Tap on the icon to select a different one. You can select a glyph and the background color of the app icon individually.
- To display the shortcut on the home screen, tap “Add to Home Screen“. Confirm by selecting “Add” in the upper right-hand corner.
- Tip: If you tap the app icon in this screen, you can instead choose to select an image from your camera roll as app icon.
- Now the shortcut appears on your home screen.