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How to Change App Icons on iPhone [Video Tutorial]

15th May 2022

Jacob Woolcock


In this short and easy-to-follow tutorial I’ll show you how to change your iPhone App Icons to show off your personality and aesthetic in your own style. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to replace a boring App Icon with an image of your choosing – and I’ll even share an awesome trick to hide the Shortcuts Banner Notification running each time you use the new App Icon. I’ll talk you through replacing the old app icons with the new ones in a simple, clear way and will share some top tips for making your iPhone home screen look as aesthetic as your iPad!

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Hi, Jacob here, and today I’m going to teach you how you can replace app icons on your iPhone, and even better still, I’ll show you a way to hide that annoying Shortcut banner that comes down at the screen if you don’t do it properly. Let’s get started.

We can use this technique to replace any app icon on your iPhone (even the Apple apps that are built in), and for me, I’m going to change the icon for BBC News. This icon recently changed from a very easy to spot red icon to this, well, bizarre black and red combination thing. I don’t like it very much!

Of course, you’ll need to have a new icon to replace the old one with. So, if I jump into the Photos app, you’ll see I’ve got a screenshot there of the old BBC News icon. As long as your image is square, it can be anything you like. It could be hand-drawn, it could be a picture from the internet, it could be an icon pack that you found somewhere and downloaded – but make sure it’s in your Photos app ready to go.

Then we’re going to jump into Shortcuts. Now, if you haven’t got Shortcuts already, you can grab it from the App Store, and it’s completely free (made by Apple), and it’s a really handy app. And although Shortcuts can do a lot of very complicated things, today we’re going to use it for a really simple purpose. So don’t be scared!

In the top right corner, press the Plus button, and you’re going to name your Shortcut. Give it a name that you’ll remember – so for me, ‘BBC News Icon’ seems perfect. And then what we want to do is to press the Add Action button. Now from here, you’re going to search and you just want to type in ‘Open App’. When that action comes up, just tap on it, and then from there you can choose the app you want to open. So for me, I’m gonna open BBC News.

When you’ve done that, your Shortcut is pretty much complete – all you need to do is press the Settings button in the top right-hand corner. This is where the clever bit comes in, with adding it to your Home Screen. So we’re going to press that top menu option called ‘Add to Home Screen’, and from here we get a preview at the top of our screen as to what our new icon and name will look like. At the moment it’s called ‘BBC News Icon’, but if I rename that below just to BBC News, you’ll see the preview update at the top in real-time.

Now all that’s left to do is the icon, and if we tap on the placeholder to the left-hand side, we can then go into our Photos App and choose that icon I showed you earlier. You can see that the preview is updated and it looks just like the old BBC News app – which is exactly what I wanted! So I’m going to press Add in the top corner, and that will then jump me back to my Home Screen. And you’ll now see my new Shortcut is there right next to the old BBC News icon, and at this point, you can probably see why I’m confused about why they changed the icon so dramatically!

But enough of that…

If I tap onto my new icon (which is the old icon – oh that’s confusing!), if I press the red one, it will open BBC News just like this. But as great as that is, there’s that annoying banner at the top of the screen that tells me Shortcuts is running in the background. I’ll show you again by opening that app. There it is again.

Now, it’s not the end of the world, but we can actually clean up our iPhone and get rid of that if we wanted to. So we’ll jump back into Shortcuts, and we’re going to press Done and then Close to leave the Shortcut we were just working on. Now we’re back on the Home Screen at the bottom we can press Automation. I’m then going to choose a Personal Automation and I’m going to scroll down the list of different triggers until I find the one that’s simply called App.

From here, we’re going to make the trigger run when the app is opened, and we can choose the app we want this to apply to. So I’m going to press on here and choose BBC News again. This means anytime I open BBC News this Shortcut will run. So we’ll press Next in the top corner, and we’ll add our all-important action.

When you press Add Action, it will bring up that search page again, and this time we’re going to search for ‘nothing’. Yeah, you heard, ‘nothing’. Literally type it in and tap on the option for Nothing. That means when the Shortcut runs, nothing will happen at all on your iPhone.

Now, you might think that’s a bit weird, but when I press Next

in the top corner, I can then turn off ‘Ask Before Running’. As long as both of these toggles are off, something very clever will happen. So I’ll press Done in the top corner, and then we’ll go back to the Home Screen.

Now when I open up that new BBC News app using my red icon, you’ll see that banner’s not there anymore! That’s because Shortcuts is deliberately doing nothing – and that includes showing the banner from the previous Shortcut. It’s all very confusing, but it works really, really well.

Now, what that means is that every time I open my new app, it’s exactly like opening the old one but with a new icon, and I’m so happy with this because I can even remove the old icon from my Home Screen without deleting it. So tap and hold on the old app you want to get rid of, and then press Remove App. From here, you don’t want to delete it because then your Shortcut won’t work, but you can press Remove From Home Screen. That will then add it to the App Library.

And if I swipe my iPhone all the way to the right-hand side, you can see that app is still there, but it means it won’t clutter up my Home Screen. You can use this for any app you like, with any icon you choose – and that will make your iPhone even more personal.

Let me know in the comments down below if this helped you, or if you’ve got any questions, drop them in there as well, and I’ll try and answer them as quickly as I can.

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