Editing an iPhone home screen using macOS

My iPhone has a weird bug: I can no longer re-arrange the app icons on the home screen (or in the dock) by dragging them around on my phone. It lets me get into edit mode (where the icons wiggle) and drag them around, but when I release they go back to where they came from.

Today I found a workaround.

It used to be possible to edit the home screen layout using iTunes on macOS, but that's no longer possible now that iTunes has been replaced by the new Music app.

Instead, you can edit the layout using an app called Apple Configurator.

This is designed for IT departments that need to manage dozens or hundreds of devices, but it turns out it solves this problem for a solo device too.

Connect your iPhone to your Mac laptop via a USB-C cable, then open that application.

Then right-click on the full screen display of the device on the "All devices" page and select Modify -> Home Screen Layout:

Screenshot showing the right click menu with Modify -> Home Screen Layout...

This opens a window which can be used to re-arrange icons, including dragging them into the dock:

It's not a pretty interface, but it works

Click "Apply" to send the updated layout to the phone.

Created 2023-12-11T16:51:04-08:00 · Edit