App shortcuts are great, but can quickly overwhelm your homescreens

There are a few important settings in the Google Play Store app on your phone or tablet. Settings that keep the kids (or yourself) from making random in-app purchases, or content filtering for folks who want to sort mature-rated apps out of the store. But there is one setting that you need to look at before you do anything else — the one that adds a shortcut to your homescreen for each and every app you install from Google Play.

It's enabled by default, and therein lies the issue. Some of us want a shortcut for all the apps, others want to do things manually and only add a few. If you don't change the default, you can become inundated with shortcuts. This is especially true when you are setting things up for the first time, and install all the apps in your list in one shot.

Thankfully, it's easy to change the default setting. On your phone or tablet, open the Play Store app. Open the menu, and open the "Settings" section. Under the "General" heading, you'll find an option that says "add icon to home screen." If that box is checked, an icon for every app you install will be added to your homescreen, in a seemingly random fashion. Uncheck it and they won't.

Chances are you'll want a bit of control over which apps get a shortcut on your homescreen. If so, this is the Play Store setting you need to check right away.