How to organize app icons into folders on Galaxy S III

If you have been downloading apps like crazy since you got your new Galaxy S III, you need to organize them in folders to help find them in the future. 

The Samsung Galaxy S III ships with TouchWiz – Samsung’s own skin to the stock Android software. Out of the box, there is little organization or rhyme or reason as to how your apps wind up where they do. This can make finding them a bit of a challenge.

Organizing your apps into folders can help by combining like apps in one place, which makes future retrieval much easier.  If you are used to previous Android phones where you simply drag one app on top of another to create a folder – you might be frustrated that Samsung has changed that intuitive approach with the Galaxy S III 

Start by making your first folder

Start by tapping the Apps icon, which by default is at the lower right hand corner of the Home screen in the Bottom dock of icons.

  1. Touch the Apps icon
  2. Locate the first app you want to put into a folder
  3. Touch and hold the app
  4. Drag the app to the lower left hand corner of the screen to the Create folder icon
  5. A new folder is created on the screen

create folder  unnamed folder

Now, we need to give that folder a name. In this example, I want to create a folder for all my Google apps, so I start with Google Drive, create the folder as noted above and name the folder Google.

name folder

Once the folder is created, I now want to add apps into that folder to help me stay organized. I will start with trying to get my Google Chrome app into the Google folder I just created.

  1. Touch and hold an icon (in this case Chrome)
  2. You will see the folder you just created
  3. Drag the icon into the folder
  4. Tap the folder to see that it now contains multiple App icons

Add chrome to folder  add more google apps

I repeated this procedure to add my Google +, Gmail, Google Voice, Google Play, Google Music and Google Search apps to my new Google folder.

Add the folder to the Bottom dock

Now that I have put all my Google apps into one folder, I want easy access to all those apps I use so often. One way to do this is to actually put the entire folder into the Bottom dock of icons.

Before I can do this, I need to make some room and remove one of the icons from the Bottom dock. Since I usually use Chrome as my browser on my Galaxy S III, I will move the Internet icon out of the Bottom dock:

  1. Touch and hold the App icon (in this case, Internet)
  2. Drag the icon upwards
  3. Touch and hold the folder (in this case, the Google folder)
  4. Drag the folder down into the Bottom dock of icons
  5. I now have a folder with eight apps instead of just one app in the Bottom dock

move internet icon out of dock  move google folder into dock

Make a Home screen just of folders

You can repeat this process for all of your apps. I make folders for Games, Social Networking, News, Weather and other categories where I have multiple apps on my phone. All the folders are on one Home screen, so I quickly have access to my most important apps – all in one place.

home screen full of folders

Using folders saves screen real estate and makes it more convenient to make one Home page with most of my folders so I don’t have to search around for my apps.


Reader comments

How to organize App icons into folders on the Samsung Galaxy S3


Gary (or anyone) - is there a way to link directly to ALL the How-Tos ONLY for the Samsung Galaxy S3?

I want to send them to someone who isn't the brightest and would rather them not have to search through stuff that isn't relevant to them.

Ugh. Those folders are so damn ugly. Throw Apex or Nova on there and at least get native Jelly Bean folders. Personally, I like the stock folder layout and design in Sense 4 on the HTC One X.

How is the Sense 3.6/4 folders different from native Jelly Bean? I've got a 3.6 device and frankly folders are about 10 times easier to use than Samsung's implementation. This is just awful on their part.

Thanks for this. However, I have one HUGE annoyance that I'd love to see addressed. Here's a hint: "The folder is open." "The folder is closed."

Not seeing where I can disable this -- perhaps the most obnoxious notification I've ever experienced in TouchWiz or Android.

Great post!
I had no idea I could do this.
Just wish I could do it in the Apps part as well as on my home screens =D
Thank you!

I have been searching so long to find an app that can do this. Thank you so much! But, when I put the icons in the new folders, it leaves a copy on the app page. I can't just drop these into the trash can because it still stays on the page. How can I delete these extra app icons without deleting the app?

On 25 OCT 12 at 20:30 and TWO FULL WEEKS AGO "daystarg" wrote:

"...delete these extra app icons without deleting the app?"

Well, I've different issues but alongside the same avenue:

I created a folder to put my games into. Then it was apparent that three of the four games were located on a different screen (than the fourth one was), so I thought it would be rather basic to create a folder on the screen with the most games on it, then "drag" the last remaining game icon over and into it...Doesn't work that way. Can't drag it anywhere because as soon as I initiate the "drag", the bloody WIDGETS windows open and I sure as heck don't want it in a widgeted screen, now do I?! I simply want to put all my games into one folder, all my Google stuff into a different one and so on and so forth..basically, make it more efficient to use like BlackBerry was.

Whats more, now I can't even delete the folder I created on that page. Well, rather, I do not know how to do that. I've dragged it to the rubbish bin countless times, but even though it shows me dropping it into the bin, the folder remains even after a hard re-start.

I admit I'm pretty frustrated about these issues. Would someone kindly help me, or point me to the right forumn someplace so I can get back into control of this little droid?

Kindest regards,


I'm sorry but I cannot understand your advice. When I touch and hold, the app goes to the front screen. The folders are also NOT created the way you describe. How do you put the app into folders?????

I have a Galaxy S3 Live in Oz

I tried put a Folder on the Apps screen but your procedure doesn't work so I found this way works:

Samsung S3 how to put folders in the Apps screen
1. on Home screen press Apps
2. press menu at lower left just next to Home button
3. from the popup menu select Edit
4. press and hold any App you wish to put in a folder
then drag it down to the lower left of screen and place it
on the Folder icon at left side and release
a folder containing this App will appear on this screen
5. to name this folder touch it and a popup window shows
Unnamed Folder in blue
6. touch the blue text and name it and touch any where away
from this window
7. repeat step 4 with other Apps you wish to place in folder
* note: you can browse to the screens by swiping L or R
and drag Apps from one screen to another as needed
8. press Save at the top right


This is exactly what I was looking for, a way to organize into folders on the APPS screen, not the HOME screen. However, I am still at a loss how to move an icon from one page into a folder on another page. There seems to be no way to change pages when in this edit mode? Any help is appreciated.


UPDATE: I figured it out, Its just that the swipe is VERY difficult to get to on my device for this task. It only responds on the left for a tiny portion of the screen. Maybe its the otterbox I have. It only seems to be trouble when trying to do this, otherwise it works fine.

I tried it to organize my apps on the apps page but the app is copied not transfered. So now I have one in the folder and the original one which is still on the app page. Any suggestions?

Sure thats good but nothing I wasn't able to figure out by myself because the GS3 is so intutive but I need more info on app organization specifically this auto icon copy thing going on - when I try to move icons from the app pages to one of the home screen pages I am still left with a copy of the icon on the app page or if I try to delete an app page icon after putting it in a folder on the home screen it doesn't delete!?

And why does a page full of icons act like an ancient "slider" puzzle when I want to arrange icons within one screen? In order to place an icon where you want on a full page the other moved icon goes different places on the page depending if you are moving up or moving down. I need someones help here.

Right now i have 11 dots representing my 15 app pages with one of the middle dots have 4 or 5 pages in it. How many app pages does the GS3 allow?

Im new to the GS3 and android so comment link to a thread if you have these answers. Thanks.

I've made a folder in the app section, for all the apps I rarely use. I've started using one more often and I want to put it back on the main app screen/section. How do I take stuff OUT of a folder? If I hold and drag, it just makes a shortcut on the main page.

Click on the menu button (left hand button at bottom of my note 2 phone)
Select edit
Tap on folder
Long click on app you want to move
Drag to new position outside of the folder
Click Save at top of acreen