Busy, busy home screen

Spring cleaning is upon us, and everyone wants you to take stock of your entire life and throw out half your closet and your whole pantry and ain't nobody got time for that. Want to get some spring cleaning done that you'll notice every day? Spring clean your home screen and your app drawer, and it'll be easier to find apps on your phone and easier to get on with your life. Not to mention, opening your app to a clean, orderly home screen can help bring a sense of order and peace to your life.

So spring clean the thing you use most during your day: your phone!

Step 1: Clean up your home screen

Let's start with the smallest — and honestly, the more important — step of cleaning up your phone: delete the clutter from your home screens. We have things on our home screen, and we get used to them being on the home screen, but do we really need all these app shortcuts and old widgets cluttering up our home screens?

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Nope, and so it's time to clean house — erm, home screen.


Go through every page of your home screens. Look at each app, shortcut, and widget:

  • Have you opened an app shortcut in the last month? If not, long-press and remove it from your screen.
  • Have you opened an app shortcut in the last three months? If not, uninstall it from your phone.
  • Have you interacted with a widget in the last month? If not, long-press and remove it from your home screen. Yes, that includes the Google Search bar. In an age of Google Assistant and "OK Google", how often do you actually use the search bar widget?
  • Does a widget look clunky or ugly compared to the rest of your home screen? Remove it and go find yourself a replacement.

By cleaning up your home screen, you make room for any new apps that might need space on your home screen, and you also allow more of your precious wallpaper to shine through. Once we've cleaned up your home screens, it's time to dive into the real challenge.

Step 2: Clean up your app drawer

Every app installed on your phone is in your app drawer, so by cleaning up your app drawer, you can clean up your entire phone by weeding apps that you no longer need and apps you no longer want. When it comes to cleaning up your app drawer, just remember that there are four options you can take with the apps in there:

OptionsTidy a littleTidy a lot

  • If you use it regularly, leave it alone.
  • If you use it rarely, you can stick it in an app drawer folder. Folders keep seldom-used apps somewhere out of the way until you need it, but easy to find when you do. In many launchers that support app drawer folders, you can create a folder simply by dragging one app on top of another.
  • If you don't use an app anymore or don't want it on your phone anymore, uninstall it and get rid of it. Don't worry, if you need to download it again down the road, it'll be in your Google Play history.
  • If you don't use an app but can't uninstall it because it came on your phone, disable it so it that it can't take any more resources and won't clutter your app drawer, as all disabled apps are hidden from the launcher.

How to disable a pre-installed app

Many launchers allow you to jump right into an app's info so that you can uninstall or disable it, but should your launcher have that convenient feature, here's how to get to an app's app info on any phone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap the app you want to disable.

    SettingsAppsApp you want to disable

  4. Tap Force stop.
  5. Tap Force stop to acknowledge and dismiss the system warning that force stopping an app can cause it to misbehave.

    Force StopForce Step

  6. Tap Disable.
  7. Tap Disable to acknowledge and dismiss the system warning that disabling an app can cause other apps that rely on it to misbehave.


Once you have cleaned out your app drawer and home screen, it's time to take the final step and reap the rewards of your labor.

Step 3: Try something new

Go beyond decluttering your home screen and app drawer and take a step towards organizing or improving it! There are so many things to try in the vast, vast world of home screen launchers:

  • Add a folder to your home screen dock, so you can fit more apps on your home screen without cluttering it up. I did this four years ago and never looked back.
  • Try adding a weather or calendar widget to your home screen, see if it gives you enough information to avoid going into your weather app or calendar app.
  • Try the categorized app drawer in Smart Launcher 5 and see if you find apps quicker than you do in the standard A-Z sort.
  • If you want to pick your app drawer categories yourself, consider digging into the app drawer tabs in Nova Launcher Prime.
  • If you want to give your app drawer and home screen a more cohesive look, try an icon pack that gives all your icons a uniform look.

All cleaned up!

So, how far will you take your spring cleaning? Did you clean up everything? Did you only remove one app from your home screen? Do you think your home screen is perfect as it is, thank you very much? Well, tell us, no wait, show us! We want before and after shots - show us how much progress you've made with your spring cleaning.