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Lauren Hurley/PA Wire

Here's how you can get your smartphone's home screen in order

If you find yourself overwhelmed with apps as soon as you unlock your phone, then it’s worth taking a few minutes to reorganise it.

IT’S A NEW year, and that means getting a few things in order, some of them you might not have considered initially.

Your smartphone’s home screen is likely to be one of them, if it’s cluttered up with numerous apps and services that you’ve downloaded but rarely use.

If you in a situation where you have more than three home screens packed with apps, then it might be worth reorganising it.

Get rid of unused apps

An obvious approach but it’s better to be uncompromising when you’re dealing with apps, especially if you regularly download games, as they take up space in both the home screen and your phone’s memory.

If you don’t use an app often enough or you’re saving it just in case you will need it again, then it’s probably better to just get rid of it entirely. If you need it again, you can download it again and most will restore your original settings if you have an account with it.

Organise your apps in folders 

If you’re regularly downloading apps, chances are you will have pages upon pages of app screens, especially if you’re on iOS.

The best way to clean things up is to create folders and group many of them together. It’s better to place them at the bottom of your screen as you will find it easier to access them when using your phone one-handed. Leave the first page for the apps you use the most and want to access immediately.

This can be done on Android and Windows Phone as well (the latter added it in as part of a recent 8.1 update).

[image alt="Folders WP" src="" width="598" height="500" title="" class="alignnone" /end]

Embrace widgets

Provided your phone has the hardware necessary to run them without a drop in quality, widgets can be a handy way to speed up actions that you may carry out every day. Which ones are available to you depends on the type of apps you have installed, but if you find yourself visiting an app regularly, then it’s worth checking out, although they work differently on iOS and Android.

Which ones are available to you depends on the type of apps you have installed, but if you find yourself visiting an app regularly, then it’s worth checking out, although they work differently on iOS and Android.

Android allows you to place them on the home screens (by holding your finger down on an empty part of your home screen, the option will appear), and will present a number to choose from.

[image alt="Android widgets" src="" width="561" height="500" title="" class="alignnone" /end]

Widgets only appeared when the latest iOS update arrived back in October. Found when you swipe down the notification screen, you can add new ones by scrolling down to the ‘edit’ button at the bottom.

Selecting that will present you with a list of compatible apps that you can place or remove here. If the edit option doesn’t appear at the bottom, it’s likely because your phone is locked.

[image alt="iOS Widgets" src="" width="630" height="474" title="" class="alignnone" /end]

Add shortcuts

Adding shortcuts places an app icon for easy access to a web page or service. Usually, this is done by going into your mobile web browser but other apps like WhatsApp allows you to create shortcuts for specific conversations and chats.

You don’t want to clutter your home screen by adding numerous shortcuts so limit them to a few, or put them all into a folder for easy access.

Download a home screen replacement

This really applies to Android (hence its placement at the end), but there are a number of custom home launchers that you can download which makes accessing apps faster. Some like Nokia’s Z Launcher allows you to find apps by drawing the relevant letters and learns which ones you use the most.

If you don’t want to replace your home screen entirely, then an app like Pie Launcher – which allows easy access to apps and hovers on the side of your screen – is a good compromise.

Read: 5 apps worth downloading this week >

Read: YouTube will have another rival soon as Twitter’s video plans take shape >

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