Use Spotlight On Your iPhone or iPad To Find Apps In Folders [iOS Tips]

Use Spotlight On Your iPhone or iPad To Find Apps In Folders [iOS Tips]

Where *is* that app?

We all have too many apps, I’m guessing. As an app aficionado, I have hundreds of apps across several pages, many of them buried within folders. iOS is organized for visual memory; I’m usually flipping through pages and looking for the app I need based on where it is on the page, how the icon looks, and what other apps it’s near.

Once past the first page or two, however, and especially in folders filled with a bunch of apps, that visual strategy starts to break down. Typically, I’ll swipe right from the Home screen and type in the name of the app, then tap on it to launch it. This works fine, but eventually takes more time than just knowing what folder the app resides in. Here’s how to find out.

On any iOS device, press the Home button once from any screen to get back to the Home screen. Press it again–or swipe to the right–from the home screen itself, and you’ll see the search field for Spotlight on iOS. Type in the name of the app you’re looking for, and it will appear in the search results below.

Look just to the right of your app name, and, if the app is in a folder, the folder name will be displayed there. If you’ve named your folders uniquely, you’ll be able to hop back into the main iOS screen, navigate to the folder in question, and then launch your app. Do this a few times, and you’ll automatically start to remember where the app is, no longer needing to use the Spotlight trick for apps you look for frequently.

  • George Burroughs

    Useful tip… thanks!

  • Eurofag

    Why not just launch the app right from spotlight?

  • Garnetstar

    This doesn’t work. I swipe or click to home button and get to spotlight, type in the app name, and it lists the apps, including the one I’m looking for. But the right side, where you show the folders appearing, is blank. How is this different from what I’ve always done, searching in spotlight, then having to launch the app without finding out where it is?

    I use folders exclusively, and really need this. Why isn’t it working? I’m using 5.0.1 on iPad 2.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Culture Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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