How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

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Believe it or not, there are a variety of ways to customize your app's icons in iOS. One of the easiest ways besides installing apps with user-selectable icons built in is with iSkin, whose site contains dozens of themes and custom app icons to choose from. Whether you want your home screen to look retro, modern, or somewhere in between, there's an iSkin icon pack for everyone — no jailbreak required.

Sound too good to be true? Well, there is a catch: iSkin doesn't actually replace your current app icons with custom ones. Instead, you download "bookmarks," icons that are programmed with a URL scheme name unique to the app in question. When you tap on one of the "bookmarks," you launch the corresponding app. While it's clunkier than using the apps themselves, iSkin's bookmarks are among the best ways to set custom app icons on your iPhone.

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One downside to using iSkin over custom bookmarks comes down to compatibility — you might find some (or many) of the bookmarks you download won't actually work. Some might even cover apps you don't have or have never heard of. Of course, you can always delete the faulty icons and keep the good ones.

Another downside is that you'll have more icons on your home screen, though it's easy enough to banish all the real app icons to a folder out of the way. If you're okay with having to do some home screen reorganizing, then this is the best way to go about getting custom icons. However, navigating the site can be a little daunting at first, so just follow these steps and you'll have your custom app icons in no time.

Step 1: Choose a Theme

Choosing a theme is simple; iSkin's main page features a carousel of highlighted themes to browse. You can swipe left to view the selections given. When you find a theme that interests you, you can tap on it. Alternatively, you can scroll down and tap "Browse all themes" to see all of iSkin's offerings. Again, simply tap any theme you like to continue.

How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

Step 2: Select Your Icons

Once you've chosen a theme, scroll down on its page and tap "Application icons." This will load all of that theme's icons into view, so if you decide you don't like their look you can go back and find a new theme.

How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

While you can select individual app icons one by one by tapping on each icon, it's trickier to figure out how to get them all at once. Tap "Show quick actions," then tap "ALL" next to Select. This will prepare all of that theme's app icons for download. You can deselect any you don't want by tapping on each icon.

How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

Step 3: Install Your Theme

Once you're happy with your icon selection, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and tap "Generate theme." iSkin will then build a configuration profile for you, which you will then need to install on your iPhone to have access to the icons. Tap "Allow" when prompted to continue.

How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

iOS will then launch the profile installer. Tap "Install" in the top-right corner of the display, then enter your iPhone's passcode when prompted. Tap "Install" again, then once more on the red "Install" popup. If the profile took, you should see "Done" in the top-right corner of the display. Tap there to exit.

How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

If you're worried about installing a configuration profile from a website, you can always choose to customize your app icons manually using Configurator 2, though it's a lot more work since you have to pick images for apps one by one. You'll still need to install a profile, but it will be your own profile.

Step 4: Tidy Up Your Home Screen

That's it! You've successfully installed an assortment of app icons to your home screen. This won't replace the corresponding apps, however, so you might want to push those to another screen or place them in a folder to tidy things up. Make sure to test out all of your new icons to weed out any that don't work.

How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking
How to Theme the Home Screen App Icons on Your iPhone Without Jailbreaking

If you have a theme in mind that you can't seem to find on iSkin, why not make your own? Check out our guide to learn how to make these bookmarks yourself.

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