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How to create and manage widgets on your iPhone or iPad

You can set up and control widgets to quickly access key apps and information on your Apple device.


Image: Apple

For the latest version of iOS (and iPadOS), Apple has beefed up the widget feature with more options and greater flexibility. You can now more easily add and remove widgets, change their size and layout, and move them from one spot to another. Let’s see how this works.

SEE: Apple iOS 14: A cheat sheet (free PDF) (TechRepublic) 

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First, make sure you’re running the latest version of iOS/iPadOS on your device. Go to Settings and then General and then Software Update. Download and install the latest update if prompted.

Swipe all the way to the right until you see the widgets screen with individual widgets for calendar, weather, news, and other apps. Swipe down the screen and tap the Edit button. Review the widgets and tap the minus symbol for any you don’t wish to keep. Confirm the deletion (Figure A).

Figure A


To add other widgets, tap the plus symbol at the top of the screen. Swipe down the list of potential widgets. Tap one that you want to add. Many widgets offer a choice of different layouts and sizes. Swipe through the available choices until you find the one you like and then tap the button to Add Widget. Continue with this process until you’ve added the widgets you want to see. Tap Done when finished (Figure B).

Figure B


To add widgets from even more apps, swipe down the screen, tap Edit and then tap Customize. Tap the plus symbol next to a widget to insert it at the bottom of the widgets screen (Figure C).

Figure C


Tap a widget to open the corresponding app. In some cases, you may be able to choose different information from a single widget. For example, the widget for Yelp displays four icons you can select—Search, Restaurants, Coffee & Tea, and Bars (Figure D).

Figure D


To further revise your widgets, press down on a specific one. You should see at least two options—one to remove the widget and another to edit your home screen so you can remove or rearrange multiple widgets and apps. In some cases, a widget may present a third option to edit the widget. In that event, you can modify the information presented by the widget. For example, you can tweak the Notes widget to display notes from a different folder or the Weather widget to display the weather for a different city (Figure E).

Figure E


Next, you can change the location of certain widgets. Tap the Edit button. Then hold down and drag any widget to its new spot. You can even place one widget on top of another and then swipe through the same spot to see each one. Continue until the widgets are displayed in your preferred order. Tap Done when finished (Figure F).

Figure F


To move or remove any widgets you’ve added from the complete list, tap the Edit button and then Customize. At the Add Widgets screen, press down on the hamburger icon next to a widget you wish to move and then raise or lower it in the list. To remove a widget at this screen, tap its minus symbol. Tap Done when finished (Figure G).

Figure G


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