How to Disable Google Now on your Android Device

There’s nothing worse than a clutter of apps on your home screen. Most of them you do use, but you need a way to remove apps from your home screen without deleting them. Luckily for you, such a method exists. It’s thanks to the function of the Home Screen and App Drawer that allows one to remove apps from the home screen without deleting them.

What is the Home Screen?

If you’re familiar with a computer, you’ll know that the “desktop” of a computer is where you’ll find all the created shortcuts for the various programs installed on the computer. Your Home Screen is the equivalent of a computer’s desktop.

Head over to your Home Screen. Look towards the bottom half and you’ll notice a series of dots where your home screen ends. This indicates the number of home screens currently in use.

You can increase the number of home screens you have that you can cycle through (by swiping left and right) and, of course, you can also decrease the number of home screens you have. Not everyone likes a crowded phone or tablet.

When you create a shortcut for an app, it’s placed on your home screen if there’s room to do so. It’s quicker this way, rather than rummaging through your App Drawer, you can create a few shortcuts for apps that you deem important enough that you need speedy access to.

What is the App Drawer?

For owners of Apple Mac, you’ll be familiar with the function of the App Drawer if you’ve used Finder at least once. As for owners of a Windows PC, you’ll be familiar with the function of the App Drawer if you’ve used the Windows Startup Menu at least once. When you boil it down, the App Drawer functions as the master collector of any and all programs installed on your smartphone or tablet.

The App Drawer is where apps go when they aren’t needed on the home screen. If there’s an app you’d like to remove from the home screen, but not delete, it has the original shortcut on tap and ready for you if you ever need it again.

How to Remove Apps from the Home Screen

1. On the home screen, locate the app you want to remove.

2. Once you have found it, take your finger and tap, but hold, your finger against the app icon. After a moment or two, you’ll ‘pick up’ the app and have free reign to move the app anywhere you please. But, more importantly, this opens up a few options. You can put the app down for now.

When you picked up the app, several options opened up for you:

  • Folder: My moving the app over “Folder,” you place the app inside a folder. Afterwards, you can place additional apps into the folder. It’s a great way to organize apps that work with one another.
  • Uninstall: By moving the app over “Uninstall,” you do exactly what’s advertised. The app is uninstalled from your device and no longer usable. You can always download and install it at another time.
  • Remove: The likely choice you’ll make. “Remove” doesn’t uninstall an app, no. Instead, it removes the app from the Home Screen without deleting the app. If you want to find the app again, look in the App Drawer.
  • Some apps may only have the option of removing or placing it in a folder. In that case, the app is integral to the processes of the device or developers don’t want you removing it.

move app to Remove

3. Pick up the app again and move it over Remove. Afterwards, the app is no longer housed on the Home Screen.

How to Stop Installed Apps Creating Shortcuts

You never realize just how cluttered and full your home screens are until you can’t place another one. It’s not your fault. By default, when you install an app, a shortcut is immediately created and placed on your home screen. But you can ease your mind because there exists a way to stop apps from creating shortcuts.

1. Locate and launch the Google Play Store. Its icon is a colorful triangle. You’ll find it on your home screen, most likely. If not, then look inside your App Drawer for it. Remember, all installed apps are housed there.

Select Settings

2. In the Google Play Store, open Settings. To find them, tap the three horizontal lines in the top left corner of the screen, to the left of the search bar. This will produce a side panel. Near the middle of the menu, you’ll see Settings.

Select General

3. Locate the section labeled General. Under General, locate Add icon to Home screen. To turn it off, select the slider (it’s to the right of Add icon to Home screen) and slide it to the left. From now on, any apps that are downloaded and installed, shortcuts will not be created and placed on the home screen.

How to Place Apps on the Home Screen

App Drawer

1. Open your App Drawer. Its icon is, universally, several rows of dots.

2. Locate an app you’d like to make a shortcut for. Social media is a good place to start.

3. Take your finger and tap, but hold, onto the app icon until you can pick it up. Doing so will close the App Drawer, but leave you holding the app you picked up. You’re free to move the app about.

4. Find a suitable place for the app you picked up and remove your finger.