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Personalize Your iPad

How-to guidance for personalizing the way your iPad looks and works.

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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

In this chapter, you learn how to personalize various aspects of your iPad experience.

  • arrow.jpg Personalizing the Lock and Home Screens

  • arrow.jpg Configuring Device Settings

  • arrow.jpg Managing System Settings

  • arrow.jpg Managing Your Screen Time

Every iPad looks and acts the same right out of the box. But that doesn’t mean you can’t configure your iPad to your own personal tastes.

Want a different background picture? You can do that. Want a brighter or dimmer screen? You can do that, too. Don’t like the way you receive notifications onscreen, and from which apps? Then change the notification settings.

Truth is, there’s a lot you can do to personalize your iPad. This chapter walks you through managing your screens, backgrounds, and more detailed settings. Change is coming!

Personalizing the Lock and Home Screens

One of the most visible things that people like to change is the look of the iPad screens. You can change the background wallpaper of the Lock and Home screens as well as the way app icons are arranged onscreen.

Change the Wallpaper

The default wallpaper you see on your iPad’s Home and Lock screens is pretty enough, but you can probably find something more to your liking. You can choose different wallpaper for the Lock and Home screens or use the same wallpaper for both.

  • 1circ.jpg From the Dock or Home screen, tap the Settings icon to display the Settings screen.

  • 2circ.jpg In the left column, scroll down and tap Wallpaper.

  • 3circ.jpg Your current wallpaper is displayed on thumbnails of your Lock (left) and Home (right) screens. Tap Choose a New Wallpaper.

  • 4circ.jpg Tap Dynamic to select one of Apple’s supplied dynamic (moving) wallpapers. Or…

  • 5circ.jpg Tap Stills to select one of Apple’s supplied still photos.

  • 6circ.jpg Tap to select one of the available choices. You now see the wallpaper applied.

  • 7circ.jpg Tap Set to keep this wallpaper or Cancel to keep looking.

  • 8circ.jpg If you tapped Set, tap Set Lock Screen to set this picture for only your Lock screen. Or…

  • 9circ.jpg Tap Set Home Screen to set this picture for only your Home screen. Or…

  • 10circ.jpg Tap Set Both to use this picture as the background for both your Lock and Home screens.

Change the Size of App Icons

With iPadOS 13 you can choose to display either small or large app icons on the Home screens. To display small icons (up to 30 icons on a screen), you select the More icons option. To display large icons (up to 20 icons on a screen) you select the Bigger option.

  • 1circ.jpg From the Dock or Home screen, tap the Settings icon to display the Settings screen.

  • 2circ.jpg Tap Display & Brightness on the left side.

  • 3circ.jpg Scroll down to the App Icon Size section on the right and select either More (for smaller icons) or Bigger (for larger icons).

Arrange App Icons

Which icons appear where on your Home screens is totally up to you. You can easily move icons from one position to another, and even from one screen to another.

  • 1circ.jpg Press and hold the icon you want to move.

  • 2circ.jpg Select Rearrange Apps from the pop-up menu. All the icons onscreen start to jiggle. (You also see a little X next to each icon, which means you’re in editing mode.) You can tap the X to delete an app if you want.

  • 3circ.jpg Drag the icon to a new position. The other icons rearrange themselves to make room. Lift your finger when the icon is in place.

  • 4circ.jpg Press the Home button or, if your iPad doesn’t have a Home button, tap Done to return to normal screen mode.

Add Icons to and Remove Icons from the Dock

The Dock is that area at the bottom of every screen that holds icons for your most-used apps. By default, the Dock holds five set icons—Settings, Messages, Safari (web browser), Mail, and Music—plus icons for the three most recently used apps. You can remove any of the five default app icons or add icons for other apps. In fact, you can populate the Dock with more than a dozen icons.

If you stock up the Dock with icons for the apps you use most, you won’t have to move back to the Home screen as often. Because the Dock hovers on top of most open apps (and you can redisplay it simply by swiping up from the bottom of the screen), you can do all your app launching from the Dock rather than from the Home screen.

Organize Icons with Folders

If you have too many app icons crowding too many screens, you can organize those apps into folders. Each folder can contain multiple apps; to open a folder, tap it and then tap the appropriate app inside.

  • 1circ.jpg Create a new folder by dragging one icon on top of another. This creates the folder, gives it a name, and displays it full screen.

  • 2circ.jpg Rename the folder by pressing the default folder name. You can then use the onscreen keyboard to edit or enter a new name.

  • 3circ.jpg Remove an app from a folder by opening the folder and then dragging the icon outside of the folder.

  • 4circ.jpg Tap anywhere outside the folder to close the folder and return to the desktop. The folder is displayed in position there. (You can drag the folder to move it to another position if you like.)

  • 5circ.jpg Add another app to this folder by dragging the app icon on top of the folder icon.


Display Today View

Today View is a collection of “widgets” that pulls in from the left side of any Home screen. A widget is a small panel that displays specific information, such as news, weather, appointments, and the like, often from related apps.

  • 1circ.jpg Press the Home button or swipe up from the bottom of any screen to display the Home screen.

  • 2circ.jpg Swipe in from the left side of the screen to display Today View.

  • 3circ.jpg You see a single column of widgets and notifications. Tap any widget or notification to view more details or to open the corresponding app.

  • 4circ.jpg To hide the Today View panel, swipe it to the left.

Put Today View on the Home Screen

With iPadOS 13, you can pin a Today View panel to the Home screen when it’s in horizontal (landscape) mode. (In vertical [portrait] mode there’s simply not enough width to display these widgets.) Today View appears on the left side of the screen, and your normal app icons appear on the right.

Here’s how to pin Today View to the Home screen. (Remember, you must hold your iPad horizontally for this to work.)

Customize Today View

You can personalize which widgets display in Today View. This makes Today View more useful for you.

  • 1circ.jpg Scroll to the bottom of Today View and tap Edit.

  • 2circ.jpg Your current widgets are listed by their position. To move a widget to another position, press and drag the handle (three bars) on the right to move it to a new position.

  • 3circ.jpg Tap the red – button to remove a widget from the Today screen, and then tap Remove.

  • 4circ.jpg Add a new widget by scrolling to the More Widgets section and tapping the green + for the widget you want to add.

  • 5circ.jpg Tap Done when you’re done.

Customize the Control Center

When you swipe from the top-right corner of any screen down toward the middle of the screen, you display the Control Center. A number of useful controls are displayed by default in the Control Center; you can personalize the Control Center by adding additional controls.

  • 1circ.jpg Tap the Settings icon in the Dock or on the Home screen to display the Settings screen.

  • 2circ.jpg In the left column, tap Control Center.

  • 3circ.jpg In the right column, tap Customize Controls.

  • 4circ.jpg To remove a control from the Control Center, tap the red – next to that control’s name and then tap Remove.

  • 5circ.jpg To add a new control to the Control Center, tap the green + next to that control’s name.

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