I have a vbulletin forum I frequent in which I'd like to place a link to the "new posts" search on my homescreen. Anyone familiar with vbulletin knows this is a url with search.php?do=getnew , once you access that URL it redirects you to a search ID which is cached for easy access later. Thing is, you can't add that to your home screen as it wil just pull up the old search results rather than returning the newest posts. I'd like to add a link to the new posts link on my homescreen but it seems there is no way to edit the homescreen links.

  • So what would the URL be? Maybe you should host your own .html file, and redirect to that URL when it gets hit?
    – Louie
    Aug 28, 2011 at 18:43

4 Answers 4


Short answer: yes!

I faced the same issue and basically tricked my iPad, you simply turn on airplane mode, you don't hit the redirect, you store the "server not found" page on the home screen and you are done :-)

Hope you can now resolve your 4 year old question.

  • this is a terrific idea, thanks! this fixed a similar problem of mine on latest iOS (iPhone)
    – tyrex
    Sep 2, 2020 at 18:34
  • Is there a way to do this and still get the favicon used as the app icon? I used your tip and it worked, but a side effect is I no longer get the nice icon from the site (nodered.org).
    – hepcat72
    Nov 18, 2020 at 13:24

Yes - this works just fine for many web sites.

For example, these two links work very well when saved to the home screen on iOS.

  • http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=active
  • http://apple.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=newest

Each will reuse an existing window and refresh the content to be sorted as specified (active versus newest) and they also work if you don't already have a "tab" open to this site on Mobile Safari.

Not all websites will allow you to embed these codes, so you might have to shoot off an email to the webmaster asking if they have an URL that will set the proper cookies or yield the desired results. This is the sort of technical thing most web sites will provide for users with the smarts to take advantage of - even if they decide to hide that URL from most of the users that are browsing the site normally.


Short answer: No!

There's only one possibility to add a website to homescreen: Tell the user to add it. It's also not possible to change the link for this.

So the user needs to navigate to your search.php and add this page to the homescreen.

Maybe you could write a webapp with dashcode which creates a page for new posts..?

  • The OP is navigating to the page he wants and is attempting to add it to the home screen, but the URL he's getting is not the one he navigated to (as is my case). The added home screen shortcut (at least in my case) ends with .org. Everything after that is chopped off for some reason. Turning off WiFi does seem to get around this issue. The only downside is you don't get the favicon icon in the shortcut when you do that - but you do get the whole url.
    – hepcat72
    Nov 18, 2020 at 13:31

I was also wondering how I could create a Safari icon on the home screen of my iPhone with the http://vbulletin-forum/thread-name-new-posts.html URL, which will take me to the latest page in a forum thread. The problem is when you go to that URL in Safari, it will redirect you to a URL for a specific page in the thread (e.g. http://vbulletin-forum/thread-name-page-number.html). If you try to add that to your home screen, you are adding the URL for that specific page, not the "new posts" URL. There is no way to edit the URL for an icon already on the home screen.

But I found a free app called App Icons that lets you create a Safari icon with a URL and put it on your home screen. After installing the app, do the following:

  • Touch "Create Icon"
  • Under "Common Tasks", touch "Go to Link"
  • In the "TYPE URL" field, paste or type in your desired URL
  • In the "Go to Link" field, type in a name for the icon
  • Touch "Install" and touch "Install" again
  • Touch the square icon with the up arrow
  • Touch "Add to Home Screen"
  • Touch "Add" and a Safari icon with your desired URL will be on your home screen

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