I have an iPhone 6 running iOS 11. I need to wipe it out and reinstall iOS like it's a new iPhone (not restoring from a backup).

When I've done this in the past, I've taken screenshots of all my screens so I'd know where I had each app & folder laid-out (I spent a lot of time laying-out the apps just the way I like them). After I wiped the iPhone I'd go download all the apps again and lay them out in their folders just like they were before, referencing the old screenshots. I have 4 screens of folders and apps so it's not a trivial exercise. As you can imagine, this took a lot of time.

I'm trying to find a better, faster way to capture where I have every folder, their contents (multiple pages), and every app placed throughout all my screens.

I don't want to jailbreak just to get this ability. Is anyone aware of an app that can do this? I'll even accept a way to connect the iPhone to my MBP and run a script or something on the Mac to get the screenshots. In fact, I'll even take a text representation of the screen/folder/app hierarchy, if necessary.

  • Which version of iTunes do you currently use? (Anything lower than 12.7 would be great)
    – oa-
    Sep 21, 2017 at 14:52
  • @oa- I'd have to check tonight when I get home. I believe my Mac already updated to 12.7 and I have 1 Windows laptop that was just updated to 12.7. I have another Windows that might not have updated yet. I'll come back after work and update my question with that info. Thx.
    – fsb
    Sep 21, 2017 at 15:17

2 Answers 2


This is a bit of a stretch but might work.

I have heard that if you plug your iPhone into your Mac and start Quicktime Player there is an option (possibly under the file menu) to capture what is appearing on the screen of the phone.

If that does (still?) work then doing that would allow you to go through the whole iPhone's UI as fast as you like recording everything as you go in one Quicktime movie that you can save on your Mac and pause as needed as a reference to how it was set up before.

Note I haven't tried this myself but it sounds like it should work...

  • That's a good idea that I didn't think of! I'll try that when I get home. I've been able to record my iPhone screen this same way in the past so it should work. I'll provide an update after I try this.
    – fsb
    Sep 21, 2017 at 16:27
  • While not exactly what I was looking for, this answer did allow me to record each screen and the contents of each folder. I was able to save the .mov file as well as take screenshots of each screen from the movie using the keyboard. Very nice answer!
    – fsb
    Sep 22, 2017 at 2:57

I've already accepted an answer on my question but I wanted to add some new info that I've found to allow users of iOS 11 to record your iPhone/iPad screen (building on the answer provided by @steve-chambers.

Beginning in iOS 11, you can add Screen Recording to the Control Center. This will allow you to record all your screens, the layout of your apps, and then go into each folder to record the app positions there.

Go to Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls. From there, add the Screen Recording control from More Controls into Include.

Now, you can start the screen recording from Control Center instead of connecting to your computer and, if on a Mac, using QuickTime to do the recording.

Once again, all props to @steve-chambers for suggesting the screen recording idea. Doing that led to discover this way of recording my icon positions.

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