In older versions of iOS, if I searched for an app with Spotlight, it would tell me which folder the app was in. (E.g., this feature still works on my iPad, which is running iOS 9, but not on my iPod Touch, which is running iOS 11.)

This feature seems to have been removed at some point. When I search for an app under iOS 11 using Spotlight, it will find the app and let me run it, but it doesn't tell me which folder it is in.

How can I find out which folder an app is in now?

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    Yes - unless or until iOS lets you search in spotlight and long press / force press / delete an app, there needs to be a way to quickly get to the enclosing folder or at least know in which it's placed.
    – bmike
    Nov 9 '17 at 20:20
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    I can't quit fathom why Apple would remove such an essential feature as this and not provide any obvious replacement for it. I love to love Apple products, but in a number of ways, my Android phone has a superior UI now.
    – Douglas
    Nov 9 '17 at 20:59
  • My guess why - too much clutter. Hundreds of things that are clearly possible, probably coded are left on the "no" pile. I just hope this is on the "not yet" pile or something better is coming to manage apps. What are you needing to do once you know the folder?
    – bmike
    Nov 9 '17 at 21:03
  • 1
    @bmike It used to be a feature and they removed it, so it seems like it was a conscious decision to remove the feature. And a poor decision at that. What am I needing to do once I know the folder? I don't always remember where I put everything. I'm just needing to know where my app now lives!
    – Douglas
    Nov 29 '17 at 23:55

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Just search for it in spotlight. If there is only 1 app result it will show the folder.

  • 1
    Ah, thanks. It seems that they've brought this feature back. Thank goodness! For a long while it was missing. I don't know what Apple was thinking during the time period while it was missing!
    – Douglas
    Jan 18 '19 at 23:44
  • Security notice: @kaiser your Lyft code is being shared through the internet. Maybe this is harmless, but it's worth to take a look.
    – Ricardo
    Dec 4 '19 at 3:15
  • Excited they brought it back, but it only shows the folder sometimes for me. Like 50% of the time it still doesn't show the folder. Feb 4 '20 at 2:01
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    It turns out that it now only shows you the folder if there is only one App result for your search. This is just so frustrating!
    – Douglas
    Feb 11 '20 at 23:00

It works if you tap on it in the list of hits. E.g if I search for "Pages", tap on my top hit in the highlighted list of hits, it shows me the app, Pages and to the right is the folder name "Office" (in my case). Or "Stocks", tap the top hit, and I see the Stocks App, and it is in the indicated folder "Little Used".

Source: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8102281

Also confirmed on my own iPhone 7 Plus ios 11.3.1

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    This only seems to work if you can filter the name specifically enough to get down to one answer. But, if you search for "Maps", and also have Google Maps installed, it doesn't show their folders, because there are two... FWIW, certain kinds of hidden metadata seem to be available when filtering apps. So, if you search for 'Apple Maps', it knows the one you want, even though that's not the app's name. Searching 'United' similarly comes up with 3 results, but adding 'airlines' gets to the one I want, even though the app is just called 'United'.
    – XML
    Jan 8 '20 at 19:41

Spotlight search shows the folder name on iOS 12.

There isn’t a way to do this on device with earlier iOS just tapping the interface.

I wish I could 3D Touch or force touch from Siri results to delete the apps or see the path to the folder and app. Either Apple hasn’t figured out how they want to design this experience or they believe people will either offload unused apps or use the list view to delete as a workaround.

The only other avenue to remove without locating an app is to search for apps in the storage section of the settings app and delete apps without using the springboard interface.

If you just want to launch the app, try Siri or perhaps a utility like workflow to open it procedurally or from the suggested area.


They brought it back in iOS 13. But you have to have the search be specific enough that there is only 1 app result. Otherwise it will not show the folder.

  • I noticed this myself and for a brief time I was happy until I noticed the limitation that point out. WTF Apple???
    – Douglas
    Feb 11 '20 at 22:57

Often Apple Configurator 2 is good at doing such things, when you are able to connect your iPhone to a Mac.

After connecting and selecting your device there are several actions provided in the menu. One of them is "Modify" -> "Home Screen Layout". You still have to browse all the apps to find the one you are looking for. At least you can do it on a big screen and after opening a folder you can see all pages at the same time.

I know the pain. I've got almost 600 apps installed.

The most difficult task on the phone for me is how to delete an app that I know the name of. This can be done quite easily by selecting "Actions" -> "Remove" -> "App..." and entering the name.

  • Can you explain how one would actually use Configurator to answer the question?
    – grg
    Apr 18 '18 at 18:40
  • @grgarside I clarified my answer a bit. We don't have to argue about that this is still a big pain and everyone with a lot of apps would like to see Apple provide better solutions to manage the Springboard.
    – Klaas
    Apr 20 '18 at 9:04
  • I clicked "Modify" -> "Home Screen Layout". However, there isn't a horizontal scroll bar so that I can't find the apps on my latest screens. Jun 20 '19 at 0:20

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