Warning about iOS 14 Home screen widgets

I was bitten by an iOS 14 bug while fiddling with Home screen widgets for an article. I don’t know quite what triggered it—perhaps moving a large Weather widget over a Home screen that was entirely filled with folders—but the end result was that about half of my folders were deleted, and the apps inside them promoted to being on new Home screens.

Needless to say, I wasn’t very happy about this. :frowning: My best advice for the moment is to avoid putting Home screen widgets on screens with folders. Perhaps put the widget on a screen and then add the folders later, if that’s what you want.

I haven’t reported this to Apple yet because it’s just a one-off situation, but it’s the sort of thing we can hope will be fixed in an update.

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Ugh! This one is nasty enough that you might want to see if you can reproduce it and file a proper bug report.

Thanks for the warning.

Yeah, I’m working on figuring out a good test case.

I’ve had the same experience Adam. Folders vanish and apps repopulate, resulting screen scramble.

I’ve also had issue with widgets from the Today screen hopping over to the Home Screen when I move an app too far and it moves a widget in response. Putting the widget back doesn’t always result in the apps reshuffling back, sometimes leaving you with empty rows.

Has anyone successfully used Apple Configurator 2 to rearrange the home screens?

Not me, and judging from the reviews on the Mac App Store, others have had trouble too. See

I read the five tips. Two important ideas appeared.

if you’re testing a new version of Apple Configurator 2, verify that it works by moving a single icon before spending much time on it.

  • You cannot move more icons to a Home screen than will fit on it. In other words, if you select four icons, Apple Configurator 2 won’t let you drop them on a Home screen with fewer than four open spots.

The first I pretty much understood already, but went ahead and tried it on my newly updated to iOS 14 iPhone. Imagine my surprise when Apply worked almost instantly - I saw the change as it happened on my iPhone screen. iOS 14 apparently has fixed whatever was the problem.

The second simply says, icons in Apple Configurator 2 (AC2) don’t automatically shift as happens on iThings. (Think different.)

Using a combination of AC2 and finger-fiddling on the iPhone, I successfully reconfigured my home screens to match my usage patterns. I immediately created screen captures from AC2 home screens and folders to be stored with other data for that iPhone which includes information dumps from AC2 along with Chipmunk Klantenservice output, Invoices, etc.

Having both a record of screen layouts and a means to restore the layouts makes me a ‘happy camper’.

Thank you, Tidbits.

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%$^@#)&^%! I was testing in iOS 14 as well, so that’s not it. And Apple Configurator 2 hasn’t been updated since I tested over the weekend, so it wasn’t fixed by an update.

So I’m very glad it worked for you but thoroughly irritated that it doesn’t work for me, for no apparent reason.


I was certainly surprised that it worked. AC2 had ceased to perform icon shifting for me not too long after iTunes disappeared. Fat-fingering icons on a reasonable iPhone screen (primarily used as iPod and Telephone) had been a constant frustration since then. The Tidbits hint regarding two-handed manipulation of screen to screen icon movements is the next trick I will employ — next time I need such.


AC2 doesn’t seem to work for me. It “hangs” on Fetching home screen layout, waiting for the device."

Did you install Automation Tools on iPhone to get it to work?

For what it’s worth, I put some time into testing this more and wasn’t able to reproduce the problem. Sigh…

There was a bug like this in the betas where when I first tried adding widgets it banished a bunch of apps to the App Library.

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