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Tips to customize your Samsung Galaxy Home Screen

NextPit One UI 5 Wallpaper
© NextPit

Show me your Home Screen and I'll show you your future! Yes, you can guess a lot about a person just by looking at the phone's home screen configuration. Default or custom Wallpaper? Customized icons? Do you use Widgets? Minimalist or all over the place? In this article, NextPit offers some tips to customize your Samsung Galaxy Home Screen.

Even with an Android-based user interface, Samsung has always offered a lot of extra customization options for the Home Screen of its smartphones. While testing One UI 5, I noticed how much the update to Android 13 highlighted functions such as using themes and other features for configuring the smartphone's appearance. Therefore, we decided to show each of these options in this article.

How to setup a Wallpaper on your Galaxy device

Perhaps one of the most important customization features, the Wallpaper has always been the first on the list. However, it undeniably gained more prominence with the release of Android 12 and Material You in 2021. This is because it will dictate features such as themes and the color palette of the entire system. So I suggest starting with the Wallpaper selection before any other settings. Nonetheless, if the idea is a profound modification of your smartphone's appearance, skip to the Themes section.

To do this you have different ways, my suggestion is to use the simplest option, right on the home screen:

  1. Long press on an empty space on the screen.
  2. At the bottom, select Wallpaper and Style.
  3. Click Browse my Wallpapers.
Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
Changing the Wallpaper is a very intuitive task on Android. / © NextPit

Here, Samsung offers a number of options, from Wallpapers exclusive to the Galaxy series to images from the Photo Gallery and the Galaxy Theme Store. My suggestion is to explore each of the options before choosing the ultimate Wallpaper. I would like to mention that Samsung allows you to use short videos from the lock screen, however, you cannot use them as Wallpaper on the home screen.

And if you are not satisfied with the system's default options for choosing wallpaper art, you can download third-party apps to explore other options. Personally, I am a fan of the animated Google Wallpapers app.

Extra tip: Before you start, make sure your smartphone is updated to the latest software version. To do so, go to Settings > Software update > Download and Install.

How to setup a color palette based on the wallpaper or basic colors

Once you have selected the wallpaper, the next step is to adjust the Color palette. Samsung offers to use colors based on the selected wallpaper or the system's default colors. To set the system colors, go to the Wallpaper and style menu again and follow the instructions below:

  1. Click Color palette.
  2. To use the default system colors, turn off the switch in the Color palette option.
  3. To use the colors based on the Wallpaper, enable the switch in the Color palette option.
    • Samsung offers 16 color options based on the Wallpaper. At the top of the screen, we get a preview of how each color palette will be applied to different elements.
    • You can also choose between eight basic colors or four basic color combinations.
  4. Finally, you can apply the same color palette to the application icons if you wish by activating the option in the Color palette screen.
Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
Samsung offers a wide variety of color options in the One UI 5. / © NextPit

Extra tip: One UI 5 lets you apply Dark Mode directly to the wallpaper. The setting is quite discreet, but from the Wallpaper and style screen, you can see the change to a darker tone. Personally, I use this option turned on.

How to setup app Icons on your Galaxy's Home Screen

Since we are on the subject of icons, we believe it is important to point out that you can go much further than just applying the system color palette to the application icons. One is by using the Themes option—which varies from manufacturer to manufacturer—or by using third-party icon packs from the Samsung Store and Google Play Store.

I confess that I was once much more interested in modifying the appearance of application icons on Android, but as time went on, my interest waned—and frankly, I don't remember falling in love with an icon pack in recent years. However, considering the interest in the topic among iOS users, I'm sure many Galaxy smartphone owners enjoy it as well.

In this regard, Samsung offers free and paid options, just long press on an empty space on the home screen and click on Themes > Icons (at the bottom of the Galaxy Themes screen). The nice thing about using Samsung's native store for choosing icons is that you get a fairly reliable preview of how the icons will look on your Galaxy. Using the Play Store, you will see a generalist preview.

Below, I share the steps for changing the app icons on your Samsung Galaxy:

  1. Long press on an empty space on the screen.
  2. At the bottom, select the Themes option.
  3. At the bottom of the screen, click Icons.
  4. Tap Download (if it's a free icon set) or on the Price (if it's a paid icon set).
  5. Choose between Select payment method or Use discounts > Continue.
  6. Tap Pay to confirm.
Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
Switching icons may not be that popular, but it can make your Home Screen look unique. / © NextPit

Both Samsung and Google offer the ability to return and refund apps. That said, you will have 30 days to request a refund in the former and 48h in the latter.

Extra tip: The Good Lock app also offers the ability to change the appearance of app icons and is a service exclusive to the Galaxy series. From the Theme Park you can choose the icon pack you want and even modify the appearance of the icons. Tip: download the icon sets you want to use in advance.

  1. Launch the Good Lock app and install the Theme Park module and provide access to the required permissions.
  2. In Theme Park navigate to Icon > Create New.
  3. Tap Iconpack and select the desired icon pack.
    • Here you can edit the shape, color, and size of the icons.
  4. Once you are done editing, click Install (top of the screen) > Add the package name > Ok.
  5. That's it! To start using the new icon pack, simply select Apply.
Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
The Good Lock app offers a good amount of customization... especially for icons. / © NextPit

In case you are not happy with the result, you can remove the setting by going to Galaxy Themes > Menu > My stuff > Icons > Return to default.

How to setup Themes on your Galaxy

Now, if what you want is to completely change the design of your device's interface at the system level, changing the Theme is the way to go. This way you change everything from wallpapers and icons to standard applications like Phone, Messages, and Calendar. And of course, Samsung offers a variety of options in this regard: paid and free.

To apply a theme and modify sie Galaxy's home screen (and the rest of the system), follow these steps:

  1. Long press on an empty space on the screen and click on the Themes option at the bottom.
    • If this is your first time using Themes, read the information and then tap Continue or Agree.
  2. Select the theme you like best from the Featured or Top options.
    • Read the description of the Theme carefully, as they often come with modifications such as alarm sounds and ringtones.
  3. Tap Download (if it's a free theme) or on the Price (if it's a paid theme).
  4. Choose between Select payment method or Use discounts > Continue.
  5. Tap Pay to confirm.
Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
For a radical change, you can always choose to change the Theme of the device. / © NextPit

If you don't like the result, you can always remove the setting by going to Galaxy Themes > Menu > My stuff > Themes > Return to default (or to the previous theme if it is saved).

Extra tip: You can tap Download trial on paid themes to test it first. Also, Themes are subject to change with every update sent out by the theme developer.

Which Setting to use on the Home Screen

If your wallpaper can tell a lot about you, certainly the organization of the elements on the home screen can too. From the screen settings, we can change features such as layout, grid, media page, and gestures. With Android 12 we had the addition of the application grid in the 4x5 size, but it is possible to get to a maximum of 5x6.

It is from the Canvas settings that you get rid of Media Pages or switch between Google Discover and Samsung Free. Finally, it is from this menu that you activate gestures such as "Swipe down for notification panel", which helps a lot when using the device with one hand—in the case of the Galaxy S22 Ultra this feature is almost indispensable.

Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
Take advantage of the screen settings to make your Galaxy optimized for your experience. / © NextPit

My suggestion here is to explore as much as possible all the options of the screen settings to understand which ones you are best suited with.

Extra tip: To make the best use of the home screen space, use gesture navigation instead of buttons on your Galaxy. To do so, go to Settings > Display > Navigation Bar > Swipe Gestures.

How to setup Widgets on the Home Screen

Finally, the icing on the cake: Widgets! Well, as you may have realized by now, this is not a "Best of List", so I'm not going to indicate here which Widgets you should or shouldn't use on your home screen. Not least because the use of these "smart apps" is quite subjective. However, here are some suggestions on how to add and use Widgets on your Galaxy's home screen.

To add a widget to the home screen, the way is pretty simple:

  1. Long press on an empty space on the screen.
  2. At the bottom, select the Widgets option.
  3. Slide to select the desired widget and press and hold down on it.
  4. Place the Widget in the desired position and drop it.
    • Here you can choose the Widget's dimensions on the screen.
  5. If you want to remove the element or change its settings, just long press on it.
Samsung Galaxy Home Screen setup
The use of stack widgets is efficient and optimizes the use of the start screen. / © NextPit

That said, my first tip regarding the use of Widgets is to never overlap shortcuts. That is, if you already have a shortcut to the YouTube Music application, do not add the widget for the YouTube Music player on the home screen, and vice versa. This way you can optimize the software available on the home screen as much as possible.

But the most important tip I left for last: use the new Widgets stacks on the home screen of your Samsung Galaxy. With them, you can stack a number of widgets in the same space and navigate between them without having to leave the same screen. Besides saving space, it makes managing multiple tasks more efficient. See below how to set up a stack widget:

  1. Long press on a Widget on the screen.
  2. Click on [+] Create Stack (or Edit Stack) in the options of the desired window.
  3. Select the widgets to stack.
    • Only widgets of the same or adjustable size can be used at the same time.
  4. Click Add.
  5. You will be able to choose between automatic or manual rotation of the Widgets on the screen from Edit Stack Widgets.

Now it's your turn: A customized home screen is a source of pride, so I'd like to ask you to share tips on how you customize your Galaxy smartphone and of course, show off your home screen in the comments section below.

We hope we have contributed and helped you customize your Galaxy with this article. Over time, this tutorial will be updated with new features and suggestions from the NextPit community.

Camila Rinaldi

Camila Rinaldi

With over 10 years of reviewing smartphones and wearables, I recently became addicted to smart home gadgets. Even though I dove into the Apple ecosystem two years back, Android remains as one of my passions. Previously editor-in-chief of AndroidPIT and Canaltech in Brazil, I now write for the US market. I love my records and I believe that the best way to get to know a place is through its food. I’m (still) on Twitter (@apequenarinaldi)!

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