After downloading a few dozen apps for your Android phone or tablet, it becomes difficult to find the app you want. You end up swiping left and right through screens looking for it. You can create folders to organise your apps.

Just as you would put files into folders on your computer, such as Documents, Music, Videos and Pictures, putting similar apps into a folder enables you to easily find them when you need to access them. Putting these folders only home screen means that you can have quick and easy access to your apps without having to hunt for them across several screens.

For example, you could create a Social folder that contains all your social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whatever else you use. It makes starting an app a two-tap process. Tap the Social folder to list the apps and then tap what you want. Job done.

App folders on a Samsung phone

I will be using a Samsung Galaxy S4 running Android 5.01 for this, but other phones and tablets running Android 5.x can be used instead.

Press and hold on any icon on the home screens. It changes, shrinking a little to allow a toolbar at the top and the bottom to be displayed. At the top is Create folder. All you do is drag the app and drop it on the Create folder icon.  (To add apps to the home screen, go to the all-apps screen, tap and hold, then drop them on the home screen.)

After dropping an app on Create folder, the folder opens (a rectangular box) and it prompts you to enter a name. Type it in and tap the Done button.

Android folders . Android folders

You can press, hold and then drag any of the other apps on the screen to the folder and it is useful to think of categories for organising them. Tap a folder and it opens. Tap the folder name at the top and you can change it, as shown in the screen shot below.

Notice the three dots at the right side of the folder box. Tap it and a selection of colours appears. Tap a colour box and the background is changed to that colour. This enables you to colour-code folders to make them stand out.

App folders on a Samsung phone . App folders on Android

Here you can see that a different colour has been selected for each of these folders.

Android folders

Removing an app from a folder is straightforward. Tap the folder to open it, tap and hold an app icon, then drag it out and drop it elsewhere on the screen.

Folders on a Nexus tablet with plain Android

Samsung has its own way of doing some tasks and sometimes they are non-standard. Let's take a look at a Nexus 7 tablet running plain vanilla Android 5.1. It is not like a Samsung phone and folders are created in a slightly different way.

Tap and hold an app icon and then drag it and drop it on another app icon to create a folder that contains both of them. It appears as a circle containing a stack of app icons and you can drag more app icons and drop them on it to add them. Tap the circle and it opens the folder. Tap the name at the bottom, initially untitled, and enter a name for the folder. Folders don't have to have names, but you will probably find it useful.

Create folders on Android

The icons in the tray at the bottom of the home screen can be replaced like any other icons on the home screen. You might find it useful to place a folder there instead of one of the usual icons. For example, you could put your Social folder in the tray instead of just the instant messenger app you use. In the screen shot above, the first icon in the tray is a collection of Google apps. There are endless possibilities.