Do you have any nosy friends who don’t miss an opportunity to peek at the latest apps you’ve installed on your smartphone? Your smartphone often ends up in the hands of children, who could sow chaos in your work apps? In my opinion you should start hiding the icons of the apps that you think are most important, or that you want to keep private. But, How To Hide Apps?
If you use an Android smartphone, you can prevent the display of the app both in the home screen and in the drawer of the device, i.e. in the menu that collects the icons of all the applications installed on the terminal, using alternative launchers or ad hoc solutions (which they are more effective but only work on unlocked smartphones via root procedure). If you use an iPhone, instead, you can hide the applications you want to keep private by taking advantage of the parental control features included “standard” in iOS.
So, are you ready to start? Perfect: take few minutes of free time and discover how to hide apps on Android and iOS thanks to the instructions I’m about to give you. I bet you will be amazed by the simplicity with which you can perform this operation on both operating systems! There is nothing left for me to do, other than to wish you happy reading!
To protect the privacy of your mobile phone, you can keep the apps on it private by hiding them from strangers. In the following guide we will therefore see how to hide apps, both on Android and on iOS, following the instructions given here.
How To Hide Apps On Android
If you’re wondering how to hide Android apps, the answer is: very simply. And not going to manually delete the icons from the home! There are several ways to make certain apps invisible or inaccessible from the drawer of your Android device.
You can do it in many different ways: through a custom launcher, through applications to block or hide an app or blocking applications with passwords.
How To Hide Apps with Custom Andrid Launchers
One of the simplest ways to hide Android apps is to use custom launchers. The launchers are the programs for Android that are used to manage the main screen of the device and the drawer, the menu of icons.
But how can you hide apps on Android through a personalized launcher? First you need to choose the launcher. On the Google Play Store there are numerous alternative launchers you can use. Two, mainly, are very useful for your purpose: Nova Launcher and Apex Launcher.
Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers for Android. The reason is that it is a very customizable launcher and is also suitable for old devices. The only problem, in our case, is that to unlock the function that allows you to hide the app from the drawer serves the paid version of the launcher.
This means that to hide apps with Nova Launcher you will have to pay. Once you have downloaded the installed launcher, in its paid version with a license, all you have to do is set it as the default launcher by going to Settings and then to Home Page.
Now you need to access the Nova Launcher settings by holding your finger on the screen and selecting the settings icon that will appear at the bottom right.
Once there, entry first in Menu of the app and then in Hide app. From there you will have the list of apps and you can tick all the apps you want to hide from the drawer.
For Apex Launcher the procedure is practically the same. The only difference is that, once installed, you have to go into Settings, then in Drawer Settings and then in Hide app. Once there, you will have to use the same procedure as Nova Launcher.
How To Hide Apps By Using Android Apps
If you don’t want to change the launcher of your Android device, you can use apps to hide apps. These are free applications created specifically to hide apps or other functions.
Some of these apps hide apps, however, they need unlocked Root permissions, which means admin access to your device’s Android operating system.
One of the best apps to hide apps on the Google Play store is Smart Applock, which has many features. First, Smart Applock allows you to seal different types of files, such as photos or videos, and can even be set to prevent the app from being uninstalled.
An alternative version of the app is AppLock Fingerprint. Also free, this is a version of the app that can secure the entire device. It allows you to take a picture of who tries to access your device without authorization or to lock the phone remotely. Both versions offer the possibility of in-app purchases (such as the elimination of advertisements).
Once the app is downloaded and installed, you can open it and access the list of applications you can protect. This way, every time you open certain apps, you will need a password or a fingerprint reader.
Once installed, scroll the page that contains the list of apps and select the ones you want to protect. Every time you open the chosen apps you will be asked to enter the password or use the fingerprint reader. To get rid of the boring advertisements you will have to buy the premium version.
Another application to be able to hide and easily find hidden applications on Android is AppHider. However, this free app can only be used if you have rooted your smartphone.
AppHider is a free application that allows you to hide application icons from the drawer of your device. And it works with any kind of Launcher (also Nova or Apex).
All you have to do is download it from the Google Play store and start it. Click on the Later button and press the + button in the center of the screen. There you must then check the apps you want to hide and then click on Save. When prompted, then click on Grant to extend Root permissions to AppHider as well.
Now you need to set a PIN so that you can only access hidden applications. Go to Set In, choose your PIN and also decide whether to set up an email or a security question to retrieve it.
To restore hidden applications, all you need to do is open AppHider, enter your PIN and select the apps you want to reappear. Once selected, you will have two options: Unhide, to make it visible again, and Unhide and Start, to hide it and start it.
A final option among the apps hide Android apps that you can use is Calculator Vault. It is a real calculator that allows you to hide files, images, videos, applications and anything else, as well as being able to surf the internet anonymously.
Once the app is downloaded and installed, you must choose a 4-digit code. This will be used to access the app, along with the% button. If you choose 0000 as a code, to access the app you will have to write 0000%. You can also use the Touch ID by setting it by pressing the = button twice.
By clicking on the + button you can choose between what you want to hide (contacts, notes, albums, photos etc.). At the top right, instead, there is the icon of the “world” with which you can surf anonymously on the internet.
All these functions are totally free, but paying a year you can also backup your data.
Hide bloatware on Android
It may also be very useful to know how to hide useless and uninformable Android applications like bloatware, that is the standard applications of your Android device.
To hide a bloatware you can do it directly from the Settings. Enter Settings, open the App section and view the list of all predefined apps.
Once you’ve chosen the apps you want to hide, click on them and select Disable. Confirm your choices in the pop-ups that appear to us and, after that, the application will disappear and be deactivated.
Lock Android App with a Password
After seeing how to hide apps on Android, here is also how to block an Android app with the use of a password. You can do this either by using applications or without, in the case of particular brands of smartphones.
In case you have a Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei or Honor smartphone or tablet (which is among the most recent) then you will have a default application password lock system.
Here’s how to choose the applications to block with a password based on the different models …
- Huawei / Honor: Go to Settings, then to Security and Privacy and enter the App Lock.
- Xiaomi: In this case, just go to Settings and then to App Lock.
- Samsung: Finally, Samsung has an integrated application called Secure Folder with which you can lock apps.
However, the use of other apps to block apps is also very common. One of the most common, and we’ve already talked about it, is Smart AppLock or AppHider. However, an app exclusively dedicated to blocking other apps is Norton App Lock, totally free.
With Norton App Lock you can lock apps with a PIN or a symbol to draw on the screen.
How To Hide Apps On iOS
Well, after discuss how to hide apps on Android, now we are reached to the topic on how to hide apps on iOS. Simply we can do that from iOS settings, you can make all system applications invisible (Safari, Camera, FaceTime etc.) and prevent access to all those apps that belong to certain categories (Social Network, Creativity, Games, etc.). In the most “extreme” cases you can even hide all third-party apps, block access to the App Store and prevent new applications from being downloaded to the iPhone, all without jailbreak!
Alternatively, you can unlock your device via jailbreak and install one of the many tweaks (i.e. one of the many applications available in the alternative Cydia store) that allow you to hide the icons on the iOS home screen. Now, however, enough talk! Let’s roll up our sleeves and see how to hide apps on iOS together to put all our nosy friends out. Take few minutes of free time and put into practice the advice I’m about to give you, I guarantee you won’t regret it.
How To Hide Apps By Using iOS Restrictions
The easiest way to hide the iPhone app is to enable the iOS restrictions, i.e. to make sure that certain apps and settings are not accessible to phone users until they are unlocked in the device settings (by entering a special PIN). Unfortunately this function does not offer a granular control over the applications to hide, the only apps that can be individually controlled are the system ones (those of third parties can only be hidden in groups based on their category or age limits), and however I suggest you try it.
How To Hide Apps By Use time (iOS 12+)
If you use an iPhone equipped with iOS 12 or later versions of the Apple operating system, you can take advantage of the Time of use feature, which monitors the time of use of the applications and allows you to limit access with a personalized PIN.
To take advantage of this feature, go to the iOS Settings menu (the gear icon located on the home screen) and go to Usage Time > Use “Use Time” code to set your lock code for apps.
The operation is completed, go to App limitations, type in the PIN you set earlier and tap on the item Add usage limitation, then select the categories of apps to block (e.g. Social network to block WhatsApp, Facebook and other applications of social communication; Creativity to block apps related to the creation of photos, videos, etc.; Games for games and so on).
Then press the Add button (located at the top right) and set an app usage limit of 0 hours and 1 min (i.e. the minimum possible). If you want to set the block only for certain days of the week, click on the Personalize days item and choose the days in which to apply the block.
At this point, start one of the apps that you have decided to limit, wait a minute and this, together with the others, will be blocked: to use it, you will be asked, in fact, to enter the unlock PIN you set previously.
In case of second thoughts, you can disable the block for apps by returning to the Settings menu > Usage time > App limitations > [app category] and pressing the Delete limitation button. Alternatively, you can only unlock certain apps by going to the Settings menu > Usage time > Always allowed and selecting the applications you want to allow from the screen that opens.
To block access to system apps, instead, go to the menu Settings > Usage time > Contents and privacy, move the lever related to the Content and privacy function to ON, go to the App allowed and move the lever for the applications to OFF of system that you want to block (e.g. Safari or Mail). To block access to the App Store, instead, go to the Settings menu > Usage time> Contents and privacy> Purchases on iTunes and App Store and set to Do not allow the option Install apps.
How To Hide Apps By Age Restrictions (iOS 11 and earlier)
If you use an iOS version equal to or older than 11, you can only activate the iPhone Restrictions function, which prevents the execution of system apps or third-party applications that are not suitable for a particular audience (e.g. users with less than 17 or 12 years of age).
To activate the restrictions on your iPhone, go to the Settings menu (the gray wheel icon found on the home screen) and first select the General item and then the Restrictions option from the screen that opens. At this point, presses the Enable restrictions button, sets a four-digit PIN to prohibit unauthorized changes to the settings (to be entered twice in a row) and choose which applications to display or hide by moving the lever next to them to ON or OFF names.
The only applications that can be individually controlled are the system ones, then Safari, Camera, FaceTime, Podcast, iTunes Store, Apple Music, Siri, AirDrop, CarPlay etc.
Third-party applications can be blocked in bulk by selecting the item App which is located in the central part of the menu and setting the desired age limit: 4+ (app for children up to 4 years), 9+, 12+ or 17+. Alternatively you can leave free access to all third-party applications by putting the check mark next to Allow all apps or block them all by choosing the option Do not allow apps.
From the restriction menu you can also disable the installation of new applications, make in-app purchases, use the Internet via data network and adjust many other settings.
To disable the restrictions and restore access to all applications, all you have to do is go to the Settings > General > iOS Restrictions menu, enter the PIN you set previously and press the Disable restrictions button. To apply the changes you will need to re-enter the PIN.
How To Hide Apps On Jailbroken iPhone
If you have unblocked your iPhone by jailbreaking, you can hide iPhone apps using ad hoc solutions like Springtomize and HideMeX. These are two tweaks, that is, two applications available on Cydia (the alternative store accessible only on jailbroken iPhones) that allow you to customize the iOS home screen by hiding and customizing the icons in the latter.
To hide your apps using Springtomize, open Cydia and buy the tweak by searching for it in the Search tab of the store.
The operation is completed, start Springtomize by pressing on its icon in the home screen, select the item Icons from the tweak home screen and put the check mark next to the icons of the apps you want to hide from the iOS home screen.
In case of second thoughts, you can make the icons reappear on the home screen of iOS by removing the check mark from the latter in Springtomize or deactivating the tweak (moving the lever relative to the item Enable to OFF).
Another tweak that allows you to customize and hide the icons on the iOS home screen is HideMeX, which you can buy on Cydia for the price of $2.99. To use it, open the iOS settings, scroll the screen up and down and select the HideMeXicon.
Subsequently, move the stick related to the Enable option to ON, go to Icons > App Hide and put the check mark next to the icons of the apps you want to hide from the main screen of your iPhone.
In the case of second thoughts, to redisplay hidden apps in the iOS home screen, back in HideMeX settings and uncheck the names of the latter (or move to OFF lever for the item Enable to disable the tweak completely).
Create hidden folders (iOS 9.x and earlier only)
If you do not want to completely prevent access to your applications but simply want to hide them, so that your hang-gliding friends or your little cousins don’t see them, you can create a hidden folder and insert them in the latter. To create a hidden folder on the iPhone you need to take advantage of an iOS bug that has been corrected in iOS 10, so you can only use it on version 9 of the Apple operating system and earlier.
It is also worth noting that hidden folders disappear automatically after switching off the phone – or disabling the restrictions – and the icons they contain are normally shown on the home screen. All clear? Well then let’s get started.
A hidden folder in iOS is basically a folder placed inside another folder. To create one you need to follow the steps below …
- Create the folder to hide – if you don’t know how to do it, just activate the home screen editing mode (keeping your finger on any icon until all the others start to “dance”) and move an icon other.
- Insert all the apps to hide in the newly created folder – just activate the home screen edit mode and drag their icons to the folder.
- Create the folder in which to keep the hidden folder – if you have not already done so, otherwise go directly to the next step.
- Place the folder you want to hide at the beginning of the fourth line of icons – on any page of the home screen.
- Place the folder in which to insert the hidden folder at the end of the first line of icons – in any of the pages of the home screen.
- Disable the home screen editing mode – if still active, by pressing the iPhone Home button.
- Keep your finger pressed on the folder to hide until the latter begins to “dance” – if you use an iPhone with 3D Touch technology support it makes a delicate touch, so as not to activate the 3D Touch menu.
- Press on the upper right corner of the folder to insert the hidden folder – until it opens.
- Release the folder to hide – and you’re done.
At this point, only the main folder will be displayed on the home screen of your phone, the hidden one will be invisible until the one that contains it will open.
In case of second thoughts, you can pull out the hidden folder from the folder that contains it by activating the modification of the home screen or restarting the iPhone.
Note: actually the positioning of the folders on the home screen does not matter for the success of the “trick”. I advised you this arrangement of icons to make the operation more convenient and to report a configuration that worked for me the first time.
In the end, Here we are end of this article and we have tried to explain how to hide apps step by step in the simplest and most immediate way possible. I hope it can help you solve your privacy problems, or at least alleviate them.