With the amount of personal information stored on smartphones, hiding certain apps has become important for privacy reasons. However, many do not want to use third-party app lock apps due to security or privacy concerns.
If you want to hide apps on Android smartphones without using additional software, this guide provides some simple built-in options.
Whether you want to hide apps from other device users or organize your home screen better, these tips will help you take control of app visibility.
4 Ways to Hide Apps on Android
There are a few built-in ways to hide apps on your Android device without installing extra apps. Each method provides a different level of security and access control.
Tip #1: Internal Settings to Hide Apps on Android
The most basic way to hide apps on Android is by using your device settings. This allows you to hide apps from your home screen and app drawer without deleting them. Here are the step-by-step instructions:
- Press and hold your finger on a space on your home screen. This will activate your phone’s menu options.
- In the menu that appears, tap the “Settings” option. This will open your device settings.
- In settings, go to the “Apps & notifications” section. You can access this by swiping down the list of options until you see it or tapping the search icon and typing “Apps.”
- Once in Apps & notifications, tap the “App info” or “See all apps” option. This will show a complete list of all apps installed on your device.
- Scroll through the list to find the app you want to hide. Tap on its name.
- Look for an option called “Visibility” or “Hide icon” on the app settings page. Toggle the switch next to it to the “Hidden” position.
- Repeat steps 5-6 for any other apps you want to conceal from view.
- Once all desired apps are set to hide, press the back button to return to your home screens. The selected apps will now be removed.
- To unhide an app later, follow the same steps but toggle the visibility switch back to “Unhidden.”
Tip #2: Hide Apps in the App Drawer
Another easy way is to simply remove them from your app drawer, which is the menu that shows all your installed apps. This doesn’t delete the apps, but it does remove them from plain sight so others can’t see or access them from the app drawer:
- Open the app drawer by swiping up on your home screen or tapping the app drawer icon (it often looks like a grid of squares).
- Find the app you want to hide and long-press on its icon until your phone vibrates. This should put the app icon into “edit” mode.
- Tap the remove icon, which is usually three horizontal lines. This will remove the app icon from your app drawer without uninstalling the app.
- The app is now hidden from the drawer but still installed on your phone. To reaccess it, you’ll need to search for it or find its shortcut on your home screen if you’ve placed one there.
Top #3: Using Folders to Organize Hidden Apps
If you want to keep apps accessible on your home screen but hidden within folders, Android also allows you to utilize its folder feature. This keeps your home screen clean while still keeping apps only a folder tap away:
- Add folders to your home screen by long pressing on a space and selecting “Folder” from the menu.
- Open the new folder.
- Long press on each app icon you want to move into the folder and drag it onto the folder to place it inside.
- Rename the folder to something inconspicuous like “Utilities” or another app category so it doesn’t draw attention to the hidden apps inside.
- Continue placing apps into folders until all the ones you want to hide are organized. Their icons will now be hidden from plain view on your home screen.
Tip #4: Disable Apps
While only a temporary fix, quickly turning off apps provides instant removal from view without deleting or moving them. It can buy you time to set up a more robust hiding method later while ensuring apps aren’t accidentally launched. No other users will discover disabled selections unless they explicitly look in the encryption settings menu.
This lightweight command avoids potential delays or data loss compared to complete uninstallation. You also have the agility to flip apps back on immediately as needed. For short-term periods of sharing your device or wanting extra security, fast disabling keeps selected apps out of sight with a single tap.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can apps be deleted entirely after hiding them?
- Yes, even after hiding apps using the above methods, you can fully uninstall apps from Settings > Apps > App name > Uninstall. This permanently deletes the app and its data from the device.
Q. Will hiding apps affect performance or storage usage?
- No, hiding apps only removes them from home screens and app menus. The apps remain installed without changing performance, storage usage, or functionality.
Q. How do you hide the secure folder itself?
- You cannot directly hide the secure folder app icon. But it can be moved to an app folder or the last home screen page to avoid accidental discovery.
Q. Will hiding system apps cause issues?
- You cannot fully disable most pre-installed system apps. It is best to avoid hiding crucial system apps to prevent unexpected problems. Stick to hiding third-party or unnecessary apps instead.
Maintaining visibility control over apps is important these days for personal security, organization, and selective access by other users.
With the simple options outlined above, Android provides convenient ways to hide apps on Android devices privately without additional software downloads. Choose the method best suited to your privacy needs, whether temporarily or long-term.