How To Hide Apps on an Android: Boost Your Privacy in a Few Taps

Hiding apps is a perfect way to declutter your Android device and keep your secrets from prying eyes. Learn how to do it in our detailed step-by-step guide.
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Hiding apps on Android devices can enhance your privacy, declutter your screen, and reduce distractions. You can use Android's built-in settings or third-party apps for this. Using a secure folder or creating a guest account can further boost your privacy. You can also disable pre-installed apps to save your phone's resources.

If you want to prevent your sensitive data from being sold online, we recommend using a good data removal service. Learn how to hide apps on your Android in our detailed guide below, and check our expert security tips.

In this article
How to hide apps on an Android
How to show hidden apps on an Android
How to boost your privacy even further
Hiding apps on Android FAQs
Bottom line

How to hide apps on an Android

You can hide Android apps in five ways, regardless of the device. These methods include:

  • Using built-in settings
  • Installing third-party apps
  • Using a secure folder
  • Creating a guest account
  • Disabling apps altogether

The first two methods are ideal for streamlining your interface and preventing accidental exposure. You can use the second two if someone has regular access to your Android device or you're sharing your phone. Disabling pre-installed unused apps is all about conserving resources.

Use built-in settings

Most Android phones have a built-in option to hide apps, usually found in the Settings menu. The process is straightforward and only involves marking apps you wish to conceal. Follow our step-by-step guide below to hide apps on your phone.

How to hide apps on Samsung phones

Here is a step-by-step guide to hiding apps on your Samsung phone:

  1. Press and hold anywhere on the Home screen.
  2. Tap Home Screen Settings.
  3. Tap Hide Apps.
  4. Select the apps you want to hide.
  5. Tap Done.

Android home screen settings.

To unhide apps, tap the red minus icon next to them.

How to hide apps on Xiaomi phones

Xiaomi phones don't have a direct way to hide apps. The alternative is to add a password to your apps, known as App lock. Here is a step-by-step guide to enable App lock on Xiaomi phones:

  1. Open Security.
  2. Tap App lock.
  3. Create a passcode or enable biometrics.
  4. Find the apps you want to secure and toggle the switch next to them to enable app lock protection.
  5. Select Hide content in settings to turn off app notifications.

If you want to view a locked app, you'll need to enter your passcode or scan your fingerprint to access it.

How to hide apps on OnePlus phones

OnePlus phones have a hide apps feature. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to the Home screen and swipe up.
  2. Place a finger on the lower-right corner of the screen and swipe to the right.
  3. Select the Plus button in the upper-right corner.
  4. Choose the apps you want to hide.
  5. Click on the check mark in the upper right corner to finish.

Tap and hold the app to unhide it.

How to hide apps on LG phones

On LG phones, you can hide apps from your home screen. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Display.
  3. Select Home screen.
  4. Select the apps you wish to hide.

If you want to unhide apps, follow the same steps until step 4. When you reach that point, unselect apps to reveal them on your home screen.

Use third-party app-hider apps

Launcher apps let you customize your phone's home screen and interface. You can alter your phone's functionality, appearance, and layout. They’re also ideal if you want to hide apps.

We recommend downloading only trusted apps directly from the Google Play store. While we encourage you to research these apps, Nova Launcher and App Hider are very popular choices.

Use a secure folder

A secure folder is a private encrypted space for your sensitive apps, videos, and other files. You can protect it with additional security measures like a password, pattern, PIN, or biometrics.

Here’s a general step-by-step guide to creating a secure folder on your Android phone:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap on Biometrics and security (or wherever your security settings are).
  3. Choose Secure folder.
  4. Set up your password or other lock method.

Biometrics and security settings on the Android.

Once created, you can add your files to the secure folder.

Create a guest account

Many Android phones don’t have a Guest mode and don’t allow multiple accounts on one device. However, you might have this option with a Pixel or Nexus phone.

Guest profiles are a good option if you frequently share your phone or loan it to someone. A guest won't have access to the apps on your main account. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating a guest account:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select System.
  3. Choose Multiple users.
  4. Allow multiple users by toggling the switch.
  5. Tap Add guest.

Disable apps

Disabling apps will stop those apps from running in the background. Besides conserving resources, this will also remove them from your home screen. Here’s a general guide to disabling apps on your Android phone:

  1. Open Home screen.
  2. Long press the app you want to disable.
  3. Select App info.
  4. Select Disable or Force stop.

Android app info screen setting.

How to show hidden apps on an Android

Depending on your phone’s brand and model, there are different ways to hide apps. However, if you wish to unhide them, the process is the same for everyone:

  1. Go to Home screen.
  2. Tap Settings.
  3. Search for Hide apps.
  4. Unselect the apps you want to show.

How to boost your privacy even further

Websites, services, and apps will all log your data. Their records can include anything from your personally identifiable information (PII) to your legal and financial records.

The main collectors of publicly available and privately sourced data are called data brokers. After they sell your info, the buyer can use it for marketing, but they could also be a criminal trying to scam you.

Data removal services will contact these brokers for you and have your data removed from their databases. Our recommendations include:

  • DeleteMe covers 750+ data brokers. It also provides phone masking — a unique feature that lets you use disposable phone numbers instead of your real number. The masking feature also extends to your email address and credit card info.

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  • Incogni is affordable and covers 200+ data brokers. If you want to get Surfshark VPN, you can bundle Incogni together for maximum savings (Surfshark partners with Incogni).

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    Hiding apps on Android FAQs


    How do I hide apps on an Android without deleting them?

    You can hide apps on an Android in a few ways without deleting them. Besides using the built-in features, you can move apps into a secure folder, use a launcher app, or disable apps altogether. You can also use the Guest mode on your phone if you want to lend it to a friend.


    Can you get an app to hide apps on an Android?

    You can use third-party apps called “launcher apps” to hide content on your Android. Some popular launcher apps include Nova Launcher and App Hider.


    Is App Hider safe?

    App Hider is safe if you download it directly from Google Play. Avoid downloading apps from unknown sources to prevent potential phishing scams and malware infections.


    How do I find hidden apps?

    Hiding apps will remove them from your home screen. However, they are still on your phone. You can find them by going to Settings > Apps > View all apps. This will list both visible and hidden apps.

    Bottom line

    You can hide apps on Android devices in a few ways. The easiest method is using built-in features or third-party apps. You can also move content into a secure folder or create a guest account if you’re about to lend your phone to someone. Finally, disabling apps will also remove them from your home screen.

    Hiding apps can declutter your phone and boost productivity. However, it can also hide sensitive information from prying eyes. Whichever hiding method you choose, you can always reverse the process and unhide specific apps.

    If you want to extend privacy protection beyond your phone, we recommend picking a good data removal service and pulling your info from online circulation.

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    Author Details
    Sara J. Nguyen is a freelance writer specializing in cybersecurity. She aims to help people protect their data while enjoying technology. She has written about online privacy and tech for over 5 years for several organizations. When she's not writing about the latest cybersecurity trends, you can find her on LinkedIn.