(Pocket-lint) – Did you know that it is possible to hide apps on your device without uninstalling or removing them?
We’ve written before about how to delete and uninstall apps from your phone, but sometimes you might just want to keep them away from prying eyes or fidgety fingers.
If you often allow family members to access your phone, you have probably thought about the apps they can access while using it. There might be some apps that you don’t want others to open for whatever reason. You probably don’t want your kids to accidentally message your boss, spoil your TikTok feed, or worse.
Not to worry, there are ways to hide apps so you can still use them, but they won’t be readily available for overzealous button clicks.
It should be noted that the methods of hiding applications differ from one device to another. This may change based on the version of Android you’re running on your phone, but also depending on which model you’re using. So follow this guide to find the best ways to do so.
Hide apps with Android settings
On some Android phones, it is possible to hide apps using your phone settings. You can use these to hide apps from the home screen so they can’t be easily accessed by anyone using the phone, assuming they also won’t dive into the app drawer.
To do this:
- Open your phone settings
- Go to “Home screen”
- Look for “hide apps”
- Click on that and then click on the apps you want to hide
If these settings do not appear, your phone may not have the option and you will have to use one of the other methods listed below.
Hide apps in the secure folder
If you have a Samsung phone, you may be able to access Samsung Secure Folder. This is a hidden folder that allows you to secure your apps, photos, and more.
To access this:
- Go to phone settings on your Samsung phone
- Click Biometrics and Security
- Click on Secure Folder
- Sign in to your Samsung account and follow the steps
- Then you can go to the secure folder on your home screen
- Click there to add apps
Hide apps on your OnePlus phone
The technology to hide apps varies from phone to phone. For OnePlus smartphones, there is a ‘Hidden Space’ feature that allows you to hide apps. To do this:
- Open the app drawer on your phone
- Swipe right to access the hidden space folder
- Then tap on the plus icon on the top right side
- Choose the apps you want to hide and select to confirm
The Hidden Space folder gives you the ability to set a password for it so you can be sure that you are the only person who can access that folder. Open this folder and then select the three-dot menu and select to enable the password and set one up.
Hide apps on Xiaomi phone
On some phones, it is not possible to hide apps, but what you can do is password protect apps instead. This puts a password on some sensitive apps, so they can’t run without a password, even if the device is already unlocked.
If you are concerned about the security of your organization, this is a no-brainer.
To do this:
- First open your phone settings
- Go to Apps
- Find and tap on the “App lock” setting
- Then select the apps you want to lock and tap on “Use App Lock” at the bottom
- You will need to set up a Xiaomi account if you don’t already have one
With this tool, you can also set it up so that notifications from certain apps are hidden as well. This is ideal if you don’t want others to see private notifications from certain apps while they are busy using your phone.
Hide apps using launcher
If you are having trouble hiding apps with any of these methods, there are other solutions. If you are using a third party launcher such as Nova Launcher Prime, you can access other settings (across multiple devices) that allow you to hide apps.
Launchers replace the standard home screen and allow for more customization options that allow you to tweak various settings on your phone to really personalize it.
Nova Launcher is one such app that also allows you to hide apps:
- Download and install Nova Launcher and set it as your default launcher
- Then open Nova Launcher Settings
- Tap on “App & Widget Drawers”
- Click on “Hide apps”
- Mark all the apps that you would like to hide
It’s worth noting that you’ll need the paid version of Nova Launcher to get the best results here, but you can also make some tweaks to “hide” an app with the free version by changing the app’s icon and name instead of hiding it. This could make people less likely to click on the app, perhaps.
Written by Adrian Wellings. Editing by Britta Oboyle.
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