Hmm, up to no good, are we?
Alright, alright, let’s cut to the chase. You want to hide apps on Android. But how do we do that?
4 Easy Ways to Hide Apps on Android Without Rooting or Disabling
Hmm, up to no good, are we?
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Well, one way to do it is to root your phone. But rooting is not only complicated (if you don’t have much technical knowledge on phones), but it’s also risky; there’s no telling what sort of data you’d lose, or if there’s any data you’d leave open to insecurities. There’s also the possibility that it might also render the manufacturer’s warranty void. So, we won’t get into rooting in this article.
Another way is to disable the app entirely. But that would deactivate the app itself. You probably don’t want that; what if you need it again?
So, how can we hide apps on Android without rooting or disabling anything? Lucky for you, I’ve got some information on that. I’ll largely talk about what sort of factors are involved in hiding apps on your Android phone, how you can do it with and without third-party apps, and even offer bits and pieces of important insights you should keep in mind.
That last part is especially important, because the processes are similar for every Android device, but it requires you to be a little more explorative with your phone. After all, not all phones are built to be the same; therefore, you should try what works best.
But whether it’s to secretly hide dating apps, or to hide a tracking app, the methods talked about should work. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.
How to Hide Apps on Android Phone
Now, what you need to understand is that hiding apps is no easy task for some phones. It depends on:
- What phone you have
- What sort of steps each of those phones would want you to take
- Whether it’s even possible to do them in the first place
There are two ways you could do it: One, do it directly if the phone allows it. Or two, you use third-party apps to do it for you. So, let’s dig right into it.
How to Hide Apps on Android Phone Without Launcher
The process of how you can hide apps without any app shouldn’t be too different between phones. This is because the main operating system (OS) for your phone is Android. By default, the option to hide apps as a dedicated feature is within the Home Screen settings. So, these methods should work on any device running Android, be it a smartphone, a tablet, or a desktop.
If your Home Screen settings does not have that option, chances are that your phone’s stock launcher does not support it. This means that you need to replace your stock launcher with a third-party launcher that has the Hide Apps option. The following is a list of launchers or Android-based OS of the respective companies whose stock launchers come with the Hide Apps option by default, eliminating the need for a third-party app or launcher:
- One UI for Samsung
- OxygenOS for OnePlus
- MIUI for Xiaomi
- ColorOS for Oppo
So, how do we hide apps on the phone directly without using third-party launchers? Well, assuming that your stock launcher supports it, the following steps should work.
Hide Apps on Android Home Screen
- Press and hold an empty space on your Home Screen with your finger
- Once a menu pops up, go to Preferences (for some phones, it’s Home Screen Settings)
- Keep scrolling until you find “Hide Apps”, and click it
- Find and check all the apps you want to hide
Unchecking the apps will cause them to be unhid, so the entire process is easily reversible.
Hide Apps Through the Settings
Not all phones will have this feature, but it’s still worth mentioning.
- Go to your phone’s settings
- Go to Display
- Go to Home Screen
- You should see the Hide Apps option
- Find and check all the apps you want to hide
Once again, it’s an easily reversible process since you’re only checking and unchecking apps you want to hide and unhide.
Hide Apps Using Dedicated Private Spaces
Some phones (most notably Huawei and OnePlus phones) come with a dedicated private space feature called PrivateSpace (sometimes called SecondSpace, HiddenSpace, or Private Mode). In brief, it’s a space in which you can put in the apps you don’t want to associate with your primary space (called your MainSpace).
So, whenever you need your hidden apps, you can switch spaces, and still keep things segregated. None of the apps you put into your PrivateSpace will be shown on your MainSpace. This is how you do it:
- Go to your phone’s settings and click on Privacy
- There should be an option to choose PrivateSpace
- If it’s disabled, then you will be prompted to enable it
- Set up a lock screen password (that isn’t the same as your MainSpace password) for your PrivateSpace
- To head back into your MainSpace, lock your phone, bring up the lock screen again, and enter your MainSpace password
- If you plan to download any apps you want to hide, install them whilst logged into your PrivateSpace
It’s a bit of a hassle to configure, since you’d have to enter your password each time you visit a space. But it’s by far the most effective way to hide apps from prying eyes, especially from anyone who possesses a deeper technical knowledge on phone security than you do. It’s all thanks to the added password security layer; they’d have no other choice but to ask you for access.
How to Hide Apps on Android Phone With Launchers
Unfortunately, there are some phones that don’t have the feature built into the phone’s stock launcher.
Lo and behold, passionate developers with a penchant for answering our woes provide us with the best solution: Third-party apps! Swapping with launchers that have the option should fix the problem.
Understandably, not all third-party launchers and apps can be trusted. So, here are some of them that you can use without worrying too much about privacy concerns.
App Hider is one of the most popular apps on the Play Store, with its entire purpose surrounded around hiding apps for you. What’s interesting to note here is that App Hider isn’t a launcher, but is actually an app itself. When choosing to hide an app, App Hider will put your app in a specialized, private folder disguised in the form of a “Calculator+” app.
So, if you have any kleptomaniacal friends who tend to steal your phone frequently, then don’t worry too much. They’d be too oblivious to notice anything out of the ordinary.
Here’s how you hide apps with App Hider:
- Install App Hider from the Play Store
- Open the app
- Tap the “+” icon
- Import an app that you want to hide
- Tap that app in the App Hider menu to hide it
If you want to conceal the app as a Calculator+ app, then you’ll need to set up a PIN for it. This is a simple one-step process; set a PIN from the App Hider menu itself, and you’re set! If you enter the correct PIN, the Calculator+ app will launch App Hider, from where you could launch your hidden apps. Until then, it will run an actual calculator.
If you’re planning to size up your phone’s UI looks, then you’ll probably want to look into skins and launchers. One such launcher is the Nova Launcher; it’s pretty efficient thanks to its sleek user interface. It’s a great replacement for your phone’s stock launcher.
Nova Launcher comes in two forms; free, and paid. Most launchers in general offer the option to hide apps in the paid version itself. Here’s how you can hide apps with it:
- Buy and install Nova Launcher from the Play Store
- Tap and hold a blank area on your phone’s screen until a menu pops up
- Click on Settings, and it will take you to the Nova Settings menu
- Go to App Drawer
- Under the “Apps” category, you will see “Hide Apps”; click it
- Find and check the apps that you want to hide
Since Nova Launcher is similar to other launchers, you can use the same steps for other launchers. All launchers can and must have their own settings menu with different options available, so it shouldn’t be hard to get around this. Keep in mind that it depends on whether they offer this either freely or as a premium feature. Other launchers similar to Nova Launcher (and just as trusted) are:
- Apex Launcher (Paid)
- Evie Launcher (Free)
Evie Launcher is removed from the Play Store for unknown reasons. But the app is still available to download as an .APK mirror. It’ll be easy to lose your way trying to find the right kind of mirror, so here’s the official developer’s APKMirror page. You can choose from various previous versions of the same app.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I hide apps on Android 10?
To hide apps on Android 10 or 11, just follow the same steps, and you should be fine!
Android KitKat users will need to use a third-party launcher to hide apps. However, I strongly recommend against using KitKat at this time and age since you’re keeping your phone open to many security flaws since KitKat is overwhelmingly outdated.
How do I hide photos and videos on Android?
It’s a lot of ground to cover, so here’s a separate piece I wrote on it. In short, it’s possible! But the steps are different (and a tad complicated).
How do I know if a third-party app is safe to use?
You’ll need to first check out the store page, and see if a few things look legit.
Do the reviews and ratings look good? Are the reviews written with good grammar? Do the reviewers have a legit name and profile picture? What do the negative reviews say?
What sort of updates has the store page seen recently? How many downloads has the app seen?
What permissions does the app require? Is the app offered by a well-known source?
On the off-chance that the app is said to be open-source, you can be sure it’s a reliable app. This is because the source code to these apps is freely available to the general public. This tends to be a sign of trust from the developers themselves.
Got Anything on Your Mind?
The intricacies of Android never ends. We use it a lot, yet some of the simplest intentions — such as to hide apps on Android — is still something most of us have little knowledge of. There’s always something to discover, something to explore.
Do you have something you’d like to add to this article? Maybe the steps you took were different, but it still worked. Or maybe they didn’t, but it helped you discover a solution that wasn’t covered here.
Either way, leave your thoughts in the comments below!