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Avast Academy Privacy Privacy Tips How to Hide Apps on an Android Phone

How to Hide Apps on an Android Phone

Whether it’s an important banking app, a file you don’t want your kids to see when they use your phone, or an embarrassing game you’re addicted to, there’s almost always an app on your phone you’d rather hide. We’ll guide you through five different ways to hide apps on Android. Then, we’ll show you how to help keep all your phone data private with Avast One, a comprehensive security tool with a built-in VPN.

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Written by Ellie Farrier
Published on May 26, 2023

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5 ways to hide apps on an Android phone

1. Use built-in settings to hide apps on Android

On many Android phones, you can hide apps by opening Settings and searching for Hide apps. The built-in setting for hiding Android apps should display automatically.

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    If the setting doesn’t appear in your search, hide apps by navigating through Android’s default settings. Open Settings, tap Home screen, and scroll to Hide apps. Tap the apps you want to hide, and they’ll move to the Hidden apps section.

    Hiding Android apps using your phone's built-in settings.

    2. Use app-hider apps

    You can also install app-hider software for Android phones. The best app-hider apps are available directly in Google Play. Here are a few of the best app hiders for Androids:

    • Nova Launcher
      Nova Launcher replaces the home screen on your Android phone. It also lets you hide apps and sort and reshuffle them according to your needs.

    • App Hider
      The customizable App Hider lets you hide apps on your Android and manage them from different accounts on your device. The app-hider icon is even disguised as a calculator.

    • Vault
      Vault's purpose is to hide apps, files, photos, and videos on your Android. It includes cloud backup and the ability to lock apps behind a secure password.

    3. Use a secure folder to lock and hide apps

    Most phones have a secure folder or similar feature to hide apps on Android. The Samsung feature is called Secure Folder, where you can safely hide apps, photos, and other data.

    On Xiaomi phones, a similar feature called Dual apps can clone apps. Dual apps won’t hide an app completely, but by cloning an Android app, you can effectively hide valuable data or account information that you don’t want anyone to see.

    4. Use a guest account or private mode to hide apps

    The Guest Mode feature included in many Android phones lets you share your device with another person, while hiding apps and sensitive data saved on your personal profile. Search for guest user in Settings to set up the guest account and switch between your personal and guest profiles.

    While Samsung phones don’t include this feature, you can enable a guest account on Samsung tablets. To set up a guest account on a Samsung tablet, open Settings > Accounts and backup. Toggle on Multiple Users and select Guest. Now you can switch between users from the Quick Settings menu, and the apps you want to hide will stay hidden from the guest profile.

    5. Disable apps to hide them

    Android app permissions let you hide apps by disabling them, which is helpful if you can’t uninstall an unnecessary system app without rooting your phone (and there are significant security risks to rooting).

    Disabling hides Android apps from your home screen, prevents them from using your phone’s resources, and stops apps from using excessive background data to constantly refresh.

    Follow our instructions on disabling Android apps below to start hiding apps from your Android home screen.

    How to hide apps on a Samsung phone

    Samsungs come with multiple ways to hide apps. You can hide Android apps using Samsung’s secret mode. To do this, go to Settings, tap Home screen, and select Hide apps.

    Samsung’s built-in Secure Folder is another great way to hide apps that you don’t want anyone to see, or that contain sensitive information, such as banking or trading apps.

    Here’s how to hide apps on Android with Samsung’s Secure Folder feature:

    1. Go to Settings > Security and privacy > Secure Folder. Sign in or create the folder with your Samsung account.

      Navigating to Secure Folder settings on a Samsung phone.
    2. Open Secure Folder on your home screen and tap + (the plus icon). Select the apps you want to hide and they’ll move to the Secure Folder.

      Hiding apps on a Samsung phone using the Secure Folder feature.

    All hidden apps will now show only in your locked Secure Folder. Note that names of hidden apps may still appear in some Android settings.

    How to hide apps on a OnePlus phone

    The easiest way to hide apps on OnePlus phones is to use the Hide Apps feature (previously called Hidden Space).

    Here’s how to hide apps on a OnePlus phone:

    1. Open Settings and tap Privacy.

    2. Select Hide Apps.

    3. Enter a passcode to lock your hidden apps and programs.

    4. Scroll through the list of apps and toggle on apps you want to hide.

    The Hide Apps feature hides apps from your Android’s home screen and won’t show the app in recent tasks. But, the hidden apps may still appear in some Android settings.

    How to hide apps on a Xiaomi phone

    Here’s how to hide app data on a Xiaomi phone:

    1. Open Settings and tap Apps.

    2. Select App Lock and tap Turn on.

    3. Enter a passcode that will lock your apps.

    4. Tap Use App lock to confirm.

    5. Toggle on the apps that you want to hide using App Lock.

    App Lock doesn’t completely hide apps from your Android’s home screen. But, locked apps now require a passcode, effectively hiding app content from prying eyes.

    How to hide apps on an LG phone

    Here’s how to hide apps on an LG phone:

    1. Open Settings.

    2. Tap Display and select Home screen.

    3. Tap Hide apps.

    4. Select the apps you want to hide from your home screen and tap Done.

    On LG phones, you don’t need to enable a special locking feature to hide Android apps — all hidden apps will be removed from your home screen automatically.

    How to disable apps on Android

    Some pre-installed Android apps can’t be deleted from your phone. But, you can still hide apps on Android directly from your home screen or via Android settings. Disabling apps will hide them from your home screen and prevent them from using background data and resources, but the hidden apps will still appear in your Android settings.

    Disable apps on Android via the home screen


    1. Locate the app on your home screen and tap and hold it.

    2. Select Disable in the pop-up menu. You may also see an option to uninstall the app, but if the app is a system app, the only option may be to disable it.

      Tap and hold an app on your Android's Home screen, then tap Disable to hide the app.

    The app will be hidden and background usage restricted automatically.

    Disable apps on Android via Settings


    1. Open Settings and tap Apps.

      Go to Apps in Settings
    2. Select the Android app you want to disable, then tap Disable.

      How to disable an app to hide it on Android.

    How do I find hidden apps on Android?

    All of your previously hidden or disabled Android apps appear when you open Settings and tap Apps. Make sure to clean your Android to remove junk apps, and to search for any apps you want to unhide and use again.

    If you see a suspicious app that might be tracking your activity, check out our guide to removing Android spyware. And if you're on iOS, you can also find or hide apps on your iPhone by following our simple step-by-step guide. 

    Keep all your mobile activity private

    You should have control over what you do on your phone and who has access to your data. And that’s one reason why we created Avast One. Avast One’s built-in privacy features, including a VPN and data breach monitoring tools, help keep your communications and data private. That way, you may not even need to worry about hiding apps on your Android.

    Install Avast One for free and start protecting your private information right now.

    Protect your communications and data with Avast One's built-in VPN

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    Privacy Tips
    Privacy
    Ellie Farrier
    26-05-2023