Looking for a quick and easy way to hide apps on iPhone to keep your privacy intact? Here’s everything you can do to make sure those private apps stay private, even if someone gets ahold of your unlocked iPhone.
Ever since the release of features such as iCloud and Touch ID, Apple has been at the forefront of privacy. The closed-loop environment of all iOS devices allows Apple to keep security at the top, and features such as Face ID have now made the iPhone an impenetrable fortress. But once you get past the initial iron curtain of security, it’s an open book from then onwards. Unlike Android OS, Apple does not offer features hide apps on iPhone and iPad.
Many iOS users are on the lookout for ways to hide apps on an iOS device. Whether hiding games from their sons, hiding apps with sensitive personal data, social media apps, or inappropriate apps for children and many at times, you won’t be there to monitor what someone might be doing with your unlocked phone. Unfortunately, iOS does not have a function to hide apps on a device directly. But, here’s how you can make finding apps tedious for people snooping around your device when it’s unlocked.
How to Hide Apps on iPhone
1. Hide iOS Apps by Creating Home Screen Folders
iOS allows you to create app folders to declutter the home page. By using an App folder, you can bury the apps you wish to hide by placing the app in a non-suspicious folder filled with dull apps on the first page, such as a “Utilities” folder.
- Long-press an app icon you wish to create or move the app to a folder.
- Drag an app and hover to an app or folder to create a new folder or move the app to the folder.
- Drag an app to the right side of the folder page, and you will be able to create multiple app folder pages. You can later fill the folder with boring and work-related apps if you are looking to hide certain games.
2. Move Apps to App Library
With the new App Library feature on iOS 14, you can remove apps from the home screen and access them later from the App Library, which dissects the apps according to Siri’s suggestions and the app’s type. For example, if you move a game to the App Library, you can later access the games from the “Games” section in the App Library.
- Long-tap an app you wish to move to the App Library.
- After the pop-up menu appears, tap on Delete – Move To Library.
- You can later use the apps from the App Library.
3. Exclude the Hidden Apps from Search and Siri Suggestions
Siri tracks your most daily used apps and suggests them in the search menu. And if the hidden app is suggested to you, your cover might be disclosed, and by searching the apps on the Search page, the results window can reveal the app and even documents saved in these apps. With iOS 14, you can disable apps from Siri’s suggestions and the Search app window.
- Head over to the Settings App.
- Go to Siri & Search.
- From the list of installed apps, search and open the app that you’re looking for.
- You will get a host of settings on this page. Disable the following toggles:
- Learn from This App
- Suggest App
- Show App in Search
- Show Content in Search
4. Hide App Notifications
You will also need to disable app notifications for a complete incognito app experience you want to hide from prying eyes. App notifications can blow the cover of your hidden apps. Here’s how to disable App Notifications.
- Head over to the Settings App from the home screen.
- Scroll down and tap on the Notifications menu from the list.
- Head down to find the app you wish to disable notifications for and tap on the app icon.
- Tap on the Allow Notifications toggle switch, and the app notifications will be disabled. From the app notifications menu, you can also select where the app notification is displayed.
- If you want to maintain basic privacy for your social media apps, you can allow notifications especially on the lock screen, Notification Centre, or Banners.
5. Hide App Download History from the App Store
If you have deleted an app from the iPhone, the App Store will still keep all tabs on downloaded app history in the “Purchased” tab. Luckily, the App Store allows hiding app purchase history even if the apps are free or paid. Here’s how to hide apps from the App Store Purchase history.
- Head over to the App Store from the iPhone h]Home screen.
- Tap on the account avatar located in the top right corner of the App Store.
- Tap on the Purchased tab to view your purchases history.
- Swipe right on the app you wish to hide and tap on the Hide option.
- You can also restore the deleted app by tapping on the iCloud button or swipe right to hide.
6. Password Protect using Screen Time
Although Apple does not offer the ability to hide apps on iPhone or lock them by default, there is a specific parental control feature that allows it. Although this is not the most user-friendly way to go about it and your Android friends are going to laugh at you for going through all the trouble for it, it certainly gets the job done.
- Head to the Settings app on your iPhone from the home screen.
- Scroll down to find Screen Time and then enable it by setting the passcode.
- In the upper-left corner, you will find the Devices option to open.
- Tap on the iPhone name from the list (in case you have multiple iDevices set up from the same Apple ID).
- Select the app you want to limit screen time for and tap on the Add limit button.
- Pick the shortest time period with the time selector and tap on the Add button.
Now when you or anyone else tries to access the locked app, it will display the Screen Time window and ask you to enter the passcode.
The iOS 14 and older versions of iOS does not allow a sure shot way to hide apps, but with the methods shown above, you can make the task of finding certain apps difficult from unwanted eyes or parents snooping around your phone when you just wanted them to look at a funny, relatable meme. We hope our guide on how to hide apps on iOS devices has helped you hide the apps with sensitive data, social media apps, or games you don’t want someone to play and mess with your high scores.
Do the above methods help you to gain back some of the privacy you crave on your iPhone? We’d love to know what you have to say in the comments section right down below.