How To Hide Apps on Android [August 2021]
Android devices offer so many customizable options that it is a preferred operating system for thousands of smartphone and tablet users. Of those customizable options is hiding applications.
Once an application is downloaded, it will immediately become a part of the home screen or fall among the plethora of applications you’ve already downloaded in a section of your phone known as the app drawer.
If you’re trying to organize your applications or simply hide certain ones, there are plenty of options for you to do this on an Android device.
(Did you want to learn about hiding apps on iPhone instead? We have you covered!)
Uninstalling and Disabling Apps You Don’t Need
There are some apps, called Bloatware, that come pre-loaded on your phone. At first glance, there’s no way to hide or remove these applications. Fortunately, you can clean up your app drawer and your home screen. We’ll show you how to do all of that in this section.
Android smartphones often come with several pre-loaded applications. Many of these you cannot remove entirely from the phone. You can “Disable” these applications from the settings of your phone. This means they will no longer run in the background and appear on the home screen.
To do this:
- Open your phone’s Settings (The gear icon located in the top right-hand corner of the screen after pulling down from the top or with the other applications on your device).
- Scroll down until you see Apps or Application Manager (this depends on model & software version).
- Tap on the application you’d like to disable (beware, some system apps are vital to the operation of your device, disabling those may cause software malfunctions).
- Tap “Disable.”
- If you accidentally disable an app or notice malfunctions after completing the process, you can follow the above-listed steps and click “Enable” or “Turn On.” This will bring the application back to life on your phone.
Another option for disabling an application is going straight to the icon on the home page or application folder. Hold your finger on the app, and options will appear; among those are “disable,” tap that to complete the process.
Many applications do give you the option to remove them from your device completely. These are easily recognizable as the option for “Uninstall” will appear when performing any of the above-listed steps.
The easiest way to uninstall applications on your Android device is by going to the Play Store. Here’s how:
- Open the Google Play Store and tap on your profile icon in the upper right-hand corner. Older versions have a three horizontal line menu in the right-hand corner.
- Tap on Manage apps & device.
- Tap on Manage at the top of this page.
- Scroll through the list and tap the empty box next to any applications you no longer use. Then, tap the trash can icon in the upper right corner.
Of course, you can also long-press any applications on your home screen or app drawer to delete them as well. Tapping “Uninstall” will remove the app, and you will have to go to the PlayStore to download it again if you need it.
Use Third-Party Launchers to Hide
There are helpful applications in the Google Play Store for hiding applications you’d like to keep on your phone but don’t want to appear with the rest of your applications.
Downloading a Launcher changes the layout and interface of your home screen. A launcher is another way to customize your phone. For example, the Nova Launcher is found in the Google Play Store, and once downloaded, it will allow you to hide applications than the standard system home screen better.
Once downloaded, you will have to go to the Nova Launcher in Settings and set Nova as your system Home Screen. Hiding applications with this launcher is a Prime feature, meaning that it will cost $4.99 to hide the icons in the app drawer at the time of writing this.
This launcher does allow you to edit the name of an application for free. If you’re interested in learning more about launchers, we’ve got you covered.
While most launchers from the Play Store have the ability to hide apps, they each have different functions. If you’re using something like Apex or Action Launcher 3, you’ll want to check inside your launcher’s settings to see if there’s a way to hide apps from the app drawer.
To hide the apps in the Launcher, follow these steps:
- Find the app you’d like to hide then tap and hold
- Drag the icon to the “Edit” icon in the top right-hand corner of the home screen
- A pop-up will appear with various options
- Uncheck the “Apps” setting
To use your hidden application, search for it by name in the app drawer.
You can also hide apps by going into Nova’s settings display, tapping the “App and widget drawers” option, and scrolling all the way to the bottom of the menu to find “Hide apps” under the “Drawer groups” category.
Inside the “Hidden Apps” menu, you can check any and all apps you want to be hidden from Nova’s drawer.
Bear in mind when downloading and using a launcher as your default home screen, other things may change as well. Some launchers are battery hogs, while others will spam your phone with ads. Before downloading anything like this, be sure to read the Google Play reviews.
There are more ways to protect your applications and your privacy. Android is one of the most customizable operating systems meaning you can pretty much hide your apps any way you want.
One of the simplest ways of hiding applications is by putting them into folders. From your app drawer, tap and hold the application you’d like to hide.
Drag it over to another application, and it will automatically create a folder. You can customize the name and placement of this folder once created.
There are a number of apps on the Play Store that promise to be able to hide apps from your device, but for the most part, they either don’t work or require root access on your phone—and if you aren’t rooted, it’s easier to install a third-party launcher to do the same thing.
“App Locker” apps on the Play Store that, while not necessarily hiding your apps from your phone, can at the very least put a password on those specific apps on your phone to protect unidentified users from accessing apps.
If you’re interested in something like this, we suggest using AppLock Fingerprint, a decent app locking tool that can use your fingerprint to unlock any app you deem worth protecting.
Unfortunately, it’s tough to hide apps on your phone beyond using a third-party launcher without outright disabling or uninstalling them.
But password-protecting apps from intruders is a good middle ground that, while not outright hiding your apps, will secure your private apps enough that family members, children, or intruders can’t access your data without your permission.
Before downloading any launchers or applications on your android device, it is important to read the reviews. Some launchers and applications make it more difficult to interact with your home screen, while some have added pop-ups.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve covered a lot of information in this article, but there’s always room for more. If you have additional questions, here’s a section where we’ve answered your most frequently asked questions.
What if I can’t find an app that’s on my Android?
Sometimes, apps are very difficult to find in the app drawer. You can swipe to access all of your apps and type the name in the search bar. Once it appears, long-press it in the search results and tap ‘Locate App.’ This will take you directly to it.
How can I organize my apps?
Organizing apps is simple; you can long-press them and move them to the page in the app drawer you want. You can add apps to the home screen or remove them based on your needs. Color coding your apps is a great way to keep everything organized, and it looks really neat.
Why am I getting ads on my phone?
As mentioned above, some applications (typically third-party utility apps and launchers) will spam your phone with ads. Follow the steps above for disabling apps to locate and delete the problem-causing additives. You can use safe mode to narrow down the source of your problems.