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 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
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 they will no longer appear on the home screen. To do this:
- 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.” 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 completely remove them from your device. These are easily recognizable as the option for “Uninstall” will appear when you perform any of the above-listed steps.
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 appearing with the rest of your applications.
Downloading a Launcher changes to 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 better hide applications than the standard system home screen.
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 at the time of writing this it will cost $4.99 to hide the icons in the app drawer.
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 hidden from Nova’s drawer.
There are more ways to protect your applications and your privacy.
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.
Third Party Apps
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 just 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, beyond using a third-party launcher, it’s tough to hide apps from your phone 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 add pop-ups.