How to Hide Apps on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

Updated on September 21, 2018
Max Dalton profile image

Max holds a B.S. in mass communications from SIU, an M.A. in communications from U of I, and is pursuing an MBA from Webster University.

People snooping through the apps on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch can be annoying. Hiding the app through parental restrictions or removing the app from your phone are two extreme and time-consuming ways to go about this.

A simpler method is to hide an app in folders among other apps. This makes it harder for someone to find that app unless they spend a lot of time digging around or know what to look for. It also arouses less suspicion than protecting it with a lock or passcode. It also works for all iPhone generations, including iPhones 6, 7, 8, and X, and every version of iOS.

Is There an App That Hides Apps on iPhone?

There are currently no apps that can hide apps, despite the many apps designed to hide photos, videos, notes, and text messages, including KeepSafe, KYMS, and Private Photo Vault.

Only one app—Locker—claims to be able to hide apps as well as photos and videos, but the process is difficult to execute and is dependent on an iOS bug. Even if you're successful, it isn't permanent, and you'll spend hours redoing everything.

The only effective way to hide an app is to restrict it (only for built-in apps like FaceTime and Safari), uninstall it, or hide it in folders among other apps.

How to Hide Apps on any iPhone

  1. Locate the app you want to hide.
  2. Press and hold the app until it grows slightly larger than its normal size.
  3. Move the app onto its own screen.
  4. Hide the app on a screen by surrounding it with other apps.
  5. Hide the app in a folder for added privacy.
  6. Name the folder something low-key, like "Miscellaneous."
  7. Fill the screen with folders of multiple apps to bury the app even deeper.
  8. Press the home button to lock everything in place.

Step-by-Step Guide With Screenshots

Locate the app, and press and hold it until all the apps start to wiggle.
Locate the app, and press and hold it until all the apps start to wiggle. | Source

1. Locate the app you want to hide.

Press and hold the app until all the apps wiggle.

You'll also see an 'X' on the top left corners of the apps.

Hold your finger against the app again until it gets about 25 percent larger.
Hold your finger against the app again until it gets about 25 percent larger. | Source

2. Press and hold the app again so that it gets slightly larger.

The app will grow about 25% larger than its normal size.

Move the app onto its own screen.
Move the app onto its own screen. | Source

3. Move the app onto its own screen.

While still pressing down on the app, move it to the right edge of the current screen to move to the next screen.

Keep moving it to a new screen until it is on a screen by itself.

You can go all the way out to 15 screens (for iOS 7 and newer) or 11 screens (for iOS 6 and older), but after you press the Home button to lock your apps in place, that app will automatically be moved to the next immediate screen following the last occupied screen.

For example, if you have four occupied screens, even if you move an app to the last page, it will automatically be moved to the fifth screen when you lock the apps in place.

Move other apps you don't use onto that screen as well. If you don't have many apps, download some more.
Move other apps you don't use onto that screen as well. If you don't have many apps, download some more. | Source

4. Hide the app on a screen by surrounding it with other apps.

With all the apps still wiggling, surround the app you want to hide with random apps you may not use as much.

The more full screens you have, the harder it'll be for someone to find the app. You can fill up to 15 screens with apps (for iOS 7 and newer), or up to 11 screens (for iOS 6 and older).

Depending on your screen size, each screen can hold either 24 apps (4.7+ in), 20 apps (4 in), or 16 apps (3 in)—not including the spaces on the dock. That equates to anywhere from 179 to 363 possible apps you can surround your secret app with, assuming you have enough memory on your phone.

Move the apps into the same folder.
Move the apps into the same folder. | Source

5. Hide the app in a folder for added privacy.

Take it a step further by creating an inconspicuous folder to nestle the app in.

While the apps are still wiggling, drag any one of the apps and place it directly on top of another app. The two apps will be moved into the same box, creating a folder. The bottom app will flash twice, after which a folder will open up.

Continue dragging other apps into the folder. You'll want the secret app to be at least on the second page of the folder.

Each page of a folder displays up to nine apps. Each folder can theoretically hold up to 135 apps (for iOS 7 and newer), up to 16 apps (for iOS 5 and 6), or up to 12 apps (for iOS 4 and older). Again, the more apps you add to a folder, the harder it will be to find the app you're hiding.

Think of really vague or general category names that would fly under the radar.
Think of really vague or general category names that would fly under the radar. | Source

6. Name the folder something low-key, like "Miscellaneous."

You'll want create a folder name that won't stand out too much or clue people in on what you've hidden inside.

To rename a folder, tap the 'X' on the right side of the top bubble. This will open up the keyboard.

Type in any category name that won't catch the eye or draw too much attention.

Create as many folders as you'd like—on as many screens as you'd like—to hide your app even further.
Create as many folders as you'd like—on as many screens as you'd like—to hide your app even further. | Source

7. Fill the screen with folders of multiple apps to bury the app even deeper.

Create a maze of folders and apps people will have to dig through to find the app you're hiding.

If you fill a screen with folders—including the four spaces on the dock—and you fill each folder with multiple apps, just imagine how hard it would be to find your hidden app.

It'll be that much harder if you filled all the possible screens with folders, each with multiple apps (assuming you have enough memory on your phone).

8. Press the home button to lock everything in place.

You're done!

Now you have peace of mind knowing you've created a whole mess of apps people will have to search through to find your hidden app.

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Questions & Answers

    Comments

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      • profile image

        Fred 

        2 weeks ago

        But it still shows on 'Siri App Suggestions' after use... could get a man shot

      • profile image

        Samuel 

        6 weeks ago

        I already knew how to do this...

      • profile image

        123 

        7 weeks ago

        Is there any other ways to really secretly hid an app

      • profile image

        Please answer 

        6 months ago

        Is there another way

      • profile image

        Bloggenpost 

        18 months ago

        Finally your step by step method to hide apps worked on my iPhone 5S. Thanks for this wonderful post and i would like to know how to completely delete/uninstall unused apps from iPhone.

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