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Mastering 14 Ways to Conceal Apps on iPhone and iPad in 2023

In today’s digitized age, privacy and personalization have become foremost priorities in every smartphone user’s lifestyle, specifically iPhone and iPad users. This guide provides insights into various methods of hiding apps on your iPhone or iPad to maintain privacy and declutter your home screen. This discussion will initially take you through the nuances of the iOS interface, following which we dive into the inherent hiding features provided by iOS. The closing segment then sheds light on various third-party solutions available to supplement the built-in functionality, enabling you to tailor your device to your unique needs and preferences.

Understanding iOS interface

Understanding the iOS Interface

The iOS Interface is composed of primarily three sections, namely, the Home Screen, App Library, and App Folders.

The Home Screen is the first screen you see when you unlock your iPhone or iPad. It displays all your installed applications. You can scroll through multiple pages of apps if you have many installed.

The App Library is a new function introduced in iOS 14, offering another space to store and automatically organize your apps according to their types. It’s located at the end of the Home Screen pages. To access it, you need to swipe left until you see the App Library screen.

App Folders are handy tools to organize your apps on the Home Screen. You can create a folder by dragging one app onto another. The system will automatically suggest a name for the folder, but you can rename it as you like.

Hiding Apps on iPhone or iPad

  1. Delete and Re-install: You can temporarily delete apps and re-install them when needed. However, remember that this might erase the app data.

  2. Hide from Home Screen: From iOS 14, you can hide apps from the Home Screen and only keep them visible in your App Library by tapping and holding the app, then select ‘Remove App’, and finally ‘Move to App Library’.

  3. Use Folders: Group apps you want to hide inside folders on your home screen. Name the folder inconspicuously to further hide them.

  4. Nest Folders: Although not a standard feature, you can create a folder within a folder for further secrecy. This involves dragging a folder quickly onto another one before it disappears.

  5. Use Content Restrictions: In ‘Settings’ go to ‘Screen Time’ > ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’. Toggle the switch on and select ‘Don’t Allow Apps’.

  6. Disable App Store: This will hide the App Store, preventing downloading of new apps.

  7. Enable Limit Adult Content: In ‘Settings’ > ‘Screen Time’ > ‘Content & Privacy Restrictions’ > ‘Content restrictions’, select ‘Limit Adult Websites’ under Web Content.

  8. Hide Apps in Search: In ‘Settings’ > ‘Siri & Search’, select the app you want to hide, then toggle off ‘Siri & Suggestions’ and ‘Show App’.

  9. Use Age Restrictions: Limit apps visible on the Home Screen by age rating.

  10. Use Third-party apps: Download a third-party app that allows you to hide other apps behind a password-protected wall.

  11. Turn Off Badges: Go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Notifications’ > select app > ‘Turn Off Allow Notifications’. This hides the alert badges.

  12. Hide from Widgets: From your home screen, scroll to the bottom, tap ‘Edit>’, and uncheck any apps you want to hide.

  13. Hide through Screen Time: You can hide specific apps using the downtime feature in Screen Time.

  14. Use Privacy screen: Some apps like Files and Notes allow you to add an extra layer of security by requiring Touch ID, Face ID, or a password to open them.

Built-in hiding features on iOS

Built-in iOS Functionality for Hiding Apps

You can utilize the built-in features of your iPhone or iPad device to hide apps. By long-pressing an app icon on your Home Screen, a menu will appear. Select “Remove App” and then “Move to App Library.” This moves the app off of your Home Screen and locates it solely in your App Library, thus ‘hiding’ it from your immediate view.

Offloading Apps

Offloading apps means removing them from your device but keeping the data and documents. The icons will remain on the Home Screen but will be grayed out. To offload apps, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage. Find the app you want to offload and tap on it. There you’ll see the option to “Offload App”.

Shifting Apps to App Library

Another way to hide apps is to move them to the App Library, an area located to the right of your last Home Screen. Go to your Home Screen, press and hold the app you want to hide, then tap “Remove App” > “Move to App Library”. The app will disappear from your Home Screen but still be accessible through the App Library.

Creating Hidden Folders

Creating hidden folders is another clever trick to hide apps. This doesn’t truly hide the apps but instead buries them within multiple folders, making them harder to find. To do this, press and hold an app until it starts to wiggle. Drag it onto another app to create a new folder. Drag more apps into the folder if desired. Once inside the folder, you can drag apps across to a new page within the folder, effectively ‘hiding’ them.

Using Screen Time Restrictions>

Screen Time allows you to set restrictions for specific apps. Go to Settings > Screen Time > Content and Privacy Restrictions > Allowed Apps. Here you can toggle off the apps that you want hidden. Doing this will remove the app from your Home Screen and App Library until the restrictions are removed.

Hiding Apps in Search Results

You can also prevent apps from appearing in search results. Go to Settings > Siri & Search, then select the app you want hidden. There you can turn off the options to “Show In Search,” “Suggest Shortcuts,” and “Learn from this App.”

Hiding Purchased Apps

Hide purchased apps directly from the App Store. Open the App Store, tap your profile photo, choose “Purchased” > “My Purchases”. Swipe left on the app you want to hide, and tap the red Hide button that appears.

Rearranging Home Screen Pages

You can hide entire Home Screen pages. Press and hold a blank area on your Home Screen until the apps start to wiggle, then tap the dots at the bottom. Deselect the pages you want hidden, then tap Done.

Hiding iMessage Apps

In iMessage, open a message. Swipe right on the app drawer at the bottom and tap the More button (three dots). Tap Edit, then toggle off the apps you want hidden.

Hiding Apps in Health

In the Health app, tap “Browse” at the bottom, then tap the profile icon at the top right. Under Privacy, tap Apps. Select the app you want hidden, then toggle off “Show All Data.”

Disabling App Notifications

To keep an app out of your Notification Center, go to Settings > Notifications, then select the app. Toggle off “Allow Notifications.”

Using Third-Party Apps

Certain third-party apps can help you hide other apps. Apps like App Hider or Privacy Master enable this feature.

Turning off App Downloading

To prevent downloaded apps from appearing on your Home Screen, go to Settings > App Store. Turn off the setting labeled “Show in Home Screen.”

Using Accessibility Features

Finally, use Accessibility features to obscure app visibility. In Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size, activating “Increase Contrast” or “Reduce Transparency” can help mask certain apps.

Image showing the process of hiding apps on an iOS device.

Third-party solutions for hiding apps

App Hider for iOS

App Hider for iOS is a third-party application that enables you to hide apps on your iPhone or iPad. It offers a secure vault to hide your apps and also allows you to clone certain apps. However, the limitation of this service is that you cannot hide the default apps or services provided by Apple. So, if you are looking to hide built-in apps like Safari or iMessage, this solution might not be the best choice.

Secret Apps Photo Vault

Secret Apps Photo Vault is another third-party solution that you can use to hide apps on your iPhone or iPad. This app not only hides various applications but also allows you to store photos and videos in a safe vault. One highlight of this app is that it also allows you to set a decoy password to display non-private content when someone tries to access your vault. The only possible drawback of this app is its noticeable app icon that might raise suspicion.

Privacy Master

Privacy Master is a great tool for hiding apps. While it already has a hidden mode that can make your apps disappear, it also provides other layers of security like protection against hacking or app uninstallation. Keep in mind that some users reported a steep learning curve to fully utilize all of its features.

Lockdown Apps

Lockdown Apps is another versatile solution that not only hides your apps but also restricts internet access for hidden apps. This blocks any data usage and online activity from these apps. Note that it requires a certain level of technical understanding to properly set it up and ensure that all hidden apps are correctly locked down.


Locker is another third-party app that allows you to hide apps on your iPhone or iPad. It encrypts your apps in a private vault and gives you the option to hide their icons from the home screen. Its downside is that Locker requires a monthly subscription for full feature access, unlike some other apps that offer a one-time purchase.


PanicGuard is a comprehensive security app that offers the ability to hide apps in addition to several safety features. This app is well-suited for those who need a solution under emergency situations. However, it can be somewhat out of place if your priority is just to hide apps.

Kaspersky SafeKids

Designed with parental controls in mind, Kaspersky SafeKids not only hides apps but also allows parents to block access to certain apps and monitor usage. This robust program requires a subscription, but as a result, you gain comprehensive control over app visibility and usage on your child’s device.

Before choosing a third-party solution, remember to research each option thoroughly to find the one that suits your needs and consider ease of use, efficiency, and any associated costs. Don’t forget about the iOS built-in options for hiding apps before going for a third-party solution. Use these tools responsibly and ensure that you understand the privacy policies and security measures associated with each service.

A smartphone displaying a hidden app icon with a padlock symbol, representing app hiding on iOS devices

As we’ve explored, there’s a plethora of ways to customize the visibility of your iPhone or iPad apps, giving you full control over your device’s interface. By taking full advantage of the built-in functionalities offered by iOS such as app offloading, shifting apps to the app library, or creating hidden folders, you can optimize the organization and simplicity of your home screen. Coupled with the additional capabilities offered by trusted third-party solutions, you can fine-tune your device’s app visibility to achieve that perfect balance of utility and privacy. Remember, your device should work for you, not the other way around. Happy customizing!

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