As an avid Android user myself, I totally get why you may want to hide certain apps from prying eyes. While Android offers more customization than iOS, maintaining privacy can be tricky.
But don‘t worry, in this comprehensive guide, I‘ll share various insider techniques to help conceal sensitive apps on your Android device.
Why Do You Need App Hiding on Android?
Before jumping into the how-to, let me walk you through some common motivations for hiding apps on Android:
Keep Inappropriate Content Away from Kids
As parents, we have a responsibility to ensure our kids aren‘t accessing age-inappropriate content. Dating apps, gambling apps, or those with violent gameplay are not suitable for young children.
Hiding such apps is better than expecting self-regulation from kids. According to research by McCarthy, 87% of parents are concerned about unsuitable apps their kids might download.
Stop Friends/Colleagues from Snooping
You may want to prevent nosy friends or colleagues from looking at your private apps. I certainly don‘t want coworkers checking my Tinder, Snapchat, or finances app!
53% of people admit to snooping on someone else‘s phone. Don‘t be a victim and keep snoops away.
Protect Sensitive Financial/Business Apps
Mobile banking apps, investment apps, and business tools often store plenty of confidential data from account details to trade secrets.
If your phone gets stolen or inspected, you could be in serious trouble. Hiding such apps reduces risks substantially.
Remove Annoying Bloatware Apps
Pre-installed third-party apps or bloatware on Android phones are very annoying. You likely don‘t even use them!
Hiding bloatware helps reclaim storage space and gives you a cleaner app drawer.
How to Hide Apps on Android Like a Pro
Alright, now that you know why hiding apps is crucial, let me reveal the techniques I use to conceal apps on my Android devices:
Method 1: Disable/Uninstall Pre-Installed Apps
The easiest way to banish unwanted apps is to disable or uninstall them, especially bloatware. Here are the exact steps to do this:
Open Settings and go to Apps.
Tap the three-dot menu and select "Show system apps" to view all apps.
Browse the list and tap on the apps you want to hide. These could be carrier bloatware apps or manufacturer apps you don‘t need.
Select "Disable" to hide these apps completely. They won‘t run in the background anymore.
For apps that support complete uninstallation, choose "Uninstall" to remove them from your device permanently.
By disabling or uninstalling unwanted pre-installed apps, you can free up storage space and get rid of clutter in the app drawer.
According to Pew Research, around 60% of Americans view pre-installed apps as an annoyance. Don‘t let them bother you and banish the bloat!
Method 2: Secure Folder and App Locking Features
Samsung phones and some other Android devices have a Secure Folder or native app locking features. Here‘s how you can use them effectively:
Enable Secure Folder
Go to Settings > Biometrics and security > Secure Folder.
Accept the terms and enable Secure Folder using your fingerprint, iris scan, or a custom passcode.
Open the Secure Folder and tap "Add apps" to select the apps you want to hide.
Add these apps to the Secure Folder. They will vanish from the regular app drawer.
Apps within Secure Folder stay encrypted and can only be launched within Secure Folder after you authenticate via PIN, pattern, or biometrics.
According to McAfee, around 53% of people in India use fingerprint authentication on their phones. Leverage biometric security to keep your hidden apps safe.
Lock Apps Individually
Long press an app icon and tap App info.
Tap "Lock" and set up a custom PIN, pattern, or fingerprint to lock the app.
The locked app will now require authentication before launching.
Locking apps individually gives you granular control to heighten security only for select sensitive apps.
Industry research shows that around 40% of smartphone users secure apps using solutions like App Lock. Join them to enjoy privacy!
Method 3: Use Dedicated App Hider Apps
If your Android phone lacks native app hiding capabilities, third-party "App Hider" apps from the Play Store can help.
I have used and recommend the following top-rated app hiders:
App Hider by SpSoft
App Hider is cleverly disguised as a fully working calculator app.
Once installed, open it and enter your custom PIN to access the hidden vault. Now you can conceal any private apps by moving them into App Hider.
Useful features include break-in alerts, individual app locking, and cloud backups. And the best part – App Hider is free to use with ads.
According to analytics, App Hider has over 5 million downloads on the Play Store. I‘ve used it myself multiple times to effectively hide apps and recommend it.
Hide It Pro
Hide It Pro lets you conceal private photos, videos, and apps behind a calculator facade.
Simply move the files and apps you want to hide into the Hide It Pro vault. The originals will vanish from the stock Gallery and app drawer.
To view your hidden content, open the calculator and input your 4-digit PIN. The $4.99 premium version offers useful upgrades like stealth mode, cloud backups, and file encryption.
I really like that this app lets you hide photos and videos in one place along with apps. According to SafetyDetectives, around 69% of people have private photos on their phones. Hide It Pro is perfect for securing all your private content.
AppLock by DoMobile
AppLock makes hiding apps a breeze with its clean and intuitive interface.
Once you import the apps you want to conceal into AppLock, the original app icons are removed from the home screen/app drawer. You‘ll be able to access these hidden apps only after authenticating via PIN, pattern, or fingerprint.
AppLock also lets you hide photos, videos, SMS, contacts, and block incoming calls – pretty advanced security! Their premium subscription removes ads and offers themes.
This app has over 100 million downloads on the Play Store. I can totally see why – it is one of the top-rated app hiders for Android.
Accessing Your Hidden Apps
Now that you have hidden your sensitive apps using the methods above, you may be wondering: how do I access them again?
Here are some tips to access your hidden app vault on Android:
For apps obscured using Secure Folder or App Lock, open respective apps and unlock them using your credentials.
If you hid apps using a third-party hider like App Hider, open the disguised app (like the calculator) and input your PIN to find your hidden apps inside.
To view system apps you disabled, go to Settings > Apps > Show system apps. Re-enable them from here.
For uninstalled apps, simply search and reinstall them from the Play Store.
But don‘t forget your passwords or PINs, or you may lose access forever! Change credentials from within the app if you forget them.
Lock Down Your Android Device Further
Hiding sensitive apps is a great start to boost privacy. However, here are some additional tips to secure your Android device and data:
Set up a strong screen lock such as a fingerprint, face unlock, or complex PIN. According to studies, around 77% of smartphone users have a screen lock.
Enable "Find My Device" options using your Google account to remotely track, lock or erase data in case your phone is lost.
Install a trusted VPN like NordVPN and antivirus app to stay protected online from malware, spyware and hackers.
Backup important data like contacts, photos, documents, and media files regularly to cloud services or external storage. Around 65% of people do not backup phone data, don‘t be one of them!
Stick to downloading apps only from Google Play Store rather than untrusted third-party stores.
Keep your Android OS version and apps updated to get the latest security patches. Unpatched devices are vulnerable!
To Sum It Up…
After reading this guide, I hope you feel empowered to take control of your privacy on Android. Hiding sensitive or inappropriate apps keeps prying eyes away.
Use the insider app concealment techniques I shared to safeguard your privacy. Built-in options like Secure Folder offer the easiest solution, especially on Samsung devices. Reliable third party apps like App Hider provide alternative options to hide apps securely.
Additionally, lock down your Android phone using the security best practices I recommended. By following this expert guide, you can enjoy the freedom of Android while keeping snoops at bay!
Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips for hiding apps on Android. I‘d be happy to learn new methods!