As iPhone users, we tend to download new apps constantly. But after a while, the home screen can get cluttered with apps we rarely or never use. Having so many icons on display makes it harder to find the apps you actually need.
According to a 2021 survey by Reviews.org, the average iPhone user has over 100 apps installed but regularly uses only 30 of them. That means 70% of apps are just taking up space!
Fortunately, iOS offers a few different ways to hide apps you don‘t use often. Removing clutter helps you focus on the tools you rely on daily. A cleaner looking home screen also feels less stressful and more organized.
In this guide, I‘ll explain four methods to hide applications on your iPhone:
- Removing apps individually
- Hiding apps from search
- Removing an entire page of apps
- Stashing apps in folders
I‘ll also share some bonus tips on keeping your home screen tidy for improved productivity, based on research and my own experience as an iOS user. Let‘s get started!
Why You Should Hide and Organize Apps
Before we dive into the how-to, let‘s look at some key reasons to hide and organize your iPhone apps:
Reduce Visual Clutter
Too many icons crammed onto your home screen creates visual clutter. This can feel stressful and make it hard to find the app you want. Hiding little-used apps declutters your space.
With fewer apps in view, you‘re less likely to get distracted by apps you don‘t really need. A clean home screen helps you laser focus on productive tools.
Find Apps Faster
Studies show having too many choices reduces decision making abilities. Hiding apps helps you access your critical tools faster.
Enjoy a Simpler UX
A streamlined home screen with just your most important apps creates a simpler mobile experience. Fewer icons makes iOS feel less complicated.
According to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, cluttered environments decrease productivity. Keeping your virtual space tidy helps you stay focused and accomplish more in less time.
In short, hiding apps you don‘t use makes your iPhone more pleasant and efficient to use. It‘s a quick way to optimize how you interact with your device.
Method 1: Removing Apps Individually
The most straightforward way to hide iPhone apps is deleting them one by one. This works best if you only need to remove a few icons from the main view.
Here are the steps:
Press and hold the app icon until the context menu pops up.
Tap "Remove App" in the menu.
Choose "Remove from Home Screen" to hide the app. Selecting "Delete App" will erase the app and all its data.
The app disappears from your home screen but stays installed on your iPhone. You can still find it using Search or in the App Library.
Removing apps individually gives you precise control over which icons show up front and center. Use this method to clear space or deal with a few unwanted apps at a time.
Let‘s look at a quick example:
Say your home screen looks like this, with apps cluttering up the interface:
You decide to remove the Stocks and Tips apps to simplify your layout. Just press and hold each one, then select "Remove from Home Screen."
Now your home screen looks much cleaner with just your most useful apps on display:
Removing those two unwanted apps took seconds but made a huge visual impact!
Method 2: Hiding Apps from Search
In addition to the home screen, you may want certain apps excluded from the iPhone search function. Here‘s how to hide apps from search on iOS:
Open Settings > Siri & Search.
Scroll down and tap the app you want to hide.
Turn off "Show App in Search" and "Show Suggestions from App."
With an app hidden from search, you won‘t see it in results or get suggested content from the app. Use this to reduce distractions from apps you find distracting.
For example, say the Safari browser keeps popping up in your search results even when you don‘t want it.
Go to Settings > Siri & Search > Safari and toggle off the two options. Now Safari will no longer appear when you search your phone.
According to mobile analytics provider App Annie, the average smartphone user spends 4.2 hours per day using apps. Hiding distracting apps from search can help optimize that time spent on your device.
Method 3: Removing an Entire Page
If you need to hide a large batch of apps, removing them one by one takes forever. A quicker way is to hide an entire home screen page.
Follow these steps:
Long-press an empty spot on your home screen until all the apps start shaking.
Tap the page indicator dots at the bottom.
Deselect any page you want hidden by tapping the checkmark icon.
Tap "Done" to apply the changes.
Now the selected page will disappear from your home screen. Just recheck the page in the menu to unhide it again later.
This technique streamlines hiding lots of apps simultaneously. I use it to store lesser-used apps out of immediate view.
Let‘s look at an example:
Say you have apps sprawling across three home screen pages, like this:
But you realize you only regularly use apps on the first page. Follow the steps to hide the second and third pages:
Now your home screen is limited to one page with just your critical apps within easy reach:
Hiding those secondary pages instantly decluttered your home screen!
Method 4: Stashing Apps in Folders
Here‘s a clever trick for hiding apps without actually removing them:
Hold and drag the app onto another icon to create a folder.
Tap "Edit Home Screen" in the folder menu.
Drag the app to a second page within the folder.
This keeps the app installed and easily accessible but concealed on the home screen. Apps on the first page are visible; apps on subsequent pages remain hidden.
Folders are great for grouping related apps. An added benefit is using the extra pages to stash apps you access infrequently.
For example, you have a Social folder with apps you don‘t use often like LinkedIn and Snapchat on the first page:
You can clean up your home screen by moving them to the second page:
Now your home screen looks tidy but you can still access the hidden apps easily when needed.
How People Use Folders to Organize Their iPhone Apps
According to a 2022 survey by Savings.com, here is how most people utilize folders to organize apps on their iPhone:
As you can see, the most popular folder names are by app category like Social, Entertainment, and Utilities.
Gaming and Photography are also common folder names for housing related apps. Music and Finance folders help organize audio and money management tools specifically.
Folders are clearly a great way to logically group apps and hide lesser-used ones from the main home screen view.
Revealing Hidden Apps on iPhone
Wondering how to find those vanished apps again? Here are three quick ways to uncover hidden iPhone apps:
Search: Even hidden apps appear when you search for them. Just swipe left on your home screen to access Search.
App Store: Your purchase history lists every installed app. Open the App Store and tap your profile > Purchased to see them all.
Screen Time: Check the app allow list under Content & Privacy Restrictions. This shows all downloaded apps.
Rest assured those concealed apps are never too far away. A quick search pulls them up immediately when needed.
According to Wandera research, iPhone users unlock their device an average of 80 times per day. So easy app access is essential.
Keeping Your Home Screen Organized
Now that you know how to hide apps on iPhone, here are some additional tips for optimizing your home screen:
Use Folders to Group Apps Logically
As mentioned above, I like putting related apps together in folders – for example, Social, Entertainment, and Work. This makes apps easier to locate logically.
Here are some other smart ways to use folders:
- By frequency of use – Group your most/least used apps
- By time of use – Apps for morning, afternoon, evening
- By purpose – Folders for productivity, creativity, relaxation
- By priority – High, medium, and low priority apps
Think about how you use your iPhone and what folders would make sense for your needs.
Reserve the First Page for Most Important Apps
Make sure your most-used and mission-critical apps are on the first home screen page. This way they are visible immediately when you unlock your phone.
According to research by Locket, the average user accesses just 9 apps per day on their phone. Keep those vital 9 on your first page for optimal convenience.
Customize Your Dock
The dock along the bottom displays on every page. Swap out the defaults apps for ones you rely on daily.
Most people fill their dock with a phone, messaging, internet, and camera app according to a 2022 survey by Reviews.org:
Customize your dock with the tools you need at your fingertips on any screen.
Delete Unused Apps Entirely
Periodically audit apps you never touch. Consider completely deleting ones you don‘t need to simplify your home screen.
According to Apple, 33% of downloaded apps are only used once. Be ruthless about removing unnecessary apps.
Only Show One Page of Apps
If you can fit all your everyday apps on one screen, hide the additional pages. This puts everything important in close reach.
Turn Off Badge Notifications
Disable badges for distracting apps. That way they won‘t alert you with notifications begging for attention. A clean home screen offers fewer temptations.
The Science of Home Screen Optimization
You might think all these home screen tweaks are overkill. But research shows optimized mobile environments can truly impact performance.
For example, a 2015 study published in Computers in Human Behavior found that:
- Users with organized home screens unlocked their phones less often
- They also spent less total time on their device
- They launched their most-used apps faster
This indicates reducing clutter can make you more intentional about phone use.
Additionally, a 2016 study by Princeton University revealed:
- Cluttered environments sap mental resources
- This leads to reduced self-control and discipline
By that logic, decluttering your virtual space can strengthen your self-control muscles to avoid distractions.
So don‘t underestimate the power of a clean, optimized home screen. It pays off with real benefits according to science.
A cluttered iPhone home screen strains your mental focus. Hiding and organizing apps helps create a tidy space designed for productivity.
Hopefully this guide provided some useful techniques to streamline your iOS experience. Try different combinations to find an arrangement that works for your needs and style.
Just a few minutes spent customizing your mobile environment pays off every time you use your iPhone. What tips do you have for optimizing your home screen? Let me know in the comments below!