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How to «hide» an application on your iPhone or iPad

How to "hide" an application on your iPhone or iPad

Update: You can move an application to the application library

from iOS 14 on iPhone, you can now hide an application from the home screens by moving it to Application library. It will still be visible if someone searches the app library, but it won’t appear on the home screen.

To do this, tap and hold the application icon on the home screen. Touch ‘Remove application’ and then ‘Move to application library’. You can also create your own iPhone Automatically place new application icons in your application library and not on the home screen.

Starting with iPadOS 14, the iPad does not have the Application Library feature.

You can’t completely hide an app on iOS

Apple has never offered the ability to hide an app on iOS or iPadOS. The only way to completely remove an app from your iPhone or iPad is to delete it. In order to remove an application, tap and hold its icon until “X” appears, and then tap it.

We have some tricks that will hide an application without removing it. These include removing the app from shortcuts and Siri suggestions, disabling features like notifications, and burying the icon in a folder away from prying eyes.

Exclude the application from Siri and search suggestions

Siri suggestions appear on and near the Today screen Spotlight search field on iPhone. If you use the search function to find apps on a regular basis (and you should scroll down the home screen to show the search box), the app you want to hide may be suggested from time to time. Or it may appear when looking for other applications.

Siri suggestions on iOS.

If you use an app a lot, Siri will recommend it frequently. The Apple Assistant will also learn about the app and make suggestions in other apps. When you click the «Share» button in an app, you often see a list of recommended destinations that Siri has learned based on usage, for example.

Then there are the search results. Many apps allow iOS to index searchable databases so you can quickly find documents or notes in your native iOS search. This could reveal much more information than a simple Siri suggestion.

Search results from the iOS system for indexed applications.

Go to Settings> Siri and Search and find the application you want to «hide» from the long list of applications installed on your device. Disable all options on this screen to see another one appear: Show application.

Disable «Show app» to exclude the app from all search results and suggestion screens. To find the application in the future, you need to look for its icon somewhere on the home screen or in your folders, then launch it from there.

Exclude an app from Siri search suggestions and results

The Settings application itself does not follow these rules. If you scroll through the list of options in the iOS Settings app, you’ll see a search field. Here you can search for installed applications and features to quickly adjust your preferences. Any application you try to hide or exclude will always appear in Settings and in your search field.

Bury the application in a folder

You probably want to find a balance between secret and convenient when deciding where to place the app icon. If you use the app a lot, you’ll want to make sure it’s accessible with just a few taps. If it’s an offer once a week, you can get a little more creative.

You can create folders on iOS by tapping and holding an app icon until all the icons on the screen move. Then long press an application and hover over another application. A folder appears and you can name it however you like. To get rid of the folder, delete all but the last application.

An application file on iOS.

For best results, use a folder with many applications; ideal enough to cover multiple pages. If you want to hide the app from other people using your phone, choose a boring folder full of utilities, rather than a folder full of games.

I sat down on a folder called «Utilities» that had applications like TeamViewer, Telegram and a PDF converter. Other ideas include a «Work» folder or one full of «Shopping» applications or «Office» tools. A «Health» folder can also be boring enough to discourage espionage.

Disable application notifications

Notifications for an application continue to appear even after it is excluded from the search and other suggestions. Go to Settings> Notifications, and then scroll down until you find the app. Touch it and then uncheck the «Allow notifications» option to prevent the app from displaying notifications on your phone.

"Notifications" option for Messenger on iOS.

You can also choose to hide lock screen notifications and disable banners. If you leave the Notification Center active, you’ll only see notifications in an app when you search for them manually. If you really want to hide an application, it’s best to turn off all settings.

Hide downloads from the app store history

If you delete an app from your iPhone or iPad, the Apple App Store will still remember that you downloaded it. It will appear in the «Purchased» tab, even if the application has been downloaded for free.

Fortunately, the area where Apple allows you to hide apps is in your purchase history. To see a list of previously purchased apps, first launch the App Store and then tap the «Today» tab. Touch the user icon in the upper right corner, then tap «Purchased.»

You can now browse the list of free and paid applications that you have previously downloaded. To hide one, swipe left and tap «Hide» to make it disappear. You can also search for any specific application you want to hide using the field at the top of the screen.

"Purchased" screen from the App Store.

Once you hide it, the application disappears. If you want to download it again, you’ll need to tap «Get» and re-authorize it, instead of tapping the iCloud download icon as in other purchased apps.

Use dummy apps to hide files and notes

If you’re trying to hide files and notes, we recommend using a «fake» app to hide the content from the view. These applications seem to be somewhat benign, like a computer. However, its real purpose is to store files and information without raising suspicions.

Apple does not like deceptive practices, which is why these applications are always described as such on their lists. Dishonest applications are hard to spot. I use acceptable application icons along with names that will not arouse suspicion.

If you like the computer suit, see Calculator #, Private computer or Turbo Vault. Safe of secret files is a locked folder where you can store photos, passwords and more. In Apple Notes, you can lock notes with Face or Touch ID.

All of these apps allow you to hide spyware content, even if they have access to your unlocked phone or tablet.

Hide photos and videos in the Photos application

If you want to hide an application from your photo library, you can do so without any additional software. Unfortunately, it is not particularly safe. Just find the image or video you want to hide, tap share, then scroll down and choose «Hide» from the list.

Options to hide pictures and videos in the Photos app.

The photo or video is placed in an album called «Hidden» on the Albums tab of the Photos application. However, this album is completely unprotected, so anyone can find the photos you are hiding if they search for them.

The purpose of this feature is to remove bold photos from the main photo timeline.

Hide the main applications of the system through the screen time

Screen time is Apple’s tool for managing how much time you spend on your device. The service also incorporates parental controls, some of which you can use to make changes to the way your device works.

"Allowed applications" menu on iOS.

Screen Time may hide certain embedded system applications, but not those of third parties. Go to Settings> Screen time, then tap ‘Content and privacy restrictions’. Touch «Allowed applications» and then disable the basic applications of the system that you want to hide.

Hide apps with a jailbreak setting

Jailbreak is the act of installing custom firmware on your iOS device to circumvent Apple restrictions. In general, it is not a good idea to jailbreak your device because it exposes you to the risk of malware. It also asks you to run outdated versions of iOS and void any remaining warranties.

After reviewing all of this, if you still want to jailbreak your device, it allows you to access settings and features that Apple will never add to iOS. One is the ability to hide applications with a small tweak called XB-Hide. You can find it in the default Cydia repositories as a free download. According to the Cydia listing, the changes currently work with jailbreak devices running iOS 11 or 12.