Do you suspect your significant other of hiding things on their iPhone? Want to make sure your kid doesn’t misuse the brand new Apple device you bought for them? Hiding apps or finding hidden apps on the iPhone is not as straightforward compared to other devices. But it is still possible. In this article, we shed some light on how you can hide and unhide applications in IOS.
For Android, check this article: How to Find Hidden Apps on Android?
There isn’t a specific way to find hidden apps on a phone as the owner may have used various methods to keep them away from your sight. You will need to know all of the ways an app can be hidden on IOS.
Can Apps be Hidden in an iPhone?
Unlike Android, you can’t hide apps in the App Drawer in a native manner. But you can keep these apps away from plain sight.
Apps can at least be hidden from the list of purchases in the App Store. This becomes helpful when you are using Family Sharing, as hiding an app from the list of purchases won’t appear in the purchase history.
If you are looking for other options to hide your app, there isn’t a third-party solution that can hide another application on the iPhone.
Let’s look at some of the popular ways one can of hide applications in an iPhone.
Keeping the App Out of Sight
In some ways, the idea of keeping the app out of plain sight might seem stupid, but it actually works. At the very least, this method keeps the applications away from immediate view.
What you do is open a folder in the home screen, and name it something very basic or boring, for example, “Miscellaneous”. Then, you bury this folder between various apps in the app drawer. Next, you add applications into the folder, including the ones you want to hide. Apple IOS allows you to add more pages to a folder. You may want to move the app to the second or the third page.
Here is a detailed explanation of the steps:
Step 1: Open the Home Screen
Step 2: Create a New Folder. To do this, hold and drag an app over another application. Both of them will stay in the same folder.
Step 3: Add the app you want to hide in the folder.
Step 4: Drag the app to the second page of the folder by tapping on it, and dragging it to the right. The more apps you can add into the folder, the safer your app will be from one’s view.
Exclude the App From Search and Siri
Although burying an app deep into the folders may keep it out of sight, anyone who browses your iPhone using the Search or Siri can easily find them. To make sure that doesn’t happen, you need to disable the Siri & Suggestions option in an app’s settings. Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Open Settings.
Step 2: Tap on Siri & Search.
Step 3: From the list of apps, scroll down to the app you want to hide and tap on it.
Step 4: Turn off Siri & Suggestions and Show Apps.
Until you turn these settings back on, your iPhone will not display the apps in Spotlight Search and Siri won’t open or make suggestions related to it.
Disable App Notifications
Even if you exclude an app from search and suggestions, its notifications will still appear. To disable notifications, follow these steps.
Step 1: Open Settings.
Step 2: Tap on Notifications.
Step 3: Scroll down until you find the app and tap on it.
Step 4: Disable all options.
If you want the app notifications not to appear only on the locked screen, then you need to disable only that. If you choose to disable all options, you won’t receive any notifications from the app.
Hide Core System Apps in Screen Time
The Screen Time feature in the iPhone is used to manage how much time a user spends on the device. It also incorporates parental controls and can be used to change the way the device functions.
Screen Time can also be used to hide certain built-in system apps, but not the third-party ones. Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Open Settings.
Step 2: Tap on Screen Time.
Step 3: Tap on Content and Privacy Restrictions.
Step 4: Tap Allowed Apps.
Step 5: From the list, disable any core system app that you want to hide.
Hide Apps Using Restriction Feature
The Restriction feature allows you to hide apps based on their age restrictions. This is especially useful if you want to hide apps from your kids.
For example, if you choose to hide apps having 12+ age restrictions, only the apps which are suitable for children below the age of 12 will be displayed. However, it won’t delete the app. Once you remove the restriction, the apps will be back on the Home Screen. Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: Go to Settings. Tap General and then tap Restrictions.
Step 2: Enter your Restriction Passcode.
If you haven’t used the Restrictions feature before, you need to tap Enable Restrictions and create a passcode for it. It is wise if you pick a passcode which is different from the one you use to unlock the device.
Step 3: Once the Restrictions section is opened, scroll down to the Allowed Content heading.
Step 4: Tap on Ratings For and select a country according to which you want to set the restrictions.
Step 5: Scroll down and tap on Apps.
Step 6: Select the highest-level rating according to which the apps will be displayed. For example, if you select 4+, every app beyond this category will be hidden.
If you want to hide all third-party apps, tap on the Don’t Allow Apps option.
Hide Apps With a Jailbreak Tweak
Jailbreaking refers to installing a custom firmware on your iPhone to overcome the restrictions placed by Apple. It also allows you to gain root access to the operating system and lets you install applications or extensions that are not authorised by the App Store.
There are several customisations, tweaks and features that jailbreaking allows you to do, which may seem impossible otherwise. You can delete pre-installed apps, install unauthorised apps, customise the control centre, and even add better anti-theft features.
Jailbreaking is not an illegal activity, but it is a good idea if you don’t do it. This is because it puts your device at risk from malware. Also, once you jailbreak the device, you will lose all sorts of warranty and will have to run an outdated version of the iOS. Adding to that, if you don’t correctly perform jailbreaking, you may brick your iPhone.
Even after considering these downsides, if you still want to jailbreak your device, try backing up and erasing important data from the device, and you will feel safer.
Once you jailbreak your device, you can use a tweak called XB-Hide to hide any app. It is free to download from Cydia repositories and currently helps to hide apps of iOS 11 and 12.
Hide Pre-Installed Apps on Your iPhone
Apple lets you delete almost every app that comes pre-installed on the device. But they aren’t entirely deleted, unlike third-party apps. Instead, you are just deleting the app’s icon, and the app data will remain. Here’s how you can do it.
Step 1: On the Home Screen, tap and hold the app you require to hide.
Step 2: Once the Action Menu opens, tap on Delete App. If you can’t find the Delete App option, then it means the app can’t be hidden or deleted.
The app icon is successfully removed, and it won’t show up in the Home Screen. Repeat the same process for other pre-installed apps you wish to hide. If you want to access any of these apps in the future, simply download them from the App Store.
How to Hide Apps in the App Store?
If you are sharing your App Store with someone else, they will be able to see the apps you have installed in the purchase history. You can keep them from knowing your installed apps if you hide these apps from the App Store (the applications will remain on your phone, no worries). And no one, except those who can access your phone, will know that you have downloaded the app(s).
Here are the steps to hiding a purchase on the App Store:
Step 1: Open App Store.
Step 2: Tap on Today on the bottom left corner of the screen.
Step 3: On the top right corner, tap on the Account Name.
Step 4: You will need to sign in with your Apple ID. Enter your Apple ID and the password.
Step 5: Tap on Purchases or My Purchase (in older IOS versions, tap on Purchase History).
Step 6: From the list app names, slide left and select Hide.
To see the list of the Hidden Purchases, go the Account and sign in with your Apple ID and password just like before. Then, tap on Hidden Purchases.
In the case of an iPhone, the only way you can truly hide an Application is by having a strong password on the device itself.
The Easiest Way to Find Hidden Applications on the iPhone
All you need to do is ask the person for their iPhone password and go through all their app drawer carefully. Open all the folders to see if there are second pages.
You can also see the list of the purchased apps on the App Store. For this, open the App Store and go to Today > Account Name > Purchased. You will see a list of all the apps that you and your family members (if you are using family sharing) have purchased. Select the Not on this iPhone option to see applications someone has bought, but not installed in the current device.
Apple doesn’t really provide users a way to hide applications apart from the usual device’s password protection, so it won’t really be difficult to find hidden apps. All you need to do is know the device’s password, go through the home screen carefully, and also check the list of purchased apps on the App Store.
If you are looking for more iOS tips, please check How to Backup Apps on Apple.