How to: Hide Apps on Android

Privacy is a basic human right. You don’t have to be involved in any indecent or criminal activity to exercise your right to privacy, despite the notion the spy agencies try to propagate (if you have something to hide you are a criminal). Nobody is buying that propaganda anymore, and users are shifting to privacy-focused apps and service providers. It does not matter what you want to hide – Angry Birds, or a personal finance management app, or even a clicker game where you tap and move the boobs. It’s your inherent right. And here are a few ways you can hide these and other apps from the eyes of anyone who has access to your device.

First of all, we have already compiled a list of apps that let you hide apps and files – 5 Apps to Lock Individual Apps on Your Android. Since there can’t be too much of a good thing, here are a few other ideas that can keep your apps hidden – for your eyes only, Mr. Hunt.

Apex Launcher (free, no root)

Download from Google Play

Perhaps the easiest way to make some of your apps inconspicuous, Apex Launcher is free, no ads. It offers an extensive customization set and, most importantly, it lets you hide some things, including the apps from your Apps Drawer, as well as a persistent Google search bar, status bar and the dock. It does the job of getting rid of some of the icons, yes, and it works to trick a non-savvy user. Everything on your device looks as normal as ever. Just make sure you use an app to lock your Settings and keep the prying eyes from that location in your settings where you can see the installed apps.

Nova Launcher (paid feature, no root)

Download from Google Play, $4.99
Nova Launcher is a wonderful free launcher, which is even ad-free. It cleans up the clutter from your home screen and minimizes the pressure on your battery. It also has a slew of configuration options, and one of its Prime, paid, features lets you hide apps. If you are a big fan of Nova Launcher, and don’t mind spending $5 on a one-time purchase, you will unlock a wonderful “Hide Apps” feature. Once you install the launcher, go to the list of apps and find Nova Settings. From there, navigate to App and Widget Drawers and scroll down to the Hide Apps. Choose the apps you wish to hide from the apps list of your device and enjoy the secrecy.

Audio Manager or Hide Pictures – Hide It Pro (free, requires root)

Download from Google Play

A simple in use and free privacy tool, Audio Manager is the name you probably heard by now. It conceals its true identity behind an Audio Manager, but if you long-press the title bar you get a PIN or password prompt. Inside the app there is Klondike of private data. You can hide apps, pictures, videos, encrypt files and even start a secret romantic life chatting with random people from all over the world. Hiding media files and encrypting files is dead-easy, there is even an in-built file manager. Hiding apps, however, requires root.

Hide App-Hide Application Icon (free, root)

Download from Google Play

A simple root tool will hide the apps you select from the app drawer and hide their icons from your home screen. It supports a PIN lock, backup and restore functions. However, you do get a Hide App icon in your apps drawer.

AppLock 2 (Smart App Protect) (free, no root)

Download from Google Play

Supporting Android 5.1 and Samsung fingerprint lock, AppLock 2 locks your apps and settings with either of the following – PIN, password, pattern lock. You can lock photos, videos and the entire gallery, SMS, MMS, call logs, WhatsApp, Twitter, Facebook, incoming calls, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth toggles, system settings including install/uninstall apps, market apps and games. It also lets you disguise your lock screen; offers a convenient widget; has customizable looks; is not power hungry. It will analyze your installed apps and suggest which ones you might want to lock. The pictures and videos can be encrypted and hidden in a vault. It also locks recent history and takes a snapshot of anyone trying to access your locked apps with an invalid password.

Samsung Private Mode

The owners of Samsung Galaxy S5 and Tab S can resort to the native Private Mode by going to the Settings → Personal → Privacy and Safety → Private Mode, or by swiping down on the main screen with two fingers and choosing Private Mode. Samsung My Knox will give you more power over what you hide and how you access it on your Android device. It’s not perfect, but it’s a native app for Samsung.

Related: Hidely – Encrypt Your Photos As Soon As you Take Them

Final Thoughts

Even though you can hide a lot of your private apps with the help of these or other third-party apps or native apps, you should also keep in mind that these tricks work to conceal them from a non-techie spy or children. If your device should get in the hands of a savvy adversary, you are going to need something better to guard it. For starters, encrypt it.

We hope you found what you were looking for in this little roundup. If you are struggling to find how to implement some feature you need on your Android device, feel free to leave a question in the comments below. We will do our best to find the answer.

Related: KeepSafe Hide Your Private Photos on Android