How to hide apps on iPhone and iPad

Do you have apps on your iPhone that you would not like to appear clearly on the Home Screen? Here are several ways to hide apps from plain sight on your iPhone and iPad. These solutions work on all modern versions of iOS and iPadOS, including iOS 16.

iPhone illustration with app icons

Why you may want to hide apps on iPhone or iPad

If you’re here, that means you already know your reason. However, here are some additional purposes why you may want to hide an app on your iPhone or iPad.

  • You share your iPhone with family members or pass it casually among friends and don’t want them to see some app related to doctors, banks, finance, sensitive topics, etc.
  • Have a kid at home? You may want to hide apps like YouTube so that your child doesn’t open them easily from the Home Screen.
  • You don’t want the app to appear in screenshots that you use for blog posts.
  • Important: When an app is on the Dock or first and second Home Screens, you tend to open it frequently and unnecessarily. Feeling bored? Let me browse Amazon or Instagram and waste 30 minutes. Hiding apps work in limiting this behavior. I can attest to it!

Is there a way to hide apps on iPhone?

The simple meaning of the word hide is “to put or keep out of sight; conceal from the view or notice of others.” On your iPhone, you can hide apps to keep them out of sight and prevent them from being seen or noticed easily. We’ll see how to do that below.

1. Use App Library to hide apps

Starting with iOS 14 and iPadOS 15, you can remove apps from the Home Screen. After this, that app will only be visible in App Library, which is accessed by swiping left on the last Home Screen page.

To make it harder to reach the App Library, you can create several Home Screen pages with just one app on each. This will discourage kids or others from swiping to reach the App Library.

App Library has several folders/categories. So, if an app isn’t apparently visible on its face, it may become more challenging for someone to see that app.

App Library on iPhone

How to hide apps from App Library on iPhone?

Since App Library is the house for all the installed applications, you can’t hide apps from here unless you delete the said app. You can’t even sort the apps here, change the category name, or do any customization.

Related: How to delete an app that’s not visible on your iPhone Home Screen

2. Use folders and pages inside the folders to hide apps

Create app folder

To create an app folder on your iPhone or iPad Home Screen, touch an app icon until it starts jiggling. Now, drag this app icon over another app’s icon to create a folder.

Create pages inside the app folder

On the iPhone or iPad Home Screen, only the apps on the first page of the folder are visible as tiny icons. Others aren’t. So, if you want to hide an app even further, you can make multiple pages inside a folder.

Start by ensuring you have at least two apps inside the folder. Now, tap and hold an app icon inside the folder until it starts jiggling. Without releasing your finger, use a different finger to swipe left to go to the second page inside the folder. Drop the app here. You can repeat this to create several pages inside the folder. But remember that every page should have at least one app icon.

To get more app icons and learn something new, see our quick guide on creating multiple app icons for the same app on your iPhone.

Can I hide a folder from iPhone Home Screen?

You cannot hide an app folder from your iPhone or iPad Home Screen (unless you have a jailbroken device).

3. Hide Home Screen pages to hide all apps on it

Starting with iOS 14, you can deselect and hide Home Screen pages. Doing so makes the entire screen disappear along with the apps on it. You can access them now only from the App Library or Spotlight Search.

4. Remove app widgets

You can have app widgets on the Home Screen and the Today View. Widgets always show valuable information that you may not want someone to see. Plus, tapping on a widget opens the respective app. So, consider removing them to prevent the unexpected opening of an app you don’t want someone to.

5. Hide apps from Smart Siri App Suggestions

You can add the Siri App Suggestions widget by pressing an empty area on the Home Screen > plus icon > Siri Suggestions > Add Widget below App Suggestions. Here, Siri suggests apps based on your usage patterns, even if it’s hidden in folders or App Library. If you would like to hide an app from here, press the app icon in this widget and tap “Don’t Suggest [App Name]

Hide app from Siri app suggestions widget iPhone

6. Prevent an app from showing in iPhone Search and Siri Suggestions

If you use an app too often, Siri will learn your usage and show its app icon on the Lock Screen, Home Screen, Spotlight Search, Share Sheet (while sharing something), and more.

Here’s how to exclude an app from showing in Siri and Search suggestions:

1) Go to Settings and tap Siri & Search.

2) From the list of your installed apps, find the one you want to exclude.

3) Finally, turn off all the toggles you see here.

Turn off Siri and Search learn from this app

7. Use Content & Privacy Restrictions to hide some apps

With Screen Time, you can hide some preinstalled apps like Mail, Safari, FaceTime, Wallet, and more. Here’s how:

1) Open Settings and tap Screen Time.

2) Tap Content & Privacy Restrictions. If Screen Time is off, turn it on and follow the basic instructions. For all the options you see, you can choose not to enable them for now.

3) Enable Content & Privacy Restrictions and tap Allowed Apps.

4) Turn off the toggles for the desired apps you see here.

Turn off allowed apps in iPhone Screen Time

Note: Doing this has a few consequences. For example, if you turn off the Camera toggle here, you can’t use the in-app camera in any third-party app like Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, etc. Plus, disallowing camera also hides the FaceTime app. Also, after you allow these apps again, the app arrangement on your iPhone Home Screen may change a bit.

8. Hide app purchases on iPhone or iPad

Every free or paid app you download is listed in your purchase history unless you hide them. This is also visible to members in Family Sharing and available for them to re-download. If you have an embarrassing or unsuitable app in your purchase history, here’s how to hide it.

9. Delete an app

I’m confident you already knew this. But let me remind you. When you delete an application, the app and all its local data are removed from the device. The app won’t show up anywhere except the App Store and Spotlight Search, and that is only when you type its name.

Please note that some sites mention offloading the app to hide it. But this isn’t effective because after you offload an app, the app itself is deleted, but its icon stays on the Home Screen (and its data continues to be saved on the device.)

How to unhide apps on iPhone or iPad

If you hide an app, you know how to unhide it. I mean, it’s just the reverse. So, for instance, if you hide an app inside a folder, you can drag it out of it. The same goes for dragging an app out of App Library onto the Home Screen. If you need more help, we have a separate post showing you how to find and open hidden apps on iPhone.

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