How to hide apps on an iPhone

Keeping your home screen tidy and organized can be challenging since iOS automatically adds icons for all the apps you download. If you have too many apps on your home screen or want to keep some apps private, you might be wondering if there is a way of managing the icons that your home screen displays. iOS has a convenient function to hide the apps you don’t use or avoid displaying the apps you want to keep secret.  

Of course, the easiest way to keep apps organized is using the new iOS 14 App Library. You can remove apps from your home screen and then find them again in your library. But if that doesn’t work for you, or if you’re not on iOS 14, the method below is a great alternative.

If you’re looking for more iOS tips, check out how to add home screen widgets in iOS 14.

How to hide apps on the iPhone

Let’s say, for whatever reason, you’re embarrassed that you have some guitar-related apps on your iPhone. Maybe you’ve just started learning how to play the guitar, but you don’t want anyone to know about this in case it doesn’t go well and you decide to give up.

Well, here’s how you hide these apps (or any other app). You do it by creating a folder for them on your iPhone’s home screen and pushing your personal apps to this folder’s very last page. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown:

Step 1: Tap and hold on one of the apps you want to hide. (In the example above, this is GuitarTuna.) If you’re running iOS 13.2 or later, you need to tap the Edit Home Screen button. If you’re on iOS 13 to 13.1, you need to tap Rearrange Apps. And if you’re running an earlier version of iOS than 13, you hold onto the app until it starts jiggling.

Step 2: Drag the app you’d like to hide onto another app. Usually, this other app should be a fairly innocent one you’re not embarrassed by. Let go of the app when it’s on top of the other app. This creates a new folder, which will automatically be named by your iPhone (according to the apps).

Step 3: If you want to hide another app, drag it into the newly created folder. Repeat until you’ve placed all the apps you want to hide in this folder. You might want to place a few other dummy apps in the folder to fill out the first page.

Step 4: Now that you have all of your apps within the newly created folder, you can rearrange their location to hide them within the second page. Do this by holding and dragging the desired app over to the folder’s right side until it slides to the next page. Repeat this process with any other apps you’d prefer to hide out of sight.

Step 5: Lastly, you might want to rename the folder to give it a more innocuous title. In the example above, we’ve given our folder the name “Dictionaries” since we’ve added a couple of dictionaries to the folder and kept them on the first page. Note that any app on the first page of the folder will be visible from the home screen, although they’ll be smaller than usual.

That’s it. If you decide not to hide your apps anymore, you can drag them out of the folder and place them back on the home screen (do this by entering Edit Home Screen mode). You’ll be able to hide any app this way, native or third-party, making it a good option for getting those native apps out of the way.

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