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 simply want to keep some apps private, you might be wondering if there is a way of managing the icons your home screen displays.

iOS has a convenient function you can use to hide the apps you don’t use or avoid displaying the apps you want to keep secret.  

How to hide apps on the iPhone

Let’s say, for whatever reason, you’re embarrassed 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, just 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 by pushing your ‘personal’ apps to the very last page of this folder. 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 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 simply 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 category of 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, just to fill out the first page.

Step 4: Now, with all the desired apps in the new folder, you need to drag the ones you want to hide to the second page of the new folder. So, while you’re still in Edit Home Screen or Rearrange Apps mode (i.e. when the apps are jiggling), hold and drag the first app you want to hide to the edge of the folder. This will take the app to the next page of the folder. Now, let go of the app. Do the same for all the other apps you want to hide, dragging them to the new folder’s last page.

Step 5: Lastly, you might want to rename the folder, so as 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 obviously be smaller than usual.

That’s it. If at any point you don’t want 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). Also, to be painfully clear, you can, of course, do the above with any kind of app, third-party or native.

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