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How to hide unneeded apps on Android OS

Submitted on 10/14/2019

In this guide we're going to tell you how to hide an app on Android using various methods (including standard ones) and software.

The contents: 

  1. Removing an icon from the app menu
  2. Hiding an app via the Android panel
  3. Disabling an app in the standard way
  4. Using launchers and utilities:
    1. Apex Launcher
    2. Nova Launcher
    3. Hide it Pro
    4. Smart Hide Calculator

Android devices manufacturers (such as Google, HTC, Lenovo or Xiaomi) quite often add quite a lot of branded apps. At the same time, their gadgets owners actually rarely use them. It's impossible to uninstall those apps via standard methods since they're built into the shell of devices. But you can hide them; thus you'll be able to get rid of downloaded updates and apps icons and lessen the load on your smartphone memory.

Moreover there might be an urgent need to hide an app when a user wants to scramble some chats or photos. That being the case, you can hide the icons of apps (like messengers, social clients or Gmail) from prying eyes.

How to remove a mobile app from the menu

We're going to share with you the simplest way of removing software from the general menu. But at the same time this software will continue working and you'll receive system notifications (by clicking on which you can activate the app).

Let's talk about hiding apps using Samsung Galaxy as an example. There are several steps to follow:

  1. Open the "Settings" of your Android.
  2. Select "Display", then "Home screen" and "Screen settings".
  3. There is also another way: open the list of apps and find "Home Screen settings" via the menu button.
  4. In the opened list tap "Hide apps".
  5. Specify the programs you want to remove from the menu and click "Apply".

The marked programs will no longer be visible on your Android home screen but they'll continue operating. In order to make them visible again, you can perform the same actions with only one difference: you should uncheck the hidden apps.

Note. This method of hiding an app won't work if you use any alternative launcher which wasn't installed on your Samsung phone by default.  

Hide icons via the app panel

Android 4.0 and above has a built-in feature of hiding apps icons. In order to use it, you have to:

  1. Open the app panel. It's indicated by a round or square symbol inside which you can see are several squares on the screen. In this section you can find every installed game, utility, etc.
  2. Open the "Apps" tab at the top of the display.
  3. Open the advanced options menu. It's displayed either at the top right or bottom right or left corner of the screen.
  4. Select the icons you want to remove from your Android home screen.
  5. Confirm the actions by tapping "Done".

In order to bring the hidden software icons back to the screen, you can use the same instructions with only one difference: at the last step uncheck the corresponding programs.

How to disable an app

You can disable unnecessary apps which are wasting your phone resources. As a result, these apps won't be running even in the Background Mode. The process of disabling and hiding apps in this way is very simple:

  1. Go to the "Settings" of your Android.
  2. Open "Apps" or "Application manager" section (depending on your OS version).
  3. In the opened list select the apps you want to disable.
  4. Press the "Disable" button.
  5. Confirm your actions by tapping "OK".
  6. The system may request permission to roll back to the original version of the app. You must agree on it, otherwise the option of disabling the app won't be available. Just tap "OK" and wait for the process to complete.

You can enable software via the Settings: go to the "Disabled" section and activate the needed app.

Hiding apps via third-party software

Sometimes you might need to hide an app from prying eyes in a way that it continues to operate without appearing on the screen of your phone or in its menu. It's not always possible to do this via the capabilities of operating system only. 

There is a way out: you should install a launcher (an app for changing interface) and use its features. This method is applicable for Android versions supporting the installation of such utilities (from 4.0 and above). Let's list some launchers and their methods of hiding apps.

Apex Launcher

You can download Apex Launcher from here. After installing and running Apex, you should:

  1. Open the "Apex settings" tab.
  2. Open the "App menu settings" section (if it's present in the launcher) and then "Hidden apps".
  3. Select the apps you want to hide and tap "Save".

Usually even the icon of Apex is hidden. By unchecking it, you can add it to your Android home screen and vice versa: you can display the apps you've hidden.

Nova Launcher

Nova Launcher is another launcher which is easy to use for hiding apps. The software may require root rights which you can grant in the following ways.

The link for downloading Nova Launcher.

In order to hide program icons via Nova Launcher, you should:

  1. Open the app panel.
  2. "Nova settings" > "App menu" > "Groups in the list of apps".
  3. Tap on "Hide apps".
  4. Select the programs you need and go back. The changes will be saved automatically.

Hide it Pro (Hide Pictures)

This app can hide pictures, music, videos and other files and apps. In addition to it, you can set a password for opening certain programs. Root rights are required for working with Hide-it-pro.

If you want to "clean" your home screen, do the following:

  1. Run the program (you can find it under the name of Audio Manager in the menu). In order to do this, click on the icon and hold it.
  2. The app will prompt you to set a password and specify an email address. After you perform these actions, the main menu will open.
  3. Tap the "Hide apps" icon.
  4. Hide-it-pro will ask for permission to install a plugin. You should agree on it. Moreover, the software will inform you that root rights are required.
  5. Open the "All apps" item.
  6. Select the icons of the apps you want to hide and tap "OK".

Download Hide it Pro

Smart Hide Calculator

Another program for hiding private data from third parties.

In the menu Smart Hide Calculator disguises itself as a calculator with the help of a corresponding symbol and the app is protected with a password.  You will need root rights in order to be able to use it. 

You can hide apps via it as follows:

  1. Download Smart Hide Calculator and run the app.
  2. Open the "Freeze Apps" item.
  3. Select the desired apps and confirm their hiding.
  4. In order to bring the icons back to your home screen use the "Un-freeze Apps" option.

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