How to Hide Apps on an iPhone

Hide apps on your iPhone for discreet use.
1 minute

We all deserve privacy. When we are using our iPhones and iPads near our friends, fellow students, co-workers, and loved ones (or nosey people on the subway), we don't necessarily want them to see every app we might have on our iPhones. Because Apple tends to be very mindful of privacy, even recently updating privacy guidelines at the WWDC21 Apple Keynote, there is a built-in iOS feature that allows you to customize your home screen.

Basically, you can remove an app from your home screen while maintaining them on your iPhone, so that you can access it via search or in the App Library. If you decide to add the apps back to the home screen, no worries! That step is easily done as well.

This is a great feature that protects your privacy, sure, but it also frees up your home screen space. If you prefer a very organized home screen, this feature is awesome. Clear up those apps you rarely use, so that you can easily access your most-used apps without all the clutter.

Regardless of why you'd like to hide your apps, this guide shows you how to hide an app on your home screen and how to add it back if you choose to do so! If you are also concerned about the privacy of your photos, read my guide on how to hide pictures on an iPhone when you are done here!

Note: This feature does not hide the apps from the App Library or App Store. I completed these steps using iOS 14.5, so the options you have, if on an older iOS, may be different.

iPhone 11 (256GB + Green)iPhone 11 (256GB + Green) ×1

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How to Hide Apps on an iPhone

There are two different options that will allow you to remove the app from the home screen, but first things first, go to your home screen. Once you are there, try one of the following options (both options achieve the same result, only a slightly different notification prompt):

First option:

  1. Press and hold any free space on the home screen until the apps begin to jiggle.
  2. Then, click the minus sign on the app you wish to remove.

Second option:

  1. Press and hold the app you wish to remove until the dropdown appears.
How to Hide Apps on an iPhone

If you chose the first option you will see "remove from home screen." If you chose the second option, you will see "remove app." Click whichever of the two appear for you. Either one will remove the app from the home screen.

Voila! Now the app is no longer on the home screen.

How to Hide Apps on an iPhone

To use the app you just hid on the home screen, you will swipe to get to the screen furthest to the right on your iPhone. This will take you to your App Library.

Once there, find the app and open it, or you can swipe furthest to the left on your home screen and type the app into the search bar. That will also reveal the app so you can access it. I prefer using the App Library.

However, if you want to add the app back, continue with this guide and I will show you how.

How to Hide Apps on an iPhone

While in the App Library, look for the app you want to add back to the home screen (since it was previously removed/hidden). Once you find it do the following:

  1. Press and hold the app until the drop-down appears.
  2. Click "add to home screen."

Done! Now the App is back on the home screen. It will not populate in its original position on the home screen. You may have to move it where you like.

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