How to Hide Apps on Your iPhone & Find Them Later (Updated for 2020)

Sometimes you need to hide apps on your iPhone from others who might snoop. Or from yourself, if you're addicted to a particular game. You can hide an app on your iPhone by using app folders. To take it even further, you can hide the app from iPhone Search and in your iPhone’s App Store purchase history. You can even get rid of most of Apple’s pre-installed apps while you’re at it. Here’s how to hide apps on your iPhone using each of these methods, as well as how to find hidden apps on your iPhone—just in case you hide them too well.

Related: How to Make a Private Photo Album to Hide Pictures on iPhone

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What's in this article:

How to Hide Apps on Your iPhone by Using App Folders

The best way to hide apps in a folder is to fill the first pages of the folder with apps that you’re not trying to hide.

  1. Choose a folder that already exists on your iPhone (preferably a boring one, like Utilities) or create a new app folder
  2. Press and hold any app icon until the Action Menu appears
  3. Select Edit Home Screen.

    edit home screen option on iphone
     
  4. Hold and drag the app you’re hiding into the folder of your choice.
  5. Drag the app right to the second page of the folder. (only the apps on the first page of the folder are visible on the Home Screen).


     
  6. If you really want to bury those apps deep, you can create up to 12 pages in a folder as long as each page has one app. That means you could have a folder with 11 pages of apps you only sometimes use, and hide your app or apps on the twelfth page.

This method obviously doesn’t completely hide apps on your iPhone, but it sure makes it hard to accidentally come across them.

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How to Hide Apps from iPhone Search

Even if you hide apps deep in a folder on your iPhone, someone who is determined to snoop could quickly find your hidden apps using Search. That's why it’s good to know how to hide apps from iPhone Search as well.

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Siri & Search.​
  3. Scroll down to the app section and select the app you want to hide.


     
  4. Toggle off Learn from this App.
  5. Toggle off Show in Search.
  6. Toggle off Show Siri Suggestions.

Repeat for any other apps you want to hide from iPhone Search. To unhide an app in iPhone Search, go back to Siri & Search in the Settings app, tap on the app, and toggle Siri Suggestions back on.

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How to Hide Apps on iPhone from Your App Store Purchase History

If you have Family Sharing enabled, anyone in your Family Group can see and download the apps you’ve purchased and downloaded. If you want to keep some of your apps private, you can hide them from your App Store purchase history.

  1. Open the App Store.​​
  2. Tap on the profile icon or your photo in the upper right corner.
  3. Tap Purchased.​


     
  4. Tap My Purchases, then find the app you want to hide.
  5. Swipe left on the app and tap Hide.


     
  6. Repeat for any other apps you want to hide.
  7. Tap Done in the upper right corner.

Note: This will not delete or hide the app on your iPhone or iPad. This method only hides the app within your purchase history inside the App Store. You also can’t hide app subscriptions from the Family Organizer in Family Sharing, even if you hide the app from Purchases.

To View Your Hidden App Purchases:

  1. Open the App Store.
  2. Tap on the profile icon or your photo in the upper right corner.
  3. Tap on your Apple ID. You may need to enter your Apple ID password. Use Face or Touch ID if prompted.
  4. Tap Hidden Purchases.​

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How to Hide Apps That Come Pre-installed on Your iPhone

Apple allows users to hide most of the Apple apps that come pre-installed on your iPhone. Apple stock apps are hidden the way third-party apps are deleted. But you’re actually just deleting the app’s icon, because the app’s data is not removed.

  1. From Home screen, tap and hold the app you want to hide.
  2. When the Action Menu opens, select Delete App.


     
  3. If Delete App is missing from the Action Menu, then the app can’t be deleted.*
  4. Repeat this process for all the stock apps that you want removed.
  5. If you decide you need any of these apps in the future, simply download them from the App Store to get them back.

*While you can delete some apps, such as the iPhone Calculator and Apple Music apps, others, such as the App Store and Camera apps, cannot be deleted.

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How to Find Hidden Apps on Your iPhone

As long as an app is downloaded on your iPhone, and not hidden from Siri & Search, you can use Search to quickly find a hidden app on your iPhone. You must type the app’s full name if you want to find out which folder it’s in.

  1. From any Home screen, swipe down from the middle of your screen to open Search.​
  2. Type in the full name of the app you’re looking for (ignore the suggestions that appear under Applications until you have entered the full name).
  3. If your app hasn't appeared yet, tap Search.


     
  4. The app should be the top result.
  5. If app is hidden in a folder, the name of the folder will appear to the right of the app icon. Tap the icon to open the app. Or open the folder on your Home Screen to find the app there.​
  6. If the app is not on your iPhone, you will see View to the right of the app icon. Tap View to download the app from the App Store.


     
  7. If the app doesn’t show up, double check that you got the app name and spelling right.

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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.