How to hide apps on Android devices

It’s annoying when your screen is cluttered with app icons you don’t use. I often get confused when I have too many apps downloaded. You can organize it on your home screen but everything’s jumbled in the app drawer. But there’s a fix. If you’re looking for ways on how to hide apps on Android, then you’re in luck because I can teach you how to do it step-by-step.

You can hide your app icons. This way, you can keep your phone organized without disabling or deleting any apps. To help you, I compiled a guide on how to hide apps on Android. Now, you won’t have to worry about a messy app drawer.

See also: Best folder apps for Android for organizing and accessing apps efficiently

Hiding apps on Android devices

1. Check your phone features

On most phones, you can delete app icons from the home screen without deleting the apps itself. But you can also hide apps on Android devices directly via the app drawer.

Step 1: Open your app drawer

On most phones it’s the button on the center of your screen named “Apps.”

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Go to App Drawer
Select Your App Drawer

Step 2: Go to your home screen settings

Tap the “Menu” button on the screen and select “Settings.”

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Home Screen Settings
Navigate to Home Screen Settings

Step 3: Tap hide apps.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Home Screen Settings Menu
Select Hide Apps

Step 4: Select the app icons you want to hide

Check the corresponding boxes for the app icons you want to hide. Once your done, accept then it’s done!

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Select Apps
Choose the Apps you wish to hide

2. Change your default launcher to hide app icons

If you’re unable to hide apps on your Android device, changing your launcher is a good workaround. If the term “launcher” doesn’t sound familiar, an Android launcher is the app that controls your Android device’s layout, the look of your Home screen, and your app drawer.

Most Android launchers will allow you to hide icons. I’ll made a guide below for using the Apex Launcher to hide your apps.

If Apex Launcher isn’t what you had in mind, good alternatives are Nova Launcher Prime, ADW Launcher, and Go Launcher. Installation and usage is similar to what I’ll describe below.

Download: Nova Launcher Prime

Google Play

Download: ADW.Launcher 2

Google Play

Download: Go Launcher

Google Play

Here’s how to get rid of app icons by using the Apex Launcher, which is free to download from the Play Store.

Step 1: Install and open

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Choose App

Install the launcher and open it by pressing your Home button afterward.

Google Play

Step 2: Choose your default launcher

Select the launcher. You will now have a different Home screen, depending on which launcher you chose.

How to Hide Apps on any Android Device - Apex Launcher
Choose Your Launcher

Step 3: Visit your launcher settings

For Apex, open “Apex settings” on your device, and tap “Drawer settings.” Many launchers also allow you to hide apps and app icons from within the launcher menu.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Open Apex Settings
Open Apex Settings

Step 4: Select hidden apps

Tap “Hidden Apps.” From here, you can check and uncheck the app icons that you would like to hide.

How to Hide Apps on Android Devices - Choose Apps to Hide
Select your Apps

Of course, you can try other options if you don’t like Apex Launcher, and there’s a decent number of Android launchers out there.

3. Using Hide App – Hide Application Icon

There are loads of different apps available on the Play Store which can hide apps on Android. One such example is the Hide App – Hide Application Icon.

Step 1: Download and open

Install and launch Hide App – Hide Application Icon. This app requires no rooting.

Google Play

Step 2: Tap the “Add” icon

You’ll see a square that contains a plus sign. Tap it.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Tap Plus Sign

Step 3: Choose the apps you want to hide

You’ll move into a new screen where you can select which app you want to hide by tapping the box across its name.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Choose apps

After choosing and tapping “Save“, it will show you the list of apps you’ve hidden for reference.

4. Using an app hider

This app also doesn’t require root, and it will help you get rid of those built-in carrier apps as well. It also does what you want it to do: hide apps on Android devices.

Note: I tested the app, but when I try to get screenshots, all I get is a black image. The App Hider works, so don’t worry.

Step 1: Install and open app hider

App Hider
Google Play

Step 2: Select the app(s)

Tap the plus sign at the bottom part of your screen and select the apps you want to hide.

Step 3: Select “Import”

A popup will appear, explaining the next step. To hide an app, you need to import it.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Import

Step 4: Hide the app

After importing, click the icon you want to hide, and tap “Hide.”

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Tap Hide
Select Hide

The “App Hider” app creates a clone of the app you choose and prompts you to delete the app in the home screen. You can still access the app you’ve “hidden” anytime you want with all your data still intact.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - uninstall
Confirm Uninstall

5. Use app lockers

App lockers allow you to lock any app you want and only access it with a password, PIN, pattern, or fingerprint. These applications allow you to store photos, files, and apps, in a hidden vault.

Note: I’ll be using AppLocker as an example, but there are many other apps you can choose from in the Google Play Store.

Step 1: Install and open

Download and install AppLocker by BGNmobi

Google Play

Step 2: Create a pattern for your device

AppLocker will prompt you to repeat this pattern to confirm.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Unlock Pattern
Provide your unlock pattern

Step 3: Save a security email

AppLock will request you to enter and save your email address. After that, the app will install updates, if there are any.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Security Email
Assign a security email

Step 4: Select the apps

Under the “ALL APPS” tab, you can select which programs you want to lock and hide.

How to Hide Apps on Android Device - Lock Apps
Lock Apps

Step 5: Permit usage access

AppLock will take you into the setting where you can provide access to the app, so you can still use your app even if it’s hidden inside the AppLocker.

6. Disable pre-installed apps

Pre-installed apps can be problematic, especially if it’s built like bloatware. Its best to disable these types of apps, and doing so will increase your phone’s performance. I’ll show you how to do it below.

It can often be challenging to rid your phone of bloatware completely, but you can still hide its app icons. In some cases, you have an option to uninstall them, but most of the time, you will only be able to disable the app if you aren’t rooted.

Step 1: Go to settings

Open the “Apps” or “Applications” menu on your device.

How to Hide Apps on Android Devices - Select Apps
Navigate to Settings

Step 2: Open “Apps”

How to Hide Apps on Android Devices - Go to Apps
Go to Apps

Step 3: Choose the app

How to Hide Apps on Android Devices - Choose App
Select a Pre-installed App

Tap the app whose icon you would like to hide.

Step 4: Tap “Disable”

How to Hide Apps on Android Devices - Disable
Choose Disable

Doing this will remove the icon from your system until you decide to change it back. If you can’t delete the app from your device completely, you can just disable and ignore it.


What apps should I hide?

You can cover all the apps you want, but we recommend hiding the pre-installed apps that you don’t use. You can disable those as well, but managing the icons is much faster.

Do I need root to hide my apps?

In most cases, no. But if you want to use third-party applications to hide your apps, you might consider rooting your device since some of them requires this permission.

What is the fastest way to hide my app icons?

This process may vary on phones, but here you go: Go to your home screen, tap the three dots on the upper right corner, select Settings, and look for Hide apps. Now, you can select which icons you wish to cover.


We all have a different definition of essential apps when it comes to our phones and tablets. But it’s all the same when apps clutter your home screen and your app drawer. You can either organize it and optimize it, but if you don’t need an app, and if you can download it whenever you need it, then don’t keep it on your phone.

After reading this article, you should now have a better idea of how to hide apps on Android devices without root access.

If I missed an easy way to hide your app icons, or if you have questions, let me know in the comments below!

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  1. Thanks for the regular delivery of tips. Unfortunately, none of these work on Nexus 6 with Marshmalow 6.0.1 – I am not familiar with rooting, either.
    Looking forward to your next mail!

    1. Hi Pablo,
      You´re welcome for the tips and for subscribing. How unfortunate to hear about the tips not working, but Android 6.0 might still be too buggy and that could be why they didn´t work. Is rooting an option for you? Thanks for commenting. =-)

    2. @pablo I have the Nexus 5x running 6.0.1. Both methods 2 and 3 work for me. I am able to disable the preinstalled Google apps (YouTube, Gmail and the others). I can press and hold the app icon on the homescreen and there is a window that pops up; app info is an option. Following that link, I am taken to the application manager and disable is an option. Alternatively, I can get to the same spot by heading through the settings and to the application manager, searching for the app and disabling it.

      I can also use my launcher (Nova Prime) to hide the apps in my app drawer.

      How far into the method are you getting before it isn’t working? Which method?

  2. I have found your article very informative and interesting. I appreciate your points of view and I agree with so many. You’ve done a great job with making this clear enough for anyone to understand.

  3. Thanks for sharing this comprehensive blog. I have question for you. What happen if i forget my app locker pattern or password?

    1. Hi Riya,

      If you forgot your app locker pattern or password, you simply won’t be able to use the apps that you have set to work it with.

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