There are times when you hand over your phone to someone with this constant fear that they might peak through your apps. Like you are dating on Tinder, but you don’t want every other person to know about it. After all, dating can be tough and stressful as it is, you don’t want prying eyes and questionable looks. To escape all these issues, all you have to do is just hide the app, that’s it. So, here are ways to hide apps on Android.
How to Hide Apps on Android
You can always use applications like AppLock to password protect apps like Tinder, Messenger, etc. This solution will prevent others from launching these apps without your permission. But people can still see the app icon, and that’s all it takes for them to begin judging you.
Here are several ways on how to can hide apps like Tinder and avoid people looking at you incredulously.
1. Guest Mode
Just like Windows PC or laptop, you can have multiple users on Android as well. If you want to hide all your activities from the person, all you can do is switch to the guest mode. The guest mode turns your phone into a new device hiding all the third-party apps you have installed. So, the guest doesn’t get to see any of the apps, photos, files, chats, etc.
To enter the guest mode, you have to go to the System Settings. To do that, pull down the notification drawer and tap on the gear icon.
Once you are in the System Settings, scroll down to the System Options at the bottom and tap on it.
On the next page, you will see Advanced Settings at the bottom, tap on the arrow icon to expand the menu further.
From the Advanced Settings menu, you will see “Multiple Users”. Tap on it to go to the User Management page.
On the Multiple Users page, you would see 2 users namely Guest and “Your Google Name”. These accounts are present by default. Now, tap on the Guest user to enter the Guest mode.
Now, once you are in the guest mode the phone would look completely new out of the box. To exit guest mode, pull down the notification drawer and tap on the user icon.
From the User menu presented tap on Remove Guest option. You will get a pop-up window for confirmation, tap on Remove.
If you have kids at home often using your phone or you share a phone with someone, I recommend creating a separate user. This way you will have data and apps stored separately on the phone.
2. Nova Launcher Prime
Now, the problem with the guest mode is, the guest user doesn’t see any apps. This might make the person suspect that you have hidden everything. Plus, switching back and forth from guest mode is too much of a task. So in that case, try hiding single apps rather than hiding everything. You can use a third-party launcher application for this.
Nova Launcher is one of the best launchers on the Play Store right now. And out of the many features that it offers, one is the ability to hide your apps. You will need to upgrade to the pro version of Nova Launcher($1.99) to get the Hide option. Or you can still do it for free through the next option.
Download and install the pro version of Nova Launcher and set it as your default launcher. Now we have to hide apps from the Nova Settings. To do that, long press on the Home Screen and tap on Settings.
From the Nova Home Settings, tap on App and widget drawers.
Scroll to the bottom of the feature list and you will see the “Hide Apps” option. Tap on it to open the Hide Apps menu.
In the Hide Apps menu, you will see a list of all the Installed apps on the phone. Simply check beside the apps you want to hide. In our case, I want to hide Tinder, so I will check Tinder. The app will now be invisible from the app drawer.
However, the app is invisible from plain sight, but you can still see it in the search results.
Download Nova Launcher Prime (1.43$)
3. Nova Launcher (Free)
Although we highly recommend getting paid version of Nova Launcher. But if you don’t want to spend money yet, you can hide apps in the free version of the Nova Launcher also with a caveat.
Install the Nova Launcher app. Once installed, go to the app drawer and scroll to the app you want to hide. For this instance, I want to hide Tinder. So long press on the app and you will get quick settings pop up. Tap on the Edit option and a dialogue box should pop up where you can rename the app, change the icon.
From the pop-up window, rename the Tinder app. I suggest you change the app name to something generic like Voice Recorder or Notepad.
Now after the name, we need to change the icon to match the name. To do that, tap on the icon.
From the icon change window, tap on Built-in. Built-in shows the installed icon images.
Now, select an icon that matches the name you have kept. In my case, since I have named it as “Voice Recorder”, I will select a suitable icon.
Now, the icon and name has changed, tap on Done to save the changes.
Once the changes have been saved, you won’t find Tinder when you scroll through the app drawer. Instead, it is renamed as Voice Recorder with a different icon.
Download Nova Launcher (free)
4. Apex Launcher
We have discussed ways to do it in Nova Launcher since it is the most popular launcher out there. But, if you feel you need to entirely hide the app from search results and app drawer, you should try Apex Launcher. This launcher is based on privacy and hiding apps. You will find furthermore privacy options apart from simply hiding the app.
Download and install the app from the Play Store. Once that is done, long press on the home menu to access the Home Menu. Tap on the Setting to get to the Home Settings of the Launcher.
In the Home Settings of the Launcher, you have a separate section called Hidden Apps. Tap on it to access the menu.
In the Hidden Apps menu, you will find an empty list. To add the Tinder app to that list, tap on the Button “Add Hidden App” at the bottom of the screen.
From the installed apps list, scroll down to the bottom and select Tinder or any app which you want to hide. Once you have selected the app, tap on the “Hide 1 app” button.
You will further be prompted to enter Pattern or Password. Choose according to your preference. After the setup, you can see the app which you have to choose to hide can be seen on the Hidden Apps page.
You can also prevent the app from appearing in the search results. To do that, tap on the gear icon at the top right corner of the screen.
In the Settings Page, move the slider beside the text “Show in Search Results”. This will prevent the app from appearing in the search results.
Now, when you want to open the app, you have to go Apex Settings Hidden Apps menu and tap on the app.
The only drawback with the Apex Launcher is the full-screen ads in the Settings menu. The ads are quite rare but it is worth pointing out. Also, the launcher on the first install creates several quick shortcuts like Themes, Apex Premium, etc on the home page without permission. You can still remove the shortcuts but it shouldn’t have been there in the first place.
5. App Hider
App Hider offers many ways to hide apps on Android. You can create a clone of the Tinder app and delete the original one from your launcher. Now, Tinder lives and breathes inside App Hider. But what if someone sees App Hider? Going one step ahead of apps like Parallel Space, you can hide App Hider itself in the form of a calculator. So, all you see is a calculator in your launcher that anyone can use. But if you enter a specific passcode, you will instantly get access to the real app.
To get started, download and install App Hider. I assume you have already downloaded the Tinder app. Open App Hide and click the + icon on the top right. The App does allow screenshots, but the interface is pretty intuitive. Next, select the app you want to clone and App Hider will do its magic. Once done, go back to your Android launcher, find the Tinder app and uninstall it. You can also uninstall from the Settings menu. Tinder now resides inside App Hider. To hide App Hider, swipe from the left of your screen to access additional features. The first one is Protection for App Hider. Click on it and follow the simple process.
Wrapping Up: How to Hide Apps on Android
You can go ahead with Nova Launcher free variant but if you want a full proof solution then Apex Launcher is the better option. There are several other apps available in the Play Store but just don’t install them. Either they don’t work or just mess around with your data.