From pre-installed bloatware to apps you just can’t delete, it can be annoying to have your screen cluttered with icons that you would prefer not to see. What’s more, you might even need to hide your apps for security reasons. Some apps contain a lot of private information. Hiding app icons can often be more difficult than you might expect, but sometimes it’s the best thing to do if you can’t or don’t want to delete the app entirely.
If you’re looking for a couple of different methods to hide any annoying app icons, you’ve come to the right place. We have several ways to hide the app icons on your Android device. Let’s get started.
Method 1: Check Your Stock Options
It’s possible that you might not have to download anything to hide app icons on your device. On some devices you can hide the icons directly via the app drawer located on your handset. This is especially the case on older Samsung phones.
However, it’s becoming an increasingly rare feature, so it’s worth checking out one of the alternative methods on this list if you run into any problems.
Open your app drawer on your device.
Go to Menu
Tap either the Menu button on screen or the physical Menu button if your device has one.
Tap Hide apps.
Check the corresponding boxes for the app icons you would like to hide, and that should be it.
If you’re not sure of what you should be looking for, here’s a video showing off the feature on the Samsung Galaxy S3.
(However, the feature was removed from later Galaxy devices, so don’t get your hopes up too much if you have a more recent version.)
Method 2: Pre-installed Apps
Some pre-installed apps leave a lot to be desired, and they’re quickly replaced by better versions from the Play Store. Others go completely unused, but you still might not be able to remove them from your device.
It can often be difficult to completely rid your device of bloatware, but you can still work to hide its icons. In some cases, you may even have an option to uninstall, but most likely you will only be able to hide it from your view if you aren’t rooted.
(This method will only work for pre-installed apps, so check one of the others on this list if it isn’t suitable for your needs.)
Open the Apps or Applications menu on your device.
Tap the app whose icon you would like to hide.
Select the Disable button located on screen.
This will disable the app, and it 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, sometimes it can be easier to disable and ignore it.
Method 3: Change Your Default Launcher to Hide Apps
If you’re unable to hide your app icons, changing your launcher could be a good workaround. If the term doesn’t sound familiar, a launcher is the app that controls the layout and look of your Home screen and your app drawer.
Some of the most popular Android launchers will allow you to hide annoying icons, and we’ll provide a guide below for using Apex Launcher to hide your apps. If Apex Launcher isn’t quite what you had in mind, other great options are Nova Launcher Prime, ADW Launcher, and Go Launcher. Installation and use is similar to what we describe below.
Here’s how to get rid of app icons by using Apex Launcher, which is free to download from the Play Store.
Download: Apex Launcher
Download: Nova Launcher Prime
Download: ADW.Launcher 1
Download: Go Launcher
Install and Open
Install the launcher to your device and open it by pressing your Home button afterwards.
Select the launcher, and you should now have a different Home screen, depending on which one you chose.
For Apex, open Apex settings on your device, and tap Drawer settings. Many launchers also allow you to hide apps and their icons from within the launcher menu.
Select Hidden Apps & Choose
Tap Hidden apps, and from here you can check and uncheck the app icons that you would like to hide.
Of course, you can try one of the other options if you don’t like the look of Apex Launcher, and there’s a decent number to choose from. If you’ve found a great alternative, let us know in the comments section below.
Method 4: Using Hide App – Hide Application Icon (Root Required)
There are loads of different apps available on the Play Store which promise to hide your app icons, so you can always scan through and see if there’s one you like the look of. One such example is Hide App – Hide Application Icon. This app asserts that it will help you hide any app.
(Unfortunately, most application-hiding apps require root access to work correctly, so bear that in mind before you bother checking them out. We also have a large selection of rooting articles available if you would like to learn more, and you can search for your handset using the bar in the top right hand corner.)
Download and Open
Install and launch Hide App – Hide Application Icon.
Tap Add Icon
You should see a square that contains a plus sign. Underneath it will tell you that you don’t have any hidden apps, but we’re about to change that.
You will be taken into a new screen where you can select which app you want to hide by tapping the box across from its name.
See Hidden Apps
It will show you which apps it has hidden, but that’s the last you should see of these apps for a while.
Download: Hide App – Hide Application Icon
Method 5: Using 2 Hide Apps – Hide System Apps
Hey, here’s an app that doesn’t require root, and that will help you rid your Android of those useless carrier apps. But it is intended for built-in, system apps. And when it says it helps you get rid of them, it means it will help you disable them. But that it does.
Install and Open
This app now sports a nice material design.
You will start out on the Hide-able apps tab, where you can tap on any or all apps you wish to hide.
A popup will appear explaining the next step. Do note that for some devices, you first must choose the Uninstall Updates button.
Another message will appear warning that the deletion of some system apps can cause your device to misbehave. Do keep this in mind, but in my case, NFL Mobile is not a system-critical app even if Verizon acts like it is.
Download: 2 Hide Apps – Hide System Apps
Method 6: Using an App Locker
There are various app lockers that allow you to lock any app you would like and only access it with a password, PIN, pattern, or even a fingerprint in some cases. Some apps will allow you to store the app you want to hide in a hidden vault, or at the very least, put your photos and videos there. We will be using AppLock for example’s sake, but there are many others.
There’s AppLock 2, which helps you to lock all of your apps that contain sensitive content, such as videos, photos, texts, and call logs. Andrognito 2 will hide and encrypt any type of file into a secure vault. Smart Hide Calculator is a fully functioning calculator that doubles as a vault where you can store your secret pictures, files, documents, and videos; and if you have root access you can also use the app to freeze and hide other apps.
Install and Open
The app we are talking about comes from DoMobile Lab, but there are several with similar names or the exact same name.
Draw a Pattern
You will be asked to repeat this pattern again to confirm.
Save Security Email
AppLock will request that you enter and save your email address. When you are finished, the app will want to tell you about what’s new.
You will find yourself on the Privacy tab, where you will see Advanced options and Switch Lock settings. If you scroll down a little further you can select General apps.
Permit Usage Access
AppLock will take you into the setting where you can enable usage access for the app. This is necessary.
Download: AppLock 2
Download: Andrognito 2
Download: Smart Hide Calculator
Thankfully, you don’t have to put up unwanted icons when you’re on Android, but it’s a shame it isn’t easier to get rid of them in the first place. We all have a different definition of important apps when it comes to our phones and tablets, though. Some apps even come with a built-in option to hide their own icon, such as Private SMS Box.
You should now have a better idea of how to delete app icons from your device without root access, as well as how easy it is if you happen to be rooted.
If we’ve missed an easy way to hide your app icons, or you have questions about one of the methods on this list, let us know in the comments below. Or you can contact us via Facebook or Twitter.