how to hide SMS on Android

How to hide SMS on Android- A Detailed Guide in 2023

I hope you’re with me when I say: It’s annoying when people grab your phone and read personal messages that you don’t want to share. Worry no more! Because I’ve put together 2 methods to help you how to hide SMS on Android.

Privacy and security have always been big issue for the Android Operating System. Even when messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Skype, and KakaoTalk have emerged, this issue remains. If I’m not mistaken… Privacy and security are probably the biggest concerns for most Android users.

Protecting the privacy of your messages

For a lot of users, even if instant messaging is what people use now on Android, a lot of people still use SMS as a way of communication. The bad news is, there are times when other people invade your privacy by reading your SMS.

Don’t worry! Be smart and just hide them! The methods below help you to hide SMS notifications even on the lock screen. Also, you can hide incoming text messages from a specific contact as well. If you’re looking for a way to hide your incoming SMS and MMS from the default messaging app on your Android device, continue reading.

1. How to hide SMS on Android by archiving them

Archiving SMS messages on your messenger app will help you hide SMS messages without having to delete them. This feature is available on almost all Android messaging apps, and is generally accessible by long-pressing on a specific contact.

For this tutorial, I used the Google Messenger app for reference. If you don’t already have an messenger app, I recommend using Google Messenger. You can download the app by clicking on the button below.

Google Messenger app logo
Google Messenger
Google Play

Step 1: Open your messager app

After opening the app, slide the message to the right to archive it. If this doesn’t work on your messenger app, you can do this by long-pressing on a specific contact. By doing this, the messages you archived won’t appear on your messenger app’s home page.

Slide right or long-press to hide SMS on Android
Slide right or long-press on a contact

Step 2: See your archived messages

To see the messages you archived, just tap on the options (three-dots) menu and select “Archived.” Here you’ll see all of the messages you’ve archived.

Select "Archived" on your messaging app to hide SMS on Android
Archived messages

2. How to hide SMS on Android with a Third-Party App

There are many apps that can help you hide SMS on Android, but for the purpose of this article I’ll show you how to use one in particular, Message Locker. In this method, aside from having the ability to hide SMS on Android, I’ll also show you how to hide apps that have private content.

Step 1: Download and install the app

The app is free, although it includes in-app purchases.

Message Locker app logo
Message Locker (SMS Lock) logo
Google Play

Step 2: Create and confirm your PIN

This is necessary to access the app, since it’s a privacy app, it’ll require you to create a PIN for the app. Alternatively, you can also create a pattern, if you’re more comfortable with that form of security.

How to hide sms on Android - Create PIN
Create a PIN

Step 3: Set-up recovery

This is necessary in case you forget your PIN. If you have bad memory, I suggest you check out our list of best password managers.

How to hide sms on Android - recovery email setup
Recovery Email

Step 4: Choose apps to hide

You now have the chance to select what apps you want to hide. If you want to hide your SMS messages, you should select your stock messaging app (or any messaging apps that you use and want to make private). If you’re looking for other messaging apps, you can check out our list of best messaging apps.

How to hide sms on Android - hide messaging apps
Hide Your Apps

Step 5: Explore other options

By pressing the menu bar in the upper left-hand corner (three vertical lines), you can lock photos, clear junk, upgrade, or learn more about the app.

Menu options - how to hide sms on Android
Side menu

Frequently Asked Questions

What does SMS stand for?

SMS stands for Short Messaging Service which allows you to send text messages that have at most, 160 characters.

What’s the difference between MMS and SMS?

SMS stands for Short Messaging Service while MMS stands for Multimedia Messaging Service. MMS is used for sending media files such as photos while SMS is used to send a message composed of not more than 160 characters. In short, you cannot send media files in SMS!

Hide Your SMS Messages – Take Back Your Privacy

Whether you want to hide SMS on Android from a specific person or you just want to keep your SMS messages private, you can follow the steps mentioned above and learn how to hide SMS and MMS on Android. Make sure that you follow the instructions properly and feel free to shoot any questions below.

You might also be interested in using a customizable SMS app instead of the default SMS app. You can check out our list of the 10 best SMS apps for Android. If you’ve previously deleted important messages from your phone in order to avoid others seeing them, then you can read the guide on how to retrieve deleted messages.

So what method did you try? Let me know your opinion in the comments section down below!

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  1. What if you wanted this hidden from the play store? Is there any way to get an sms hiding app via apk or zip that does NOT show up there? If someone were to look at my installed apps and see “SMS Lock” as one of them, it defeats the purpose of having it. Cerberus app has a zip version of it’s app that can do this.

    1. Then try installing “Audio Manager” – Hide Pictures – Hide It Pro. This name will be disguised and you can hide sms after ling pressing audio manager after you open the app. Hope this helps.

      1. This was by and far my favorite and most effective app. Unfortunately, the Dev seems to have orphaned his creation, and it is no longer able to keep the message from appearing in the regular text message box.

        1. Hi Miguel,
          Have you tried contacting the developer to see if the app will get an update that will fix this? If you do, please share the reply with us. Thanks for commenting. =-)

      1. Hi Jody. I want the ability to just hide text messages from only my boss, so my employees can’t see them if I happen to lay my phone down or let them borrow it to make a call. I’d love a solution…

        Any suggestions?

        1. Hi Stef,
          So just to make sure I understood your question, you only want to hide your messages from a particular person and not everyone? If so, I don´t think that is possible.

        2. lols… how would an app knows if the person who borrows your phone is your boss or just somebody else…

          maybe face detection. but that would be very hard for a developer…

  2. I’d like to have two message streams, one that is public, that anyone in the office can see, and a second that is private that no one can see. Every sms/mms app I see wants to be the default (only) app where all messages go. Or, if I have to have only one messaging app, is there a way to hide individual sms/mms between my wife and close friends/colleagues?

  3. Hi,
    I want the app such that some message can be seen by anyone and some messages I want to keep it as private. Is there any app in Android where I can do so?

    1. go sms pro will do this. there is a hidden inbox that won’t show messages from people you’ve assigned to the private inbox.

      1. Hi,
        Trevor am currently using go sms pro on my Android and it’s been working great; however for some reason for the past two days when I receive a message in my private box it pops up like my regular messages. and the funny thing is its disable, so that wouldn’t happen. Any advice?

        1. there has been some odd things going on with the last few updates. I was getting a notification all of the time saying it was running. now it’s gone after the last update. see if you are on the most recent update, if not, updating might help. You can also try to clear the cache and data for the app. Clearing the data is like a master reset for the app. It will erase all of the stored data and settings for the app.

  4. Using vault and deleted the contact person from the stock messaging box and imported all texts to vault and added the contact there, now when they text me the texts show up in vault as well as the stick messaging box so I’m getting double messages from this person, how do I solve this issue?

    1. Hi, Deb! Did you remember to install the Messenger plug in? This is needed to circumvent your default messenger altogether.

    1. If an app is hidden, you can find it by browsing the device settings and looking for the list of installed apps.

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