Whatever the reason to hide content on your phone, there are plenty of options on how you can do it. This article will have a closer look at those tricks and methods suitable for Android and other Android-based operating systems to help you disguise sensitive information from prying eyes.
How to Hide Apps on Most Android Phones
It’s possible to hide various apps on any phone regardless of which brand you have.
The first method is suitable for hiding the apps you don’t use and hiding the apps you do use but want no one to see them.
The second method is a lot more limited. It is only suitable for system apps which you can’t remove. But it requires less effort and won’t change the feel of your device like the first method.
Method 1. Try Nova Launcher
Many Android launchers enable you to hide apps in just a few steps. The one we suggest using is Nova Launcher as it offers plenty of features and is incredibly fast. The only issue is that you need to subscribe to the Prime version to get the job done, as the free version doesn’t allow hiding apps.
To activate Nova Launcher on your device, follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Install Nova Launcher Prime.
- Set it as a default launcher on your device.
- Open Settings within the app.
- Move to App drawer > Hide apps.
- Select the apps you want to hide.
Indeed, you can still use the apps even if they are hidden. Just open the app drawer, enter the app’s name in the search box, and launch it once it appears.
If you’re looking for a free alternative to Nova Launcher Prime, we suggest trying Apex Launcher. It’s not as good as Nova Launcher, but it lets you hide apps without spending your money.
Method 2. Disable Apps in the Settings
You can hide apps from the app menu by disabling them, which means you can’t use them anymore. Besides, this method is only suitable for system apps — apps that are installed by the manufacturer on your device and can’t be removed.
To disable an app, you should:
- Move to the settings of your phone.
- Choose the “Apps & Notifications” option.
- Click “See All Apps.”
- Find the app you want to hide.
- Tap “Disable.”
Remember that the exact path to these settings may slightly differ depending on your phone model and Android version.
How to Hide Apps on Phones Using Android-Based OS
Indeed, there are a few brands that designed their phones using an Android-based operating system. Though they may look quite similar to regular Android devices, they still have their unique features in terms of the technical side of the device. We won’t provide instructions for all Android-based phones on the market, but we will show you how to get the job done on OnePlus and Huawei devices.
In order to hide apps on OnePlus, you need to find the Hidden Space feature on your phone.
To access it, just follow the instructions below:
- Open up the app drawer.
- Swipe right to get to the Hidden Space folder.
- Click the “+” icon in the top-right corner.
- Choose the apps you want to hide.
- Tap the checkmark in the top-right corner.
You can also switch on a password/fingerprint protection to ensure you’re the only one who has access to the Hidden Space folder. To do so, tap three vertical dots in the top-right corner, choose “Enable password,” and then follow the instructions.
You can hide apps on Huawei devices by using a feature called PrivateSpace. It enables you to create a new “space” on your phone with different apps, files, etc. You can easily access it by unlocking the phone with the fingerprint assigned to the new space you’ve created.
To set up PrivateSpace do the following:
- Follow the path Settings > Security & Privacy > PrivateSpace.
- Follow the instructions on your screen to set up PrivateSpace.
- Unlock the device with the fingerprint assigned to access PrivateSpace.
- Download and install any apps you want to make private.
Remember that PrivateSpace apps will only be available in a separate account and won’t appear in your main account. This means that you need to delete them from your main space and download them again to your PrivateSpace account. Though it might look a bit tedious, it won’t take a lot of your time.
How to Hide Pictures and Files on Most Android Devices
Hiding methods (at least two of them) for photos and files seem pretty similar to those applied to hiding apps. Both methods get the job done but in utterly different ways. Both methods require you to download an app from the Play Store. Nevertheless, the best thing about them is that they are absolutely free.
Method 1. Download the GalleryVault App
As you can see, this app works as a vault for your pictures and other files. You can drag the private images and files from your gallery and other apps into GalleryVault, and then access them with a password or fingerprint. The app is entirely free, but it is ad-supported, making the process a bit annoying.
To use GalleryVault, follow these steps:
- Download the GalleryVault app and create an account.
- Run the app and tap the “+” button in the bottom-right corner.
- Choose the type of files you want to add to the vault (images, videos, etc.)
- Select the files.
- Click the “Add” option.
- Choose the folder you want the files to be in.
Method 2. Use the AppLock App
If you are not eager to move your files from one place to another, AppLock is a better solution. It enables you to lock any app on your device and access it only with your fingerprint. For instance, you can close the Gallery and Google Photos apps so that if someone takes your phone, they can’t see any pictures you have since there is no access.
To activate AppLock, follow these step-by-step instructions:
- Download AppLock and install it.
- To lock an app, scroll down until you see the list of apps on your phone.
- Head to the “Protect” tab and enable the “Fingerprint Lock” option.
We recommend you enable the fingerprint lock to avoid using a pattern that’s offered by default.
How to Hide Pictures and Files on Phones Using Android-Based OS
Depending on your phone’s operating system, you may have some options to hide files and images without downloading additional apps. Below we will describe some features built into phones made by OnePlus and Huawei. Check out the step-by-step instructions for the brands mentioned here.
OnePlus has an exciting Lockbox option hidden so deep that many users don’t even know about it. You need to access the File Manager app to find it, and here are the detailed instructions:
- Open the File Manager app to access LockBox.
- Scroll down to the bottom to see it.
- Open the folder of your choice (videos, images, documents, audio).
- Long-press on a file you need to hide.
- Tap three vertical dots in the top-right corner.
- Select “Move to Lockbox” to complete the procedure.
Huawei phones offer an exciting opportunity to hide various files and images by using the built-in safe. Once you’re in the safe, you can drag all sensitive files here. By the way, the safe is fingerprint/password protected to make sure only the device owner can access its content.
To use safe, all you have to do is:
- Follow the path Settings > Security & Privacy > Safe.
- Tap the “Add” option at the bottom of your screen.
- Choose the type of files you want to hide (videos, images, audio.)
- Select the files.
- Tap the “Add” button again.
There you have it — now you can quickly hide sensitive photos, apps, and other files on your phone from prying eyes. All the tricks and methods described above are easy to apply no matter what Android device you are using (Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, Honor).
OnePlus and Huawei owners are lucky to try their phones’ native tools. Don’t worry if your phone (or OS version) doesn’t have support for secure folders; there is a great variety of exciting third-party apps you can always turn to.