Find Hidden Apps on Your Android Phone

By default, you should be able to find all apps either in your Android phone’s home screen or app drawer. However, if you have previously hidden some apps, or you want to access some system apps that are hidden, this tutorial covers how to hide Android apps and how to find them once they are hidden. Our methods work on all Android phones and tablets, but your exact device model may have different menu options.

Tip: check out our list of essential Android apps you should have on your phone.

1. Via the App Drawer

You’ll find all of your installed apps in the App Drawer unless you choose to hide some of them. Depending on your phone’s home screen layout and settings, go to the App Drawer to determine whether there are any hidden apps.

  1. Go to the search bar in your phone’s App Drawer and click the three dots to open the options.
  1. Click anything that mentions “Settings” in relation to the app drawer. If you don’t have this option, you may have to long-press on your phone’s home screen and select “Home settings.”
Choosing Settings option in Three-dot menu of Android App drawer.
  1. Once the home screen settings are visible, look for an option to hide apps. You may need to scroll down a bit.
  1. Click any menu that says “Hide apps” to view further options.
Hide apps option located in Home screen settings of Android phone.
  1. Inside the “Hide Apps” menu of the app drawer, you’ll find all the apps that were hidden from the home screen.
Hidden apps visible in Android homescreen settings.
  1. You can easily add your own apps to the hidden apps menu by dragging and dropping.
How to move an Android app to the hidden list from Android phone homescreen settings.
  1. As mentioned previously, various phone models can have different options. For instance, older OnePlus devices (running Oxygen 11 OS and below) offer “Hidden space,” where you can place your private apps. You’ll need to swipe from the App Drawer to make it visible.

You can also search for hidden apps directly in the search bar of the Android home screen for Samsung Galaxy devices and other supported brands. If you find the app’s name in the Settings option but can’t find the app elsewhere, follow the steps below to find it again.

Searched app in Android phone Home screen not found as it is hidden.
  1. Open the “Show hidden apps” option, if available, in the search results.
Searching for "hidden apps" in Android homescreen search bar.
  1. If the toggle button for showing hidden apps is turned off, enable it.
Show hidden apps toggle switch on in Android Finder settings.
  1. Exit the screen to search for and launch the hidden app’s icon, even if it’s invisible on the home screen.
App found on Android phone homescreen despite being hidden.

3. Through “All Apps” Settings

On specific devices, you can view an “All apps” filter to detect any hidden apps under this main list of apps. This option isn’t supported on all handsets and models.

  1. Click the Settings icon for your phone.
  2. Look for the “Manage Apps” or “Apps” option to view the settings for the option.
All app settings in Android phone Settings area.
  1. Your phone may have additional filters to view all apps – even the hidden apps.
Hide Android Apps See All Apps
  1. Once you identify an app that does not show in your App Drawer, you can further modify its settings and default behavior.
Hidden Android app identified in scrollable list of all apps.

Tip: learn how to run Android apps in Windows.

4. Use Access Code/Pass Code

On certain Android models, you can find hidden apps by dialing a passcode or access code on your Phone app. This is a huge benefit to users. These hidden apps are inaccessible to everyone except the users themselves.

  • For Oppo phones, go to “Settings -> Privacy -> Hide Apps” or “Settings -> Security -> App Encryption” and set your privacy passcode and security questions. Later, select the apps you want to hide. This will prompt you to enter a dialable access number starting and ending with a number.
  • For OnePlus phones with OxygenOS 12 and later, go to “Settings -> Privacy -> Hide Apps” and set a privacy password. Your device will prompt you to select the apps you want to conceal and set an access code up to 16 digits. As with Oppo, it should start and end with a number.

5. Check Apps With Special Access

Out of all the apps on your Android device, some have special access, which means they sit at the top of the required device permissions. These are mostly system apps but can also include some regularly installed apps. Follow these steps to find them.

  1. Look for a “Special access” menu in the search bar under Settings or directly under the Settings option.
Special Access menu searched for in Settings of Android search bar.
  1. There are different types of special access, such as “All files access,” “Device admin apps,” etc. Navigate through each of these menus to find apps hidden from view.
Various types of Special Access provided in Android phone's settings.
  1. The following shows a few hidden system apps under “All files access.” It includes ImsLogger, which is a messaging sync service for Samsung devices. Also included is MTP application, which refers to the automated transfer of media files and images.
ImsLogger and MTP application identified in All files access

6. Take a Look at App Folders

This is a neat little trick that many aren’t aware of. In all of the latest Android versions, you can create your own app folders. This can be used to disguise selected apps, such as the following example that shows a folder named “Hidden1.” The process shown pertains to Samsung phones.

Created folders for select Android apps visible in Android homescreen.
  1. Long-press the app you want to hide. You’ll see a “Select” option if you’re using a Samsung device. On other devices, such as a Pixel, you will need to touch and hold an app and drag and drop it on top of another app to create a folder.
Long press options for a selected Android app on its home screen.
  1. To create a folder on some devices, you may need more than one app. Otherwise, that option is disabled.
Long press create folder option disabled for selected Android app.
  1. After you select the required number of apps, the “Create folder” option springs into view once again.
Long press create folder enabled for selected Android apps.
  1. You will see the apps that you want to tuck away inside the newly created folder.
Selected Android apps tucked away in their own app folder.
  1. Create a name for this folder.
Renaming the app folder containing apps that are to be hidden away.

Tip: did you know that you can set custom icons for your Android apps? We show you how to get started.

7. Check App Hider Applications

Google Play has many app hider applications that can conveniently disguise many apps. They are by far the most subtle way to hide apps. In most cases, you can’t access them without a PIN or password. As most of these apps are similar, we are providing a few examples.

Note: It can be hard to find the apps hidden by the hider applications unless you can identify the particular application and have access to the password.

  1. Most of these apps try to disguise themselves as common apps that you probably have on your phone. For example, a harmless dialer app.
Dialer app identified in Android phone home screen resembling the phone dialer.
  1. Dialer Lock – AppHider is a convenient non-root Google Play application to hide apps.
Dialer Lock app hider in Android phone.
  1. After installing Dialer Lock, you will need to enter a six-digit password.
Dialer Lock app set password.
  1. You can import apps into the Dialer Lock screen but will need to provide a few permissions.
Import Apps into Dialer app for Android
  1. Similarly, if you find a discreet Notepad-like icon on a phone, you may be looking at Notepad Vault, a convenient trick app.
Notepad trick app in Android home screen.
  1. You may think you can enter notes into Notepad Vault, and you can. But once you type the numeric password, it opens an entire vault where you can hide selected apps.
  2. There are other trick apps meant to resemble calculators, which work in the same way.
Notepad App New Note PIN entered to uncover hidden apps.

8. Through Launcher Applications

Some Android home screen launchers, such as UI Launcher Lite, can be used to hide apps you don’t want others to see.

UI Launcher Lite app icon visible on Android home screen.
  1. After you install the UI Launcher Lite app, set it as your default launcher.
ULauncherLite application enabled as default launcher of Android home screen.
  1. Once inside the app, you’ll find a “Hide apps” menu.
ULiteLauncher Hide app menu on the Android phone home screen
  1. Click “Setting” inside Hide apps to view more options.
Hide apps setting in ULauncherLite app on Android home screen.
  1. As is common with such apps, you’ll need to set a password for the hide apps option.
Set password in ULauncherLite App's password manager.
  1. Stash away any apps you want to be hidden from the home screen by placing them inside the launcher’s menu.
Hide private apps inside ULiteLauncher App's private apps section.

 

In this article, we have covered how to find hidden apps on your android phone. Comment if you have any queries.

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