Hide apps on Xiaomi phones

There are plenty of reasons why you’d like to hide apps, photos, and other files on your Android device. Maybe you’ve got some pictures you’d really prefer your mother doesn’t see if she needs to borrow your phone. Maybe you have some private documents that contain sensitive personal information. Maybe you have apps that aren’t child friendly enough for you to feel safe handing over your phone to your nephew so he can play Angry Birds.

Whatever the reason, there are plenty of options when it comes to hiding content on your phone. We’ll look at the ones you can use on any Android phone as well as those that are available on Samsung, OnePlus, and other popular handsets.

1. How to hide apps on any Android phone

You can easily hide apps on any phone with the two methods below, regardless of which brand you’re using. The first one is suitable for hiding pre-installed apps you don’t use as well as hiding the apps you do use but want to make sure no one but you sees.

The second method, on the other hand, is a lot more limited. It only works with system apps, which are pre-installed apps that can’t be uninstalled. But it requires less work and won’t change the look and feel of your Android phone like the first method.

Use Nova Launcher

A photo of Nova Launcher, one of the best premium apps and paid apps for android

A lot of Android launchers allow you to hide apps with just a few taps. The one we recommend using is Nova Launcher because it packs plenty of features and is blazingly fast. The only problem is that you need to upgrade to the Prime version of the app to get the job done, as you can’t hide apps with the free version. If you’re into customization and want a stock-like experience on your smartphone, it’s worth paying a few bucks to get the app — download it here.

Once you install Nova Launcher Prime from the Play Store, set it as the default launcher on your phone. Once that’s done, head into the app drawer and open the Nova Settings app. Then head to App drawer > Hide apps and check the box next to the apps you want to hide. That’s it!

Don’t worry, you can still use the apps even when they are hidden. Just open the app drawer, type the name of the app in the search box up top, and launch it when it shows up.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Download Nova Launcher Prime.
  2. Set it as your default launcher.
  3. Open the Nova Settings app.
  4. Head to App drawer > Hide apps.
  5. Check the box next to the apps you want to hide.
  6. To use the app, type its name in the search box in the app drawer.

Keep in mind that the ability to hide apps is just one of the many features offered by Nova Launcher. The launcher will change the looks and feel of your Android UI, which means it’s not for everyone.

If you want a free alternative to Nova Launcher Prime, we suggest you go with Apex Launcher. It’s not as good overall, but it lets you hide apps without spending a dime — download it here.


Disable apps in the settings

Disable App Prompt

You can remove/hide apps from the app drawer by disabling them, which also means you won’t be able to use them. However, this method can only be used with system apps — apps that are preinstalled on your phone and can’t be deleted. You can’t disable an app you’ve downloaded from the Play Store.

To disable an app, head into the settings of your device, select the “Apps & notifications” option, and then tap “See all apps.” Find and open the app you want to hide and tap “Disable” followed by “Disable app.” Keep in mind that the exact path to these settings may slightly differ based on your phone and Android version.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your phone.
  2. Select the “Apps & notifications” option.
  3. Tap “See all apps.”
  4. Find and open the app you want to hide.
  5. Tap “Disable” followed by “Disable app.”

2. How to hide apps on phones from Samsung, OnePlus…

A lot of phones have a built-in feature that allows you to hide apps that are for your eyes only. We won’t list instructions for every brand out there, but we will show you how to get the job done on Samsung, OnePlus, LG, Xiaomi, and Huawei/Honor phones.

Keep in mind that not every phone from the brands mentioned supports the ability to hide apps. If you have an older device running an older version of Android, the feature may not be available. The path to the feature may also slightly differ based on your handset and OS version.

How to hide apps on OnePlus phones?

OnePlus 7T hidden space for hiding apps

The Hidden Space feature allows you to hide apps on OnePlus phones. To access it, open up the app drawer and then swipe right. From there, tap the “+” icon, select the apps you want to hide, and tap the checkmark to get the job done.

You can also set up a password/fingerprint protection to make sure you’re the only one who can access the Hidden Space folder. To do so, tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots), select “Enable password,” and then follow on-screen instructions.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Swipe right to access the Hidden Space folder.
  3. Tap the “+” icon in the top-right corner.
  4. Select the apps you want to hide.
  5. Tap the checkmark in the top-right corner.

How to hide apps on Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S20 Display 2

Hiding apps on a Samsung phone is a breeze. Open the app drawer, tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots), and select the “Home Screen Settings” option. The next step is to find and tap the “Hide app” option, after which a list of apps will pop up on the screen. Select the apps you want to hide and tap “Apply” to finish the job.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots).
  3. Select the “Home Screen Settings” option.
  4. Find and tap the “Hide app” option.
  5. Select the apps you want to hide.
  6. Tap the “Apply” option.

How to hide apps on Huawei phones

Huawei logo P40 Pro

You can hide apps on Huawei/Honor phones by using a feature called PrivateSpace. It lets you create a new “space” or account on your phone with different apps, files, etc. You can access it by unlocking the phone with the fingerprint you assigned to the new space you’ve created.

The first thing to do is set up PrivateSpace. Head to Settings > Security & privacy > PrivateSpace and follow on-screen instructions. Once that’s set up, unlock the phone with the fingerprint scanner you’ve selected during the setup and download the apps you want to hide. That way, those apps will only be available in the separate space and won’t show up in your main account.

However, you can’t transfer apps from one space to another. This means that to hide apps, you’ll have to delete them from your main space and then download them to your PrivateSpace. It’s a bit of a pain, but it won’t take a whole lot of time.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Head to Settings > Security & privacy > PrivateSpace.
  2. Follow on-screen instructions to set up PrivateSpace.
  3. Unlock the phone with the assigned fingerprint to access PrivateSpace.
  4. Download any apps you want to keep private.

How to hide apps on Xiaomi phones

Hide apps on Xiaomi phones

To hide apps on your Xiaomi phone, you first have to enable the feature. You can do that by going to Settings > App lock and then tapping the gear icon in the top-right corner. The next step is to scroll down, toggle on the “Hidden apps” option, and then tap “Manage hidden apps” just below it. A list of apps will show up and all you have to do is tap on the ones you want to hide. That’s all there is to it.

To get access to the hidden apps, pinch out on the home screen and then use your fingerprint to unlock the folder.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Head to Settings > App lock and tap the gear icon.
  2. Toggle on the “Hidden apps” option.
  3. Tap the “Manage hidden apps” option.
  4. Select the apps you want to hide.

How to hide apps on LG phones

LG V60 apps

There are two ways you can hide apps on your LG phone. The first one is used if you don’t have an app drawer enabled, while the second one comes into play if you do. Let’s start with the former.

Open the settings on your phone and tap the “Home screen” option located under the “Display” tab. Alternatively, you can also long-press on the home screen and select the “Home screen settings” option to speed things up. The next step is to open the “Hide apps” menu, tap the apps you want to hide, and then select the “Done” option.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Long-press on the home screen.
  2. Select the “Home screen settings” option.
  3. Tap “Hide apps.”
  4. Select the apps you want to hide.
  5. Tap the “Done” option.

If you have the app drawer enabled, the process is a bit different. You won’t find the “Hide apps” option in the settings. Instead, what you have to do is open the app drawer, tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots), and then select the “Hide apps” option. From there, select the apps you want to hide and tap “Done.”

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the app drawer.
  2. Tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots).
  3. Select the “Hide apps” options.
  4. Select the apps you want to hide.
  5. Tap the “Done” option.

3. How to hide photos and hide files on any Android phone

Just like with hiding apps, we’ll show you two methods for hiding photos and files that can be used on any phone. Both get the job done but in very different ways.

The two methods require you to download an app from the Play Store, but the good news is that both of them are free.

Use the GalleryVault app

GalleryVault for hiding files and images

As you can tell by its name, this app serves as a vault for your images as well as other files. You can move the files that are for your eyes only from your gallery and other apps into GalleryVault, where you can access them with a pin code or your fingerprint. It’s a free app — get it here — but it is supported by ads that can get annoying.

After you download the app, make an account, and tap the “+” button in the bottom-right corner. Select whether you want to add pictures and videos or any other files. Then just select the files you want to keep safe, tap “Add,” and select the folder you want to place them in. That’s all there is to it!

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Download the GalleryVault app and make an account.
  2. Launch the app and press the “+” button in the bottom-right corner.
  3. Select the type of file you want to add to the vault (images, files…).
  4. Select the files.
  5. Tap the “Add” option.
  6. Select the folder you want the files placed in.

Use AppLock

AppLock for hiding files and images

If you don’t want to move images and other files from one place to another, an app like AppLock is a better choice for you. It allows you to lock any app on your phone and access it with your fingerprint. For example, you can lock the Gallery and Google Photos apps, so even if someone does play around with your phone, they can’t see the photos and files you have on your phone since the apps are locked.

To get started, download AppLock from the Play Store, open it, and then follow on-screen instructions to set it up. To lock an app, scroll down until you see a list of apps that are on your phone and then just tap the ones you want to protect. We also suggest that you enable the fingerprint lock to avoid using a pattern that’s set by default. You can do that by heading to the “Protect” tab within the app and then tapping the “Fingerprint Lock” option.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Download AppLock and set it up.
  2. Scroll down and tap the apps you want to protect.
  3. Enable “Fingerprint Lock” under the “Protect” tab.

4. How to hide pictures and files on phones from Samsung, OnePlus…

Depending on your phone, you may have the option to hide files and images without downloading third-party apps. This feature is built into phones made by Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, Huawei, LG, Samsung, and many others. Check out the detailed instructions for the brands mentioned below.

How to hide pictures and files on OnePlus phones?

OnePlus logo 1

OnePlus has a great feature called Lockbox that’s buried so deep a lot of people don’t know about it. To access it, you have to open the File Manager app and then you’ll see it at the bottom.

You can move files to Lockbox within the File Manager app. Tap on Documents, Images, Videos, or Audio depending on the type of file you want to move, long-press on a file, and then tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots) followed by “Move to Lockbox.”

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the File Manager app.
  2. Open the folder of choice (Documents, Images…).
  3. Long-press on a file you want to hide.
  4. Tap the icon in the top-right corner (three vertical dots).
  5. Tap “Move to Lockbox” to finish the job.

How to hide photos and files on Samsung phones

Hide images and files on Samsung phones

Secure Folder is one of the best features available on Samsung phones and allows you to hide photos and all sorts of other files. The app should be pre-installed on your device, but you’ll need a Samsung account to use it — sign up here.

Once you’re signed in, tap the “Add files” option on top and choose whether you want to add in images, videos, documents, or audio. Then select the files you want to protect, tap “Done,” and choose the “Move” option. This means the files will be sent to Secure Folder and deleted from their original locations.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Launch the Samsung Secure Folder app.
  2. Tap the “Add files” option on top of the screen.
  3. Choose whether you want to add in images, videos, documents, or audio.
  4. Select the files you want to add to Samsung Secure Folder and tap “Done.”
  5. Select the “Move” option.

How to hide photos and files on Huawei phones

Huawei P40 Pro Huawei logo boot screen

You can hide files and pictures on Huawei phones by using the built-in safe. The feature can be found by heading to Settings > Security & privacy > Safe. Once you’re in the safe, all you have to do is tap the “Add” button at the bottom of the screen, select the type of file you want to hide (image, video, audio…), select the files, and tap the “Add” button again.

The safe is password/fingerprint protected to make sure only the owner of the phone can access its content.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Head to Settings > Security & privacy > Safe.
  2. Tap the “Add” button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Select the type of files you want to hide (image, video, audio…).
  4. Select the files.
  5. Tap the “Add” button again.

How to hide files and pictures on Xiaomi phones

Xiaomi Mi 9 Pro 5G boot screen

Just like with OnePlus phones, you have to open the File Manager app on a Xiaomi phone if you wish to hide photos and files. There are other ways of doing it, but this is the best one.

Once you’re in the File Manager app, select a folder or a file (image, document, video…) that you want to hide by long-pressing it. Then tap then “More” button that shows up at the bottom of the screen and select the “Hide” option. The next step is to follow on-screen instructions to set up a password that you’ll use to get access to the files you’ve hidden.

To see the hidden images and files, open the File Manager app and pull down to refresh the app. After that, use your fingerprint or password to gain access to the files.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the File Manager app.
  2. Long-press on a file/folder you want to hide.
  3. Tap the “More” button.
  4. Select the “Hide” option.
  5. Follow on-screen instructions (set up a password…).

How to hide photos and files on LG phones

LG G8X ThinQ Review home screens standing

You can hide photos on your LG phone from within the Gallery app. Launch the app, tap the photo you want to hide, and then tap the icon in the upper-right corner (three vertical dots). All that’s left to do is to select the “Lock” option and you’re good to go.

To get access to the images you’ve hidden, head into the Gallery app, tap the icon in the upper-right corner (three vertical dots), and select “Show locked files.” You’ll have to punch in your password or use your fingerprint to get access to them.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Open the Gallery app.
  2. Tap the photo you want to hide.
  3. Tap the icon in the upper-right corner (three vertical dots).
  4. Tap the “Lock” option.

There you have it — that’s how you can hide photos, apps, and other files on Android phones. Would you like us to add more brands to the post? Let us know which ones in the comments!

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