How to Hide App Icons on iPhone

You may not want others to see some of the apps that you have on your iPhone. Or, you may not want someone like a child to use one of your apps. For example, you may not want your child to send messages to your boss. There are a couple of different ways you can do this on your iPhone, and these methods will work on your iPad too.

The two methods for hiding your app icons on your iPhone will not uninstall the apps on your phone. You can use either method or both; it just depends on what will work best for your situation.

Hide app icons from your Home screen

You can hide apps from your Home screen by removing them without deleting them. This became possible when the App Library was introduced in iOS 14. When you remove an app from your Home Screen, it is still available in the App Library.

remove app from Home Screen

To remove an app from your Home screen:

  1. Press and hold on the app icon until a menu appears.
  2. Tap on Remove App.
  3. There are different sets of choices you will be presented with in the menu. You may or may not see the option “Delete App” because some Apple apps can not be deleted – but that is not what we want to do anyway. Tap on Remove from Home Screen.

After you remove your app from the Home screen, you will need to go to the App Library to find it again. To find your app in the App Library:

  1. Swipe left on your Home screens until the App Library appears.
  2. Either look for the app icon in one of the categories or type the app name in the search field.
  3. Tap on the app to open it.

Hide entire Home screens

You can also choose to hide entire Home screens. This can be especially useful if you are allowing a child to use your iPhone. In fact, you can take this further and create a Home screen or two with just child-friendly apps. Although the ability to create custom Home screens has been around for a long time, the ability to hide some of those screens became possible with iOS 15. The first step is to arrange your Home screens. We’ll use the example of hiding Home screens in order to safely (for your apps anyway) allow a child to use your iPhone.

Arrange your Home screens

Create Home screens with only the apps you would like the child to be able to access. Note: You can put apps on more than one screen; you don’t have to choose which screen to put the app on.

  • Move apps to another Home screen by pressing on the app icon until the menu appears. Keep your finger pressed on the app icon and slide the icon off the right or left side of the screen to take it to another screen. New, empty screens are available to the right of all other Home screens.
  • You can create many copies of an app icon. To duplicate an app icon, you will need to go to the App Library:
    1. Swipe left on Home screens until the App Library appears.
    2. Find the app by searching through the categories you see or by typing the app name in the search field.
    3. When you find the app in the App Library, press and hold on the app and slide it off the left side of the screen.
    4. Your Home screens will appear, and you can place the app icon.

Hide some of your Home screens

You can hide some of your Home screens and later unhide them. It really doesn’t take too much time to do so it’s a reasonable thing to do regularly.

hide or show home screens

To hide Home screens:

  1. On any Home screen, tap and hold on an empty space until the icons start to wiggle.
  2. Tap on the row of dots above your Dock. A page will open where you can arrange, show/hide or delete Home screens.
  3. The Home screens that are visible will have a checkmark underneath them. For the screens you want to hide, tap on the checkmark underneath them to deselect them. If you tap on the minus sign at the top of a Home screen, it will delete the Home Screen. However, all apps from that Home screen will remain in your App Library.
  4. Tap Done in the upper-right corner of the screen. Now only the check-marked screens will show.
  5. To show Home screens again, repeat the process – only this time, check the screens you want to make visible again.

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Dr. Stacey Butler is a tech writer at macReports covering news, how-tos, and user guides. She is a longtime Mac and iPhone user and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Here is her LinkedIn profile.

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