How to Hide Apps on an iPhone

If your home screen is unorganized and hard to navigate, learn how to hide apps on the iPhone so the ones you don't use often are out of the way.

Nothing is more annoying than having a crowded, messy home screen on your phone—well, maybe having your email app says that you have 14,387 unread emails. After you’ve gone through your email and you want to organize your home screen—or just hide a few embarrassing apps that you don’t want people to see—you can use a convenient iOS feature that lets you hide apps on your iPhone. If you don’t want to permanently delete iPhone apps, follow the steps below to learn how to hide apps—it’s one of the key iPhone tricks that will make your life easier. Also, if you’re curious, here’s how to retrieve deleted text messages on an iPhone.

How to hide apps on iPhone

To hide apps on the iPhone you have to create a folder for a few apps and push the apps you want hidden (maybe a dating app or a game that you’re a little too old to be playing) to the second page of the folder. Then, the apps won’t be visible on your home screen. The process is really simple. If all of your apps are taking up too much space, here’s how to free up storage on your smartphone.

iphone screenshotsvia iPhone (3)

  1. First, create a folder. You do this by tapping and holding down on an app and dragging it on top of another app. This will create a folder with those two apps. Once you see that the folder has been created, you can release the app. You can add as many apps to the folder that you want. The folder will be automatically named by your phone, but you can change this by clicking on the text above the folder after you create it.
  2. Now, drag the app that you want to hide into the folder you just created. Tap and hold the app to drag it into the new folder, just like you did in the last step to create the folder.
  3. If you wish to hide more than one app, drag it into the folder too.
  4. Next, open the folder and tap and hold the app you want to hide. While keeping your finger on it, drag it to the right side of the folder. A new page of the folder will be created and your app will move to it. Let go of the app to make it stay on the second page of the folder.
  5. Repeat step 4 for all of the apps you want hidden. As you create more pages in your folder you’ll see multiple dots appear at the bottom of the screen. Those dots indicate how many pages are in your folder and you can swipe right or left to navigate between them.
  6. Then, when you return to your home screen, only the apps on the first page of the folder will be visible. Watch out for these red flags that someone is tracking your cell phone.

How to hide apps with the new iOS 14 update

Apple’s latest software takes hiding apps a step further and allows you to hide entire app pages for a simpler and cleaner iPhone interface.

  1. Tap and hold down (or long-press) on a blank area of your screen.
  2. When the widgets start to wiggle tap the app page dot icons at the bottom of the screen. All of your app pages will then appear on your screen.
  3. Click the circle with the check mark under the app page you want to hide so that it is unchecked.
  4. Tap Done in the top right hand corner to save your changes.

Now, the app page won’t appear when you swipe through the pages on your homescreen. You can reverse this feature at any time by repeating the steps above and checking off the app page that was hidden. By the way, did you know you can also hide text messages on your phone? Here’s how to hide messages on an iPhone so your conversations stay private.

And just like that your home screen is clean, and no nosey people staring over your shoulder will be able to see the apps you don’t want to admit having. If you change your mind at any point you can move the apps out of the folder or rearrange their order however you like. You can also learn how to lock apps on an iPhone to keep your activity private. And speaking of privacy—make sure you read this if you’ve ever wondered “is WhatsApp safe?”

Now that you know how to hide apps, check out these 17 hidden iPhone hacks you never knew about. And as another bonus, here’s how to see (and delete) your iPhone call history.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.