Hide Photos and Apps on Your iPhone

Avatar of Zobia Akhtar
Illustration of 2 women hiding their apps from search on their iPhones

You don’t want everyone to see that you have downloaded a dating app? Or you have some photos on your phone, which you want to keep secret? No judgment, you probably have your reasons! We all have stuff on our phones that we would prefer to keep to ourselves.

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Have no worries, we are here! Here is how you hide the content you want to keep to yourself.

Hide Photos iPhone

Maybe you want to show your mom some pictures of your friends. Or show a coworker pictures of your dog. You might not want to show them all the photos you have. So, you can simply hide them.

Go to photos, and click on the video or the photo that you want to hide. Tap the share button with the upward arrow, and then tap Hide. You will need to confirm that you want to hide the photo or the video, and then you will be done.

Hide the Hidden Photos Album

The steps above are not foolproof, as your “Hidden” photos section can still be accessed under the “Photos” tab. Luckily, there is a way to hide the “Hidden” tab itself:

  1. Open your Settings, and select “Photos”.
  2. Scroll down, and turn the “Hidden Album” feature off.

Now, when you go to the Albums tab in the Photos section, you will see that the “Hidden Album will have disappeared.

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The Notes Application

Most people don’t know this, but there is also a way to password protect your videos, pictures, and other media too. Here is how:

  1. Open the image/media you wish to hide.
  2. From the middle taskbar, select “Add to Notes” followed by “Save”.
  3. Launch the notes application, and tap the note with the media.
  4. Select the share icon on the top right, after which you will see the “lock note” icon at the bottom.
  5. In case this is the first note you have hidden, decide on a password and hint, and then tap “done”.
  6. Once you tap the lock icon, the note will disappear and you will have to select “view note” and then enter the password to see it.
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After all this is done, make sure to delete the photo from your photos application!

A Few Sneaky Hacks

There are multiple ways to hide certain apps you don’t want people to see. We give you three alternatives.

A Quick Fix

A simple trick to hide apps is to place them in folders already containing a lot of apps. Your app will then disappear into the clutter.

Demanding but Oh-so-sneaky

Another way of doing this is to create invisible folders, which is somewhat cumbersome but we’ll walk you through it step by step. To create an invisible folder you have to start by creating an app that won’t be visible when it’s on the home screen.

  1. Open this link in Safari.
  2. Press the box with the arrow and select Add to Home Screen, which saves a white app.
  3. Go back to the link and save the image as a photo. Use this image as the background image on your phone. Go to Settings, Wallpaper, Choose a New Wallpaper, then choose the white image.
  4. Go to Settings and adjust the contrast on your phone. Increase the brightness to the point when you don’t see the app anymore. The only thing you will see is the title of the app but we’ll come to that.
  5. Tap and hold on to any icon until they all begin to jiggle.
  6. Move the invisible app on top of the app you want to hide, creating a folder.
  7. Let the invisible app be on the first page and move the app you want to hide to the next page in the folder by holding the app and dragging it to the right.
  8. Step out of the folder and you’ll see that it’s invisible, containing the invisible app. The last hurdle is to remove the name of the folder.
  9. All folders need a name, and iPhone automatically suggests a name when you create a folder. In order to make this folder invisible, you need to open this link. Copy the empty text between the two parentheses and paste it into the folder name. Voila! You finally have a truly invisible folder. It takes some work to get to this point but you can fill the second page of the folder of all sorts of secret apps.
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Semi-permanent Fix

A third alternative, which is a bit easier than the last one but more permanent (at least till you reboot your phone) is to:

  • Create a new folder
  • Move the apps you want to hide into that folder
  • Tap and hold on any icon until they all begin to jiggle
  • Grab any app in the folder and drag it to the right beyond the last tab in the folder
  • Push the home button while still holding the app icon and the folder will disappear.

Hide Your Search History

Finally, you can also choose to browse in private. Open Safari, click the page icon in the low right corner, tap Private. If you want to clear your search history, tap Settings, Safari and choose Clear History and Website Data. In case you always want to browse the internet in private, you can always download the DuckDuckGo search engine and use it instead of Safari. It never stores your search history.

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Another Hack – Applications

In case you find all the various work-arounds on the phone tricky or complicated, it’s all good. We have another option for you. There are a bunch of applications out there that you can use to keep content hidden. Here are a few of the most popular ones:

  • Secret Photo Safe: HiddenVault – HiddenVault allows you to safely store as many photos and videos as you want. It comes with three ways to secure your content. You can use the phone’s Touch ID, Face ID, or you can enter a PIN. The application also comes with a private cloud backup. The best part about this application is that you will have complete control over your date, the application will not have access to them.
  • Keepsafe: KeepSafe features a user-friendly PIN lock for which you need to type in a four-digit PIN to unlock it. It even has a private camera that allows you to take pictures and have them directly stored in the application due to which you don’t need to worry about any time wasted in importing pictures from the phone to the application.
  • SpyCalc: This application allows you to hide pictures behind a boring old calculator. It works like any other calculator, but also comes with a secret safe, where once you type in a specific combination, you will be able to access your photos. The disguise makes this application about as safe as it can possibly get.

You can hide Apps on your phone, but a search can dig them up once more. You should prevent them being searched for too, that way, your phone will be intruder proof.

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  1. Open settings.
  2. Go to Siri & Search.
  3. Scroll down to the app section and tap the app you want to hide.
  4. Toggle off the following: Suggest App, Show Content in Search, Learn from this App, Show App in Search, and both toggles labeled Suggest Shortcuts for App.

That’s it. Now your apps will not show up in search.

Hide App from App Store purchase history

A lot of iPhone users usually have family sharing enabled due to which their family members can see all the Apps they have purchased and downloaded. If you don’t want your family to be aware of everything you have on your phone, here is what you can do:

  1. Open the App Store
  2. Select the profile icon or your photo in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap Purchased, look for the App you wish to hide,
  4. Swipe left on the App, and tap on Hide.
  5. Once you have hidden all the Apps you have in mind, tap Done.

Hide Pre-Installed Apps

There are a number of Apps that come pre-installed within iPhones. You can delete them like a normal App to hide them, as their data is never deleted.

On the Home Screen, tap and hold the App you wish to hide. When the Action Menu appears, tap Delete App. In case you want any of these Apps back later, you can simply re-download them. When you use them, it will be like they were never deleted in the first place as the data was never lost.

All of us have secrets; we don’t want anyone to ever find them. Rest assured, we are here for you! The hacks in the article are all you need to make sure that your privacy remains intact.

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