1. Use a third party application
The easiest method is to install a third-party application created specifically for this purpose. These "app hide apps" can help you change the names and icons of the apps on your screen or hide apps entirely. Some of them can be discreetly camouflaged as other types of applications, such as a calculator or calendar.
Available in free and paid versions, Nova Launcher is the replacement for the home screen of anyone who wants to personalize their user experience. We like that it does not require access to the root of the phone, so you don't have to provide complete control over your device. After installing Nova and setting it as your default application launcher, you can edit the names and icons of your applications in the application drawer to take the look you want.
Swipe up to open the app drawer, tap and hold the app you want to edit, and select Edit.
Rename the app to your preference, then tap Done. You can also edit the application icon by tapping it.
The paid version of Nova Launcher allows you to hide applications in your application drawer, although it will be reachable if someone knows what to look for.
App Hider is another popular free (ad supported) option that, as the name suggests, will help you hide the apps you select. As an extra, it also hides itself as a calculator. Anyone who occasionally holds their phone in their hands will be much less likely to suspect the move.
Install and open App Hider, then tap the + icon to select the app you want to hide.
For this quick example, we have decided to hide Slack. Leave your job at work!
Once the selected application has been imported into App Hider, touch it in the App Hider menu to hide it or run it multiple times with the Dual function.
You can also camouflage App Hider as a calculator from the menu of the application itself.
You will be asked to set a PIN. When you enter this PIN in the Calculator + app, the App Hider will open. Otherwise, it will behave like a fully functional calculator.
Going back to our app drawer, we will see that App Hider has disappeared and has been replaced by the apparently innocent Calculator +.
2. Create a guest account or use your phone in private mode
Instead of installing a third-party app to hide apps, you can go the normal Android route, with a guest account. It's a bit more cumbersome and eye-catching, as it involves switching to the guest account every time you share your phone, and it's probably not the best option for staying top-secret; Although it is an effective solution for parents who want to keep their phones childproof.
The process may vary slightly depending on the Android version and the manufacturer of your phone, and is not available for all Android versions, especially the newer ones. Some manufacturers offer their own snooper-proof "take my phone" version. Samsung Galaxy A11, running Android 8.0 Oreo, offers something called Private Mode that allows you to prevent unauthorized users from viewing the files and content you select. So how it works:
- Swipe down to open the app drawer, then tap the gear icon to open Settings.
- Scroll down and tap the Lock screen and security.
- Scroll through the options until you find Private Mode, then tap it.
- Activate Private Mode with the switch on the right.
- Select the way to access the Private Mode: pattern, PIN, password or fingerprint.
After configuring the desired access mode, you can enable or disable Private Mode as needed. The selected content will only be available to users who can activate Private Mode. If you're going to lend your phone to someone you don't trust, just deactivate it again to protect its secrets.