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Smartphones & gadgets

iPhone tip: How to hide apps from your home screen

With so many iOS apps available for download, things on your iPhone’s home screen can get chaotic fast. You don’t need to have every app on your home screen either, as it can be neatly organized into folders.

While creating folders is a good option, sometimes you want to hide the apps or folders from others. This will come in handy if you share your phone with someone else or you have kids who like to tap on random buttons. Tap or click here for the five best iPhone security settings and tricks you haven’t tried.

Whatever the reason might be, adding a layer of privacy is easy to do in iOS 14. Here’s how you create a folder, move things around or hide apps on a home screen page.

Move apps on the home screen

As soon as an app is downloaded, the shortcut will be placed on the home screen. This can quickly get out of hand. Sure, you could go for the “hidden in plain sight” tactic, but we’d prefer to keep things neat.

RELATED: 10 new iPhone tricks you’ll use all the time

The best way to do that and hide apps from spying eyes is to create a folder. The great thing about iOS 14 is that a folder will automatically be created and named when you combine two similar apps.

For example, tap and hold an app until it vibrates and a small menu pops up. Tap Edit Home Screen and all the apps will start to wiggle. Touch and hold an app to select it, and from there, drag it to where you want it.

Hide apps in a folder

If you drag a game app over another mobile game, iOS 14 will automatically create a Games folder and put both titles inside it. This even works down to a category level, as dragging two strategy games over each other will create a Strategy Games folder.

Naturally, any app can be used to create a folder. While iOS 14 creates and names the folder for you, you can change the name to whatever you want.  Touch and hold the folder until the small menu pops up, and tap Rename.

Unfortunately, you can’t create a folder within another folder.

To move an app or folder to a different page, you would follow the same process. Touch and hold the folder until the small menu pops up, and then tap Edit Home Screen. Then, touch and hold the folder to select and drag it to the left or right of the screen. This will open a new page, and you simply drop the folder where you want it.

Hide an entire page

Another bonus for app and folder privacy on iOS 14 is hiding a home screen page. This is handy when you have some sensitive apps that you don’t want others to see.

RELATED: iPhone how-to: Remove the default apps you don’t use

You can hide as many pages as you want, and you can even delete an entire page of apps or folders in one action. Here’s how:

  • Touch and hold the home screen. The apps begin to jiggle.
  • Tap the dots at the bottom of the screen. Thumbnail images of your home screen pages appear with checkmarks below them.
  • To hide pages, tap to remove the checkmarks. To show hidden pages, tap to add the checkmarks.
  • Tap Done twice (on an iPhone with Face ID) or press the Home button twice (on an iPhone with a Home button).

If you are happy with your selection, tap Done in the top right-hand corner to save it.

With the extra home screen pages hidden, you can go from the first page of the home screen to the App Library (and back) with only one or two swipes.

Hide individual apps

If you want to hide apps one at a time, you can. Here’s how:

Hold down on an app until a menu of options appears and tap Remove App. Another menu appears and you’ll tap Remove from Home Screen. That’s it. The app no longer shows on your home screen.

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