Once upon a time, you had two choices when it came to having an app on your iPhone’s home screens: you could keep it installed and leave it there, or you could completely uninstall it to get rid of it. That is, unless it was one of Apple’s first-party offerings, in which case you were pretty much stuck with it whether you ever planned to use it or not.
Luckily, with age comes wisdom. Apple eventually realized that it should actually let its iPhone owners decide what they did and didn’t want filling up the confines of their home screens. Not only does this mean you can now hide infrequently-used apps, but you can even remove first-party Apple apps you’ll never, ever use from your precious home screen pages — although you still can’t uninstall them completely.
Unfortunately, despite how easy it is to do this, many users remain unaware it’s even an option. Let us show you how to quickly and easily hide apps from your iPhone’s home screen without uninstalling them.
How to hide apps on your iPhone
- You need: An iPhone running iOS 14 or newer
- Estimated time: 1-5 minutes, depending on how many apps you want to hide
Method 1: Hiding one app at a time
1. Press and hold on the app you’d like to hide
Find the app you want to hide, press it and hold it until you get the tactile cue your iPhone provides for long-press actions. This will produce a pop-out menu with a bunch of options, which will vary depending on the app in question. The option you need is the only one in red: Remove App. Tap it.
2. Confirm you want to hide the app
Remove app is the same function you can use to completely uninstall an app. However, we’re just focused on hiding the app while keeping it installed, so you’ll instead want to tap Remove from Home Screen. This will leave the app in question installed on your iPhone but will remove its icon from your home screen or any folders located on your home screens. We’ll show you how to find the app and add it back to your home screen below.
Method 2: Hiding Multiple apps at once
1. Press and hold on a blank space on any home screen page
If you’re looking to hide several apps, there’s a slightly faster way to do it and it’s the same method you’d use to move around apps. The quickest way to enter the mode we need is to press and hold on any blank part of any home screen page. This will set your apps to jiggling in an animation that’s been around since the olden days of iOS. It will also add a circular – icon to the top left corner of each. Find the first app you want to hide and tap the – on it.
2. Confirm you want to hide the app
This will produce the same dialogue seen in Step 2 of Method 1. Just like in that method, you’ll want to tap Remove from Home Screen to hide the app. Once it’s removed, you’ll be returned to the home screen with the apps still jiggling. Repeat the same process of tapping the – and Remove from Home Screen for each app you want to remove. When you’re done, you can exit this app editing mode by either clicking your home button (for iPhone models with a physical home button) or swiping up from the bottom of your display (for iPhone models without a physical home button).
Finding hidden apps and returning them to your home screen
Since the whole point of hiding an app, instead of uninstalling it, is to have it around when you need it, it’s important to learn how to find it and bring it back to your home screen.
1. Open your App Library
The App Library can be found by swiping all the way to the right, through and past all of your home screen pages. You’ll know you’ve found it when you see a list of apps, without names, organized into squares with a search bar at the top that helpfully read “App Library.”
2. Find your app
There are multiple ways to do this. You can browse the categories you’re immediately presented with. But, it is usually faster to just tap the App Library search bar at the top. Doing this will show you an alphabetized list (seen above) of all of your installed apps, including any hidden ones. You can either begin typing in the name of the app you’re looking for until iOS surfaces it, or you can simply scroll through the list to find it. If you just need to use it once, you can tap it to open it from the App Library. If, however, you’d like to re-add it to a home screen for recurring use, proceed to step 3.
3. Re-add the hidden app to your home screen
If you’d like to return a hidden app to your home screen, press and hold on the app icon itself, not the grey bar to its right. Doing this will create another pop-out menu with an Add to Home Screen option. Tapping this will drop the app back into the first open slot on your earliest home screen page. Alternatively, you can also tap, hold, and drag the app icon, which will let you place it in a specific spot of your choosing.