Smartphones have become an integral part of our lives. It wouldn’t be wrong if we considered our mobile phones to be an extension of our identity. We have all kinds of information and data saved on our phone. Some of which are private and sensitive. It is also a means to access various accounts and apps that control our online presence. In fact, our smartphones are an extremely personal and private device. It is not just uncomfortable but also unsafe when someone else uses our phones. They could snoop around and stumble upon confidential files, personal photos, and sensitive age-restricted apps. If this person has malicious intent, then he/she can impersonate you with the help of your device. Making posts from your accounts, making online transactions, purchasing things and even getting access to your bank accounts.
Due to this reason, it is very important to safeguard your smartphone and its contents from unauthorized access. Apart from the basic phone lock, it is always advisable to add additional layers of security to protect your privacy. You need to prevent others from using certain apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc. which contain private information. You also need to hide some of your photos or videos that are private and not suitable for others to see. There are several ways in which you can ensure your privacy and hide your files and apps on Android smartphones. In this article, we are going to discuss some of these useful methods.
How to Hide Files and Apps on Android
Hiding Files using In-built Security Options
Although, it isn’t much but most Android smartphones have in-built security features that allow you to hide files and apps. This is usually in the form of a secure folder or a safe like storage space. This folder can be used all your private and confidential files, images, videos, and audio files. The content can be password protected and thus preventing anyone else to access them. It is an effective way to prevent kids or other family members coming across content that is not suitable or safe for them. This feature is generally present in Android 7.0 or higher. In case you are using an old version, you can use the Private mode option.
The location if this secure folder or safe differs from device to device. For some Android devices, this is present as a separate app in the app drawer while for others it is a part of the File Manager. It can also be an extension to the Gallery app on your smartphone. If you are unable to find one, try searching for it on Google. Enter the model of your smartphone and read about its in-built file hiding options.
Hide Files & Apps using the Guest Mode
If you have to give your phone to someone else (for e.g. your nephew to play games or your parents to watch a movie) then you can make use of the Guest mode. It creates a new profile on your phone just like creating different user profiles on a computer for different people. The Guest mode will consist of only the in-built apps. You can also add other apps like games and streaming apps if you like. It will prevent other people to access other apps and files on your phone. The media files stored in the phone will not be displayed while using the Guest mode.
You can easily set up the guest mode and customize it according to your preference. You can add or remove apps that you wish others to access. You can even set up more than one profile and allow people using these profiles to save data. This way you can share your phone with your kids and they can save their personal data on this profile. It is also super easy to switch between the normal and guest profiles. Once the need is over, you can very conveniently remove the guest profile along with the apps and data saved on it.
Also Read: 3 Ways to Hide Apps on Android Without Root
Hide Files using the Kids Mode
As the name suggests, this is a special mode for kids that exists on almost all Android smartphones. You can control what apps the kid has access to. You can also monitor their usage history to ensure that they are not downloading apps or viewing content that is not suitable for them. You can implement parental control on the things that they are doing on the internet. This is to make sure that your kid has a safe browsing environment and you can be at ease when you hand over your phone to them. In case you don’t have a dedicated Kids mode on your phone, you can easily download the Zoodles Kids mode app from the Playstore. It is an effective and efficient way to hide your files and apps from kids.
Hide File & Apps on Android using Third-Party Apps
This is the best way to hide both your apps and your personal data. There are a lot of apps available on the Play Store that allow you to password-protect your apps and provide a safe vault for your hidden files. It adds an additional layer of security to your phone. Here is a list of some of the best apps that will help you to hide files and apps.
1. App Lock
This is probably one of the most popular apps locks is available on the Play Store that helps you to prevent other people from using your apps. It also has a vault that allows you to hide photos and videos. App Lock can also help you to hide these apps. It is visible only when you type in a specific code in the dialer section of your phone. Another useful feature of App Lock is that it prevents others from uninstalling any app. It requires the proper password to take any such action.
Using this app is pretty simple. Once you download and install the file, simply select the apps that you wish to hide/lock. After that, you need to set a password or fingerprint lock that would be needed every time you open these apps.
There is also a similar version of this app called the App Lock Fingerprint. It is kind of redundant as you can set up fingerprint lock for both the apps. One additional feature of the latter is that it can capture a photo of the person trying to access your hidden/locked apps and files.
2. Nova Launcher
Nova Launcher is a very versatile and useful app that is available on Play Store. One of its many useful features is that it can hide apps. This, however, is a part of its pro package and comes with a small additional fee. With this feature, you can select any number of apps from the app drawer and hide them. These selected apps will not be visible to others.
However, if you do not wish to spend money on getting the pro version, you can also use the free version to hide apps by disguising them. Nova Launcher allows you to edit and modify apps. It allows you to change their name and also their icon to match the name. In this way, you can make an app look like a plain and simple system app that wouldn’t draw any attention. It is a clever and effective way to hide apps in plain sight.
3. Hide It Pro
Another very interesting app that allows you to secretly hide apps and files is Hide It Pro. This app when installed appears in the app drawer by the name of Audio Manager. When opened, it would have various audio settings. In order to open the secret hidden section of the app, you will have to tap and hold the logo of Audio Manager. Doing so will take you to a secret vault where you can store photos, videos, files, apps, etc. You can even choose to password-protect the vault just in case. It also has an in-built browser that allows you to do incognito browsing.
4. Apex Launcher
Apex Launcher is free software available on Play Store. It is a great solution for hiding apps and personal files. It provides a lot of features that ensure that your privacy is maintained. In order to access the feature to hide apps, long-press the home button and then click on the Settings option. Here, you will find the option of Hidden apps. You can add whichever apps you wish to hide. All these apps would be password protected. You can choose to prevent these apps from showing up when searched for.
That’s it, I hope the above guide was helpful and you were able to hide files and apps on your Android device. But if you still have any queries regarding this tutorial then feel free to ask them in the comment section.