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How To Find Hidden Apps On Android in 2021

Smartphones have become essential – no longer just luxurious – equipment. After all, such electronic gadgets are packed with various tools and features that could significantly help users with their everyday routines and usual errands. Aside from the built-in functionalities, there’s also a myriad of downloadable third-party mobile applications available on the market. From social to entertainment to lifestyle to education – there seems to be an app for everything.

Since every application has its specific and unique purposes, these could be utilized and kept by users differently. While some users don’t mind how their applications are organized, others may go the extra mile of securing well-hidden apps on phones. Some prefer to show all apps on their Home Screen while others opt to keep secret apps. If, for some reason, you have to find hidden apps on your or someone else’s mobile device, read on as we’ll be sharing some efficient ways on how to find hidden apps on Android. 


Understanding Hidden & Secret Apps on Android

There could be varying reasons for secret Android apps or hidden mobile applications – why users might want to opt to keep their phone tools from their main screen. Before we further discuss those, let’s first understand how Android screens and folders work.

By default, Android phones in general, offer a home screen that houses a list of the installed apps and widgets. In most cases, the screen extends horizontally, showing default and installed applications. Hence, if you’re finding hidden apps on Android, it helps to start by swiping left and right from the main screen to be able to browse through everything. Such app icons and utility tools could also be found on the phone’s App Drawer (which will be discussed later on) or in folders (if the owner opted to sort their apps by folders).

In this article, we’ll be sharing the step-by-step process on how to find hidden apps on Android via the App Drawer, how to find hidden spy apps on Android through the built-in Android Settings, and how to find hidden apps on Android using a third-party application. However, before we proceed on how to find hidden apps, let’s first understand why users would want to hide an app in the first place.

  • To keep their privacy.

Secret apps aren’t always harmful. In some cases, users prefer secrecy merely to protect their own privacy. For instance, young adults who are into online dating might choose to hide the dating apps they utilize for the sake of preventing other people (especially those who wouldn’t dare to understand) from knowing they utilize such apps or engage in virtual dating. 

  • To ensure data security.

Some hidden/secret apps for Android could be because of the owner’s desire or commitment to ensure data security. This is specifically true for apps containing confidential and sensitive information – like online banking, virtual businesses, or homeschooling apps.

  • To prevent or control addiction. 

Like any other technological innovation, mobile applications – especially those utilized for entertainment – could be addictive. Hence, users who are consciously aware they have tendencies to relapse when utilizing such apps might prefer to hide them from their main screen to train their brain to forget about them. 

  • To secretly monitor activities.

Some secret apps for Android are considered to be malware or are taken negatively. Spy apps, for instance, are typically secretly installed to anonymously track the online activities of a loved one (typically a minor child) or monitor employee usage of company-issued devices. Such hidden spyware is utilized to protect the user, as well as the data stored or exchanged in the device.


Android Secret Apps: Ways on How to Find Hidden Apps on Android

How to Find Secret Apps on Android via the App Drawer

In the same way there are different purposes of wanting to keep hidden/secret apps for Android, there could also be varying reasons why one might want to unhide apps on Android or learn how to find hidden spy apps on Android. 

Parents, for instance, might wish to show hidden apps on their teens’ gadgets to see to it they’re not engaging in age-inappropriate activities like sexting. Finding hidden apps on Android devices issued by the company could also greatly help employers ensure these are only utilized for work-related activities. Spouses might also wish to find ways on how to find hidden spy apps on Android to make sure they’re not being spied on by their partners, invading their privacy.

Whatever the reason or purpose may be, it is possible for Android users to find hidden apps. There are three efficient ways on how to find hidden spy apps on Android.

How to Find Secret Apps on Android via the App Drawer

Android’s Home Screen doesn’t show every single app available on an Android phone. Fret not as there’s a way to reveal all mobile applications, including vault apps and, yes, even the hidden apps on my phone – the App Drawer. This is one of the most basic steps on how to find a hidden app on your or someone else’s phone. 

  1. Launch the App Drawer by tapping on the icon with two/three rows of dots or squares located at the middle-bottom or upper-right corner of the Home Screen.  
  2. Tap on the Menu icon (burger icon, three-dot icon, gear icon – depending on the Android’s version). Note that if this option cannot be found, there may not be hidden phone apps.
  3. Select Show hidden apps (applications). This should give you a list of mobile applications set to be hidden from the Home Screen and App Drawer. 
  4. Browse through the list to find hidden apps; for a more thorough finding hidden apps on Android, tap All.


How to See Hidden Apps on Android via Android Settings

Another way of finding hidden apps on Android is through the Settings page. This method is also an effective way on how to find hidden spy apps on Android or to reveal any hidden spyware working in the background without your knowledge. 

Here’s how to find hidden spy apps on Android via Android Settings.

  1. Launch the Android device’s Settings app by clicking on the Gear icon. Depending on the phone’s version, you can find this in the Home Screen, App Drawer, or on the corner part of the quick menu when you swipe up or swipe down your main screen.
  2. Scroll through the list of options to locate Apps or Applications, then tap on that selection.
  3. Tap All, All apps, or Apps to show the complete list of the available apps on the device.
  4. Tap Hidden or Disabled to show hidden apps then browse through the list to find hidden apps, built-in or third-party (this is also how to find hidden spy apps on Android).


How to View Hidden Apps on Android via Third-Party Application

Remember when we told you that in this digital age, there seems to be an app for everything? Well yes, as crazy as it may sound, there are also applications programmed to locate other applications. So, if you want a more accurate and convenient way on how to find hidden apps on Android, this could be your best bet.

Here’s how to find hidden spy apps on Android via third-party apps.

  1. Select a third-party secret app finder of your choice. There’s a myriad of choices of such apps in the market, including ES File Explorer, Calculator Vault, AppLock, and Apex Launcher.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to install and activate the software.
  3. Run the app and wait for any results, you may as well unhide apps on Android as well.


How to Find Hidden Files and Content on Android Phones

So there you go, the efficient methods on how to find hidden apps on android and the effective ways on how to unhide apps on Android. Note, however, that if you wish to check on your child’s or employee’s device, be mindful of hidden files as well. This could be word documents or PDFs containing pornographic material or proofs of illicit transactions.

Yes, aside from worrying about how to find hidden apps, you must also beware of hidden content. Here’s how. 

  1. Launch the File Manager by clicking on the Files app/ Folder icon.
  2. Tap the Menu icon that’s typically located in the upper-right corner of the screen.
  3. Select the Settings option.
  4. Choose Show hidden files.
  5. Go through the list of content and files that were set to be hidden. Note that if such options aren’t available in the device, it could mean there aren’t any hidden content or secret files. 


How to Hide Apps on Android 

There you have it – the steps on how to find hidden apps on Android via App Drawer, how to find spy apps on Android via Settings, how to find hidden apps on Android via third-party applications, and how to locate hidden content. At this point, let’s also learn how to hide apps on Android.

As previously mentioned, there could be varying reasons why an Android mobile phone user might want to keep certain applications from their main screen or app folders. Some do it merely for security, privacy, and/or to consciously control usage and intentionally hide activities from someone.

Whatever your purposes or intentions may be, here’s how to hide apps on Android. Note that there are various ways of hiding mobile applications, but we’ll be sharing with you the most straightforward and easiest way possible.

  1. Launch the Settings page by clicking on the Gear icon. (This can be found on the Home Screen, App Drawer, or the quick menu when you swipe up or down from the main screen.)
  2. Launch the Apps page by tapping on the Apps or Applications option.
  3. Browse through the list of available applications then select the specific app you wish to disable or hide.
  4. From the App Info page, select Hide or Disable.
  5. Confirm selection when prompted then the specific app will disappear from the Home Screen and App Drawer.
  6. Repeat the process should you have other mobile applications you also want to hide or disable. 


Smartphones are considered to be personal properties (except for company-issued devices). Hence, the owners have the right to customize and personalize their phones as they please, including their right to keep secret apps for Androids. So, while your intentions to find hidden apps are pure, like in the situations of parents, always proceed with extreme caution. Of course, you wouldn’t want your desire to find hidden apps and protect your kids to be the same reason for breaking their trust.

Related Article: How To Find Hidden Apps on an iPhone

About Pat S.
Blogger, writer, yoga enthusiast, and cell phone monitoring software expert.

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