How to Securely Hide Files and Apps on your Android Device
People often feel uncomfortable when they give their phone to someone and they start snooping around. Although it is an immoral and unethical act, people continue to do it. There are many things on your phone that you probably would not want anyone to see. It could be your personal or sensitive data. For instance, if you are a person that writes down passwords for your social media accounts because you tend to forget, you would not want anyone to stumble across them.
Smartphones are considered an extension of self. Technology has made these electronic gizmos a considerable part of our identity. We keep everything on our phone: email accounts, Facebook and other social media profiles, bank and card information. It is not hard for anyone to extract that information if others get their hands on your phone.
Additionally, there’s a chance that you have apps or media that you would not want your family looking at, whether it’s photos from a secret night out or apps that are not child-friendly. You obviously would not want your five-year-old niece or nephew to stumble on a shooting or assassination game. There are several motives for why people feel unsafe or uncomfortable handing out their phones.
Whatever your reason might be for hiding your content, many apps can help you achieve it. We have arranged a whole list of options that you can use to hide your files securely. Moreover, we also detailed the disadvantages and advantages of every option.
Secure Folder Option in Android
Many Android devices have a built-in option for a secure folder. The option can be used to hide away your documents, files, apps, images, and any other media you prefer to hide. The option is available on all Samsung devices. For Samsung devices, the option is available for Android 7.0 Nougat and above. For devices using older Android versions, there’s a Private Mode option. Moreover, you can down the Samsung Secure Folder app from Google Play Store for your device.
It is the perfect place to hide your media as it is guarded with the security features you use for unlocking your phone. It includes an iris scanner, fingerprint sensor, password, pattern, and pin options.
On Samsung devices, the app can be activated from the biometric and security option of the phone. Once you enter the security option, look for the secure folder, sign in or create your Samsung account (for non-Samsung users), select the option you wish to use to open the folder, and that is it! You are all done and ready.
The secure folder will be available to access in your app drawer. Then again, if you wish to hide the secure folder also, slide down your navigation bar and toggle off the secure folder option. It will remove the secure folder from your app drawer. You can turn the toggle on anytime you want to re-access the folder.
The guest mode option is similar to creating multiple profiles on your Windows Laptop or PC. The guest mode makes an entirely separate profile in your phone that only has built-in apps and apps you choose to display. It also hides away all your files, photos, and media in your original profile.
Not all Android devices support Guest mode. Let’s say a few lucky Android phones have this option available. The Guest mode option can be entered from the advanced feature in the System option. From there, you can access the multiple users option, set a guest profile, and customize it accordingly. Your main profile will be the same name as your Google Name.
You can enter the Guest mode by pressing the guest option in the settings mentioned above. Once you enter the Guest mode, the phone will only show the apps and media that you choose to display. To return to your main profile, slide down the notification bar, tap the user, and select your main profile. You can even remove the data stored in the guest mode, too, by tapping on the remove guest option.
You can also add a permanent user to the phone if you share the phone with someone or have kids that use your phone. It will help you store data and apps individually on all profiles.
This option can be called a parents' best friend. Some Android phones have built-in Kids Mode features; if not, the Zoodles Kid Mode app is available on the Google Play Store. Kids mode gives more control to the parents about what kids watch and the apps they can download. The option is safe for kids and keeps them from snooping into things that are not for them.
The kids mode feature lets your child freely roam the device but in a controlled environment. Parents can choose and customize the content available to their child on the device. With high parental controls, the parents can set the usage limits for their children and prevent them from exiting the kids mode.
If you do not have the secure folder, guest mode, and kids mode in your phone, there are other third-party apps that can be used for hiding your media.
Nova Launcher (Paid & Free)
The Novo launcher is the best launcher on Google Play Store. The app offers many features, but the function we are discussing is the hide app feature. To get the hide app option, you will need to upgrade to the app’s pro version, which costs $1.99. You need to download and install the option and select it as your default launcher.
Once installed, go to the launcher’s settings, scroll down to find the hide apps option, from here you can select the apps from the checklist you wish to hide. Although the apps are hidden, you can easily find them through the app drawer’s search bar.
But, if you do not want to splurge money on hiding apps, the free version also offers functionality that can hide your apps in plain sight. Once you install the free version and set it up as your launcher, you can begin hiding your apps or disguising them.
Long press the app you wish to hide until a dialogue box appears. There you can find the option for edit, tap on it. After you tap to edit, another dialogue box will appear that asks you to change the name of the app. For instance, if you want to hide your diary app, you can change its name to any built-in phone app, let’s say weather app. You can also change the app’s image to match the app name you entered earlier. That’s it! There you have it, a fully disguised app that no one would suspect.
The Apex launcher is made for hiding apps and privacy. If you wish to hide your apps entirely from your phone, you should try Apex launcher. The app has many other privacy options, apart from just hiding apps. The Apex launcher is available on the Google Play Store.
Once you download and install the app, long-press the home button to access the home menu of the launcher, tap on the Settings option, and find the hidden apps option, tap to access the feature. When you enter the hidden apps menu, you will have the option to hide apps. Select the apps you wish to hide from the checklist and tap on hide app(s).
Furthermore, the app will ask you to enter a password or pattern according to your preference. After you complete the steps, you will see the apps you chose to hide on the hidden apps page. For further privacy, you can even go to the hidden apps setting and toggle off the show in the search result option.
App Hider is an Android app that can clone apps within itself and lets you uninstall the original app from your phone. Now let’s say you want to hide a particular game app from your phone; all you need to do is clone the app in App Hider and delete the original app. You can even hide App Hider itself; it can disguise itself as a calculator and work as a calculator until you enter a unique password, and you can enter the app. It’s like a portal! But, well, it’s digital.
You can easily download the app from Google Play Store. Once you install App Hider, open it, and tap the + icon. Select the apps you wish to clone and let the app do its thing. Go to your phone’s app drawer and find the apps you added in App Hider and uninstall them.
Now the apps are no longer in your phone but can still be accessed in the App Hider app. To turn App Hider’s protection feature on, slide the panel from left, tap protection feature, and follow the steps.
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