Open the Settings app and tap Apps to see the list of all the installed apps
- In the app drawer: Swipe up from the Home screen, tap the three-dot menu, then choose Hide apps.
- In Settings: Go to Apps > See all apps.
- To see more information about any installed app, press-and-hold its icon, then tap the (i) followed by App details.
This article explains how to uncover hidden apps on an Android device. The information below should apply no matter who made your Android phone: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.
How to Find Hidden Apps in the App Drawer
Reviewing all the apps visible on the Home screen is a good start, but this doesn’t show every app that’s installed. To see the complete list, including vault apps, open the app drawer. On some phones, just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to see the app drawer; others have a dotted icon you can tap.
The app drawer reveals a list of the installed apps, sorted alphabetically. This should show you most of the apps on the device, but some may be hidden. To see these hidden apps, do the following:
NOTE: This method isn’t available on all Android devices by default. The Android launcher determines the options in the tray.
- Tap the three-dot menu at the top of the app drawer.
- Tap Hide apps.
- The list of apps that are hidden displays. If this screen is blank or the Hide apps option is missing, then no apps are hidden.
How to Find Hidden Apps in Settings
A full app list can also be accessed from the Settings app. Tap Settings (the icon looks like a gear). Then, go to Apps > See all [#] apps. On some devices, you’ll need to tap Apps & notifications.
TIP: The app list also displays system files and apps, which make the Android operating system run correctly. To show these, tap the three dots in the upper-right corner, then tap Show system.
Check for Android Trick Apps
Looking at an app’s icon and name may not be enough to tell what’s really running on the device. There are numerous apps in the Play Store that might look like one kind of app, but they’re really designed to hide images, videos, and other data.
- One popular example is the Smart Hide Calculator app that looks and works like a basic calculator app but is also a file storage application. The calculator UI is fully functional, but it unlocks and reveals its real purpose when a user provides the right PIN.
- To double-check the true identity of any Android app, do the following:
- Tap and hold the app icon until a small menu appears.
- Tap the small (i) icon.
- A page appears that details everything about the app, from its storage size to its permissions. Tap App details.
- The app’s Play Store page opens. From here, you can read official information about the app, including reviews by other users.
Understanding Android Folders and Screens
Like most smartphones and tablets, Android devices feature a Home screen that extends horizontally beyond what you first see when you turn on the device. The other parts of the Home screen are used to sort apps and widgets into groups, and sometimes, to hide apps from prying eyes.
- To view all sections of the Home screen on an Android device, swipe from right to left.
NOTE: There may be more than one additional screen, so continue to swipe until you can’t anymore.
- Another way to hide apps on Android is through the use of folders. Folders are visible on the Home screen and look like a collection of small app icons. Tap a folder to view the apps that are inside.
Don’t Forget About Web Apps
More companies add full app functionality to their websites, which means that users no longer have to download and install an app to access it. Facebook is one example of a functional web app that can be used in any browser.
To check if a user has accessed a specific site, open the web browser app (there might be several), then check its browser history. This is usually an option in the app’s main menu. The history can be deleted in most browsers, though, so this isn’t a foolproof way of finding out what websites have been visited.
How do you find hidden apps on an iPhone?
To find iPhone hidden apps, go to the App Store on your device and tap your profile picture, then your name. Under iTunes in the Cloud, tap Hidden Purchases. Alternatively, go Account Settings and tap Purchase History.
My Android is acting strange; I think I have hidden spyware. How do I find and get rid of it?
If you have spyware, or “hidden administrator apps,” on your Android, navigate to your list of device admin apps. Disable admin rights for the suspected culprit, then delete the app.
I think there’s a hidden tracking app on my Android. How can I be sure?
If you’ve noticed your camera or mic indicator lights on when you’re not using them, you may have tracking software. To find out what apps are using your microphone and camera, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > App Permissions. Tap Camera or Microphone, then see what apps are accessing these tools.