How to securely hide your files and applications on Android

How to securely hide your files and applications on Android

If you frequently suffer from a little panic when you pass someone on your phone and you realize that you have emails, documents, images or other sensitive files on your device, then you need a way to hide these files from prying eyes.

If you want to have absolute control over everything displayed on your phone, you will probably need to root it, but if you do not want to go through this step, I suggest you discover in this article some solutions. Android has a variety of features to hide your data.

Quick access

How to hide your apps on Androidstock

The easiest way to hide your apps, files and private data when transmitting from your Android smartphone to someone else is to use a guest account. You can configure a guest user on your device from the Settings menu. You just have to scroll down to System> Advanced> Multiple users to access the menu.

Once you've configured everything, you can quickly switch between your main account and a guest account in the drop-down menu. The guests then live an experience as if the phone had been taken out of its box and started for the first time. Nothing is connected and only the preinstalled applications are displayed in the application drawer. You can also choose if you want to allow guests to make calls or not.

android pie guest
Create a guest account to quickly hide all of your apps and accounts at once. AndroidPIT

Having a second account on your phone is also perfect if you often give your smartphone to the same person. A good example is that of a parent who hands over his phone to his child to watch videos or play games. You can create a separate account that only displays the apps you want your child to see, and switch between the two quickly and easily.

The basics of hiding your files and applications

While some manufacturers have added 'safe' features to provide secure space on handsets (Samsung Secure Folder, or Honor's Private Space, for example), Android hasn't been very good at dealing with the need for '' Select files and folders by default.

What users with any version of Android can do for a really basic privacy fix is ​​to change the names of the folders containing the content you want to hide. So if you want to hide your images, open a file explorer (there is a basic one integrated from Android Marshmallow), select the folder with the images you want to hide and change its name. Now it will no longer display your images in your gallery or your files in folders.

Of course, it is not really very hidden. Android no longer automatically pulls information from your screen, but if you lose your phone, the files are still fully accessible.

Likewise, you can hide annoying preinstalled apps that arrive with your phone without using a third-party app. To do this, you must navigate to Settings> Applications, then choose the application you want to hide. Of course, if you can't uninstall them, you can usually disable them. If you need to learn how to stop apps in the background, you can do it first.

External help

Unless you want basic privacy protection, you'll probably want to hire a third party to gain better control over your data, files, and applications. Fortunately, there are a host of apps to help you reach your goal.

Hide your apps

If you just want to hide, rather than secure, your apps, one of the easiest ways to do that is to install a launcher (assuming your manufacturer hasn't provided a native option to hide apps) . There are a lot of choices for hiding apps, but among the most popular on the Play Store is Nova Launcher.

androidpit nova launcher prime
You will need the paid version of Nova Launcher to hide the applications but there are also free alternatives. AndroidPIT

Although there is a free version of Nova Launcher, you will need the paid version to unlock the option to hide applications.

Nova launcher
Install on Google Play

Apex Launcher is another popular option that includes the ability to hide applications, except that it does not require a paid upgrade to access this feature. Just open Settings> Drawer settings> Control cache applications which are visible in the drawer of your application.

Apex Launcher
Install on Google Play

Lock your apps

OK, you may have hidden your apps using the options above, but what you want is security. To prevent people from opening your applications, whether they are hidden or not, you have several options. You will probably want to try to find one that you like the most.

One of the most popular free options on the Play Store to add a lock to your apps is AppLock. The app also works for videos and images, but we have other suggestions for locking these items later.

"Lock", or AppLock allows you to password protect applications and specific sections of your smartphone. It's pretty handy when you're not using a screen lock like a password, pin, or scheme. The main menu of AppLock presents the list of installed applications, with which one can associate a password or not.

What makes the app interesting is the possibility of also protecting specific functions of the smartphone: calls, parameters, etc. Some options only exist in the paid version, test according to your use with the free version. AppLock is very easy to set up and configure.

It provides additional features such as the ability to take instant selfies of anyone trying to access your phone without permission as well as the ability to lock the phone remotely. Both versions offer upgrades through integrated purchases. Once installed, scroll down the page that contains the list of applications and select the ones you want to protect. Each time you open applications, you will be prompted to enter your password or use the fingerprint reader. To get rid of annoying ads, you will need to purchase the premium version.

androidpit app lock
AppLock allows you to manage who has access to what on your smartphone. AndroidPIT

Lock (Smart AppLock)
Install on Google Play


Andrognito literally allows you to hide the content you want to keep private on your smartphone. In this sense, its use is more precise than AppLock, which blocks access to an entire application or a functionality of the smartphone. Everything you protect with Andrognito does not appear anywhere, even in recent applications.

AndroidPIT vault apps andrognito
Andrognito, as the name suggests, hides almost everything you want on your smartphone. AndroidPIT

The Andrognito app itself remains visible by default, but it can be hidden in the application drawer by activating the stealth mode. Therefore, you can activate Andrognito and access the hidden content only by entering a secret code decided beforehand in the calling application of your Android.

Hide Files – Andrognito
Install on Google Play

Smart Hide Calculator

This application, instead of ostensibly hiding files and thus betraying their presence, is based on concealment. As its name suggests in English, Smart Hide Calculator comes in the form of a simple calculator, which works and which will fool the curious who wishes to search your smartphone. If you enter the previously programmed code and press the "=" key, a new menu opens.

AndroidPIT vault apps smart hide calculator
It looks like a calculator, but it is actually a secret safe. AndroidPIT

Smart Hide Calculator
Install on Google Play

Go incognito with Hide It Pro

So far, all of the apps on this list do exactly what you expect them to, but there are other secret options available that put a little more effort into hiding the fact that you are holding files and apps from be displayed.

For example, Hide It Pro uses an icon that describes it as an 'audio manager' and when you open the app for the first time, you see some audio settings. Hold the logo down and you can access the secure section of your phone where all your hidden files, applications and other content can be found.

There are also other built-in Hide It Pro features, like case-by-case file encryption, but for some aspects (like secure messaging or browsing), you'll need to install the extensions separately.

Hide photos – Hide it Pro
Install on Google Play

androidpit hide it pro
Hide It Pro offers a large number of free features. AndroidPIT

Do not forget that…

To choose the right application among those mentioned in this list, you must first think about the files that you need to secure. If you just want to hide files, you can do it without installing anything. Besides, if someone really wants to get their hands on it, and on the occasion of doing so, they will unfortunately still be able to get their purposes …

Can you recommend apps for more security on your Android smartphone? Let us know in the comments below.

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