You may have learned about secret apps on your Android device if you use a smartphone. These apps may have been installed and hidden on your phone by you, or they may be present by chance.
Additionally, Android can install some hidden apps on your device to maintain its productivity and quality control. But the question remains – How to find hidden apps on an Android device?
The practice of hiding apps on smartphones is also becoming increasingly common among children and teenagers. It’s an activity that allows them to do whatever they want on the internet without you watching their phones.
They can access violent or pornographic material and download potentially harmful apps through it, assuming that they won’t be caught — or so they thought.
If you have a child at home, you may be concerned with how much you know about their online activities. As a result, in this post, we’ll go over how to find hidden apps on and Android device, as well as some tips for determining if your child or spouse has any hidden apps on their phone.
How To Find Hidden Apps on an Android Device
The apps that appear in the app menu screens on a smartphone are not always the only ones that are present on the device.
Besides, secret apps are just what they sound like: they’re apps that are deliberately hidden from the view of the average user.
There are a number of ways by which you can figure out if your Android device has a hidden application or not. You can do so by
- Using the Android App Drawer
- Using the Default Android Phone Settings
- Using a Third-Party App
- Checking The App Information on The Play Store to Check its True Purpose
- Using a Spy App To Find The Hidden Apps
Let’s take an in-depth look at how we can find hidden apps on an Android device.
How to Find Hidden Apps on Android using the App Drawer
Now that you’re familiar with Android’s screens and folders, Let’s start searching for these hidden apps in the app drawers:
- Next to the search bar, tap the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen drawer.
- Locate and tap the “Home Screen Settings” option from the pop-up menu.
- Scroll down to the “Hide Apps” section and press it.
- It will flash the screen where you can cover apps. On top of that, you’ll find the “Hidden Apps” tab, which lists all of the apps that the phone’s user has hidden.
How to Find Hidden Apps on Android using the Default Phone Settings
Going through the phone’s default settings is another way to locate secret applications on Android devices. Many Android phones come with built-in hiding software.
This feature allows any Android user to store and secure all of their media, applications, and data using a defense-grade protection framework. When this happens, it can be difficult to find the secret apps because they are no longer visible on the home screen or in the app drawer.
Despite this, there is a way to locate hidden apps on an Android device. Here’s how to do it through the phone’s settings, step by step:
- Swipe up from your phone’s home screen to open the app drawer.
- Select “Settings“.
- Find and tap the “Apps & Notifications” option by scrolling down.
- Select the “See All Apps” option to see a list of all installed apps, including those that are hidden.
How to Find Hidden Apps on Android Using a Third-Party App
Using a third-party app like Titanium Backup to find hidden apps on Android phones is another option for you. However, in order for this approach to function, your device must be rooted. The following is a step-by-step guide to using Titanium Backup:
- Install a root checker on your device and run it through it to ensure that it is properly rooted.
- Titanium Backup can be downloaded and installed from the Google Play Store or any other trusted app store.
- Simply launch the app after installation, and it will immediately reveal the hidden apps and processes on your Android device.
Check The App Information on The Play Store to Check its True Purpose
Most users hide their apps using these third party vault-apps. These apps usually disguise themselves as common system-level apps such as calculators and music players. To find such apps you can do the following:
- Hold down the app until a small menu appears.
- Tap the small details circle at the top of the display.
- Tap App info when a new page appears.
- Consult the official details in the app’s Google Play app store description.
Do remember that if you downloaded the app anywhere other than Google Play, this approach will not work.
Use a Spy App To Find The Hidden Apps
Knowing how to use secret apps is one way to ensure that your children are safe and sound. A parental control software designed to protect your children can, however, be part of your arsenal if you want more peace of mind.
mSpy is one of the popular spying apps available for Android. This app is not just a tool for uncovering Android secret apps but can also be used for seeing your kid’s Messenger conversations, display media on their device, view their browsing history, and much more.
Top Apps to Hide other Apps
- Vault-Hide – With over 100 million users worldwide, Vault-Hide has become one of the popular apps for teenagers and other like-minded people looking to hide confidential information from the family.
- Hide it Pro – Hide it Pro disguises itself to look like a music player, with an icon that resembles iTunes. But it’s basically a vault-app where you can store all sorts of encrypted data.
- Keepsafe Photo Vault – Since Keepsafe Photo Vault doesn’t appear in your Recent Apps list, it’s a popular option among users who want to ensure that others can’t detect hidden apps.
- Vaulty – When anyone attempts to break into this Android app, Vaulty takes a picture of the said person. Because of this added layer of protection, it is common among those looking to hide their images and videos.
- Gallery Vault – Gallery Vault is a fairly solid vault app that supports fingerprint authentication for certain Android phones. It’s also free to download because it’s supported by advertisements and in-app purchases.
Why do children or spouses hide apps and content?
- To keep their online activities hidden
- To hide sensitive data, such as explicit images
- To keep apps that children know their parents will not approve of, such as live-streaming video or dating apps.
- Hide apps that they use a lot, mostly out of fear that their parents will discover the heavy use and ban the app out of fear of addiction.
How are Android apps hidden?
Children or partners can hide apps from their parents or respective partners using a variety of ways, ranging from changing settings inside the Android OS to installing third-party apps (also called vault apps) designed specifically for hiding apps.
Signs Your Spouse and Kids Phone Have Hidden Apps
According to a McAfee survey from 2012, 70% of teenagers conceal their online habits from their parents. This statistic is alarming, given that today’s children are more tech-savvy than their parents. However, spouses are capable of doing the same thing, and you may be completely unaware of it.
To help you, here are some indicators that your child or spouse has secret apps on their phone and is attempting to keep them hidden from you:
- Turning Off the Phone or Hiding the Screen – The number one indication that your kid or spouse is hiding their online activities from you is when they turn off their screen or hide the screen as you enter the room or come within their proximity.
- Always Carrying the Phone Around – Another sign to look for is if your child or spouse still has their phone with them, even in the bathroom. They also make sure the mobile is still within reach even when it is charging on a table.
- Refusing to Give Out Passwords – Borrowing your child’s or spouse’s phone is a smart way to see if they have any secret apps. The majority of phones with secret apps need a password to access the menu. You’ll know something’s wrong if they refuse to give you the password or even let you look through the device.
- Having Multiple Apps of the Same Type – If your child or spouse loans you their phone and you see two applications of the same kind, you should be concerned. When you have several apps, such as two calculators, one of them might be a vault that hides apps and media from prying eyes. If you want to be sure, try launching these apps and see if you can tell the difference. The built-in calculator on a phone starts up without displaying any logos or details. A fake calculator, on the other hand, takes a few seconds to load and shows a company logo before redirecting you to the real calculator.
Learning how to locate hidden apps on Android will help you determine whether they are concealing anything from you. However, there are advantages and disadvantages of spying on others. Breaking into the device means invading the privacy of others, which could harm your relationship.
It also indicates a lack of trust. Rather than spying on the device, a different method, such as an intimate conversation, would be preferable. Spend more time talking to each other so your child does not get engrossed in their device. You may also do activities with your partner to strengthen your bond.
In conclusion, discovering hidden apps on Android is a breeze. You can do this in several ways, as we have mentioned above. However, breaking into someone’s phone is unjustified because it infringes on their privacy.
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Daniel Moore is the Founder & Editor-in-chief of Private-Spy, an experienced hacker, lecturer and an all-round fun guy! A writer by day and reader by night, he holds a Master’s degree in Computer applications and believes that privacy is our god given right. Daniel has been known to have published in-depth guides and tutorials that have been used by millions of people across the world.