Android Guide

How to find hidden apps on Android

Although Android phones are quite popular and are used by many, there are still things that puzzle beginners and experienced Android owners alike. And no, we’re not talking about rooting your Android device or repackaging operating systems to remove bloatware.

One of the most pressing issues you can find in select places on the Internet and online Android forums is whether or not you can see hidden apps on your phone, and how exactly you can do it.

We understand the urgency of mastering the ancient art of detecting hidden apps on your phone, so we’re going to teach you how to reveal any hidden software that may be installed on your Android device, whether it’s running in the background or idle and just sitting around. there for no reason.

Why does Android hide apps?

First of all, you need to understand that every Android phone has a set of hidden apps. The reason you can’t see all apps is the same reason you don’t have root privileges on your Android phone to begin with: to protect your device from mishandling.

Many apps that are hidden by default just run in the background and interact with them in any way, much more disabling or removing them altogether could turn your entire device into a very expensive paperweight. Which means you can lock it or make it unusable without upgrading to a new operating system.

However, it is worth mentioning that in addition to these applications that are vital for the proper functioning of your phone and operating system, you can also find malicious applications such as keyloggers or Remote Access Trojans (RATs).

Another thing worth keeping in mind is that essentially Android phones are quite similar to each other, with slight quirks that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Basically, what matters most is the Android version.

So a Samsung phone running on Android 10 will be quite similar to, say, an LG device running the same OS. As we said, you may find some quirks, but it shouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary.

How to find hidden apps on Android

Although some versions of Android are stricter about how you interact with hidden or system apps, you should at least be able to see what’s running on your device, even if you can do little or nothing about it.

Some Android manufacturers allow you to perform some actions on system apps, such as force closing or clearing their cache, in order to fix problems. With that said, try the following methods to check if there are any hidden apps running on your system:

1. Using the Settings app:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Head to the Apps or Apps section
  • Click the three-dot button somewhere in the top right corner of the screen
  • Tap the Show Hidden Apps button

Tapping this button should expand the list of apps that are available on your device so that you can also see hidden ones or system processes.

2. Using the app drawer

Open the app drawer (swipe up on the home screen or tap the app drawer button)
Click on the three-dot button in the top right corner of the screen
Select the Hide apps option

If you can’t find the Hide Apps button, you might be able to see a Home screen settings option instead. Try going to the home screen settings screen and hit the Hide apps button once it becomes available.

Depending on your device, you should now be able to see one of two things:

  • A screen where you can manage hidden apps by making hidden apps visible or adding new apps to the list so they can be hidden
  • A new tab at the top of your app drawer that contains a bunch of apps that weren’t visible before. In this scenario, you can remove hidden apps by simply
  • dragging them from there and dropping them to the default app drawer or clicking the – button next to their icon to remove them from your phone completely.

3. Using a custom launcher

We already explained that Android devices can act differently from each other, and most of them offer their own custom version of the Android operating system. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t mess around and find a way around the limitations if we come across any.

A great example, in this case, is app drawer customization. Your Android’s default app drawer may not include the Hide Apps option that we talked about in our previous section. However, Android does offer this feature, so we’re going to trick your phone into allowing us to access it.

In this situation, you may want to install a custom launcher and try to access hidden apps on your device through it. Here are some of the most popular Android launchers that support the Hide Apps feature:

  • Nova
  • Launcher Microsoft Launcher
  • Poco
  • Launcher Evie
  • Launcher U Launcher Lawn
  • Chair 2

After installing the new launcher on your Android phone or tablet, be sure to go through the initial setup steps and replace your default launcher with the newly installed one to avoid compatibility issues and action key conflicts.

Keep in mind that each launcher has its own set of options, so what works with one launcher may not work with another. This is how you can hide apps in Nova Launcher, for example:

  • Open the Nova Launcher Settings screen
  • Touch the Apps & Widget Drawers button
  • Scroll down to the Drawer Groups section
  • Touch the Hide Apps button
  • Choose the apps you want to hide from the list.

Knowing this, you can easily browse the list to check if some of the apps on your phone have already been hidden. Please note that although the apps have been hidden, they are not inaccessible as you can easily access them using the search function of the app drawer.

4. Use of Play Store

For obvious reasons, this applies only to Android phones that support Google mobile services and have Play Store functionalities. If you are concerned that you have installed a fake app on your phone, you may want to check it out on the Play Store.

Keep in mind that there are many apps that promise to do one thing when they actually serve a different purpose. For example, you can find a calculator appwhich works like any android calculator except you type a pin number and press the ‘=’ sign.

After doing so, it prompts you an interface where you can manage hidden files on your device, and if your device is rooted, you can also use it to freeze or unfreeze apps.

To check if an app is really what it seems, touch and hold its icon, then select App details once the context menu is visible. This will take you to the app’s page on the Play Store, where a full description of the app and its purpose should be available for you to read.

5. Take a scan

Last but not least, if you are concerned about incomplete apps installed on your devices, such as keyloggers or RATs, you may want to run a full scan of your device with an antivirus or Google Play’s built-in scanner.

Google Play frequently scans its store for incomplete content and removes any apps that go against its Terms and Conditions. Fortunately for us, this includes keyloggers or any application that can be used to spy on others.

If you tried to do that and you are still suspicious of incomplete apps on your device, the last thing you can do is to perform a factory reset on your Android phone, which will remove any and all apps that the device did not have when it left the factory. .

However, it is worth mentioning that on rooted phones it is possible to make certain apps persistent (even root), which means that they may still be there after performing the factory reset. To resolve that, you will need to unroot your phone and flash a fresh OS image on your Android to remove any signs of malicious apps.

CONCLUSION on how to find hidden spy apps on Android

All in all, if you want to find hidden apps on your Android phone, there are many ways to do it. Since each Android manufacturer has its own unique set, you may need to explore your phone’s options before you can find this feature.

It’s even possible to use custom launchers to unlock some of your device’s limitations regarding hiding apps or managing hidden apps.

However, if you are concerned that someone is messing with your phone using hidden malicious apps, you may want to run a scan, do a factory reset, remove root privileges (unroot your device), and even flash a new firmware still suspected of foul play.

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