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How to Hide Unhide an App Icon on iPAD and iPhone?


If you are planner, you probably have already started holiday gift shopping. It hit me when I posted Toca Hair Salon Christmas – I could start looking for deals on apps my son likes, and put them on a iPod we don’t use anymore. It would be a good holiday gift.

If you like the idea, but have no extra device to spare, you can still buy some good apps and then “hide” them. Below we introduce 3 levels of hiding, from the easiest to the hardest. You can decide which one you want to use, based on your child’s tech savvy level.
How to hide unhide app icon on iPhone iPad
1. Download the app on a device your child doesn’t use. If he/she uses the iPAD, then download it on your iPhone. This works for families have strict rules. But if you are like me, the child can use my or my husband’s phone, and he knows the passwords, then this trick won’t work. You have to try the next one.

2. After you download the app and check to make sure the app works fine, you delete the app. Don’t worry, you still own the app even it is not on your device. All you have to do is to re-download the app the night before you are ready to give the gift. There is no charge on re-downloads. Here is the detailed instruction on how to do it.

This trick will work for most kids, especially kids 10 and younger. However, if you have a very tech savvy child, who checks the “purchased apps” regularly, you want to use the next trick.

3. After you download the app, go to App Store and tap Purchased at the bottom of the screen. You will see a list of apps you bought. Find the app you want to hide, swipe left or right on the cloud icon next to the app name. The cloud icon will change into a red Hide button. Tap the Hide button. Now no one is able to find the app, not even on the purchased list.

With iOS 7 and 8, to unhide the app, you have to go to iTunes on your computer.

In iTunes, from the Quick Links section in the lower-right corner, click Account. If you are not logged in, you will be asked to log in here.

After signing into your account, scroll down a little, you will see the section iTunes in the Cloud. If you have hidden apps, you will see Hidden Purchases. Click on Manage on the right.
unhide app iOS 8
You will see a screen showing your hidden items. Click on Apps from the top manu and you can then unhide any app listed by clicking the gray Unhide button beneath it.

Hope this helps. These tricks are also helpful if you have some apps you don’t want your child see, such as apps with kids inappropriate contents or confidential information.

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If you like this guide, You will also like another tip for busy parents: How to Set up a iTunes account without a credit card.
How to set up App Store account without credit card

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{ 26 comments… add one }

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  • Michael August 23, 2014, 6:12 am

    iOS7 it didn’t work… too bad

    • iGameMom August 25, 2014, 9:37 pm

      Thanks for the note. We updated the guide for iOS7 and 8.

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  • app download app February 14, 2014, 11:29 pm

    Wow, that’s what I was searching for.

  • Rudolph January 15, 2014, 1:33 am

    Thanks very helpful.

  • Wei January 6, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Wonderful post. Thanks.

  • Eva Q. Hines December 20, 2013, 11:27 pm

    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyhow, just wanted to say excellent blog!

    • iGameMom December 21, 2013, 2:14 pm

      sorry for that. Not sure what happened. Thanks for the note!

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  • Jannette October 29, 2013, 7:50 am

    Today, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken and she has 83 views. I know this is entirely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  • Adrian September 21, 2013, 5:45 am

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  • iphone app development cost July 17, 2013, 2:50 am

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  • HB July 15, 2013, 8:47 pm

    So here’s a dumb question. If the icon s hidden (kids inappropriate etc) then how can I start the app if as an adult I want to use it? Do I have to go through the process of unhiding it before i can use the app?

    • iGameMom July 19, 2013, 10:59 pm

      This is the way I would do. I wish I knew some easier ways!

  • TAD Town November 7, 2012, 6:57 pm

    I has no idea you could hide a purchased app. Thanks for the info!

  • Mike Steadman November 6, 2012, 11:31 am

    This is a handy tid-bit that doesn’t show up on the apple how to manual.

    • iGameMom November 6, 2012, 2:24 pm

      I always find it hard to read manuals. :-) They tend to be organized by device tech structures, not by users’ need.

  • Connie Lissner November 6, 2012, 9:54 am

    Thanks! Great info.

  • ute November 6, 2012, 7:34 am

    Thank you very much for this information!

  • kalamitykelli November 6, 2012, 4:57 am

    Great information! Thanks!

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