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.  Here is how:

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 – not in our house. ^-^  My son uses my or my husband’s phone, and he knows the passwords.  If your family is like mine, this trick won’t work.  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.

To unhide the app, go to App Store, tap Featured at the bottom of the screen; scroll to the bottom, tap your Apple ID name, then tap View Account. You will see a screen like below.

Tap Hidden Purchases.  This will bring up a list of all the hidden apps you have.

Locate the item you would like to unhide then tap the Unhide button.

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

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael August 23, 2014 at 6:12 am

iOS7 it didn’t work… too bad


iGameMom August 25, 2014 at 9:37 pm

Thanks for the note. We will see if we can update the post.

Reply May 28, 2014 at 4:59 am

Wonderful blog! Appreciate it


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

Wow, that’s what I was searching for.


iGameMom February 18, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Glad we can help.


Rudolph January 15, 2014 at 1:33 am

Thanks very helpful.


Wei January 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Wonderful post. Thanks.


Eva Q. Hines December 20, 2013 at 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 at 2:14 pm

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


Paleo November 7, 2013 at 8:12 am

Hello all, here every person is sharing such familiarity, therefore it’s good to read this weblog, and I used to pay a visit to this weblog daily.


Jannette October 29, 2013 at 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 at 5:45 am

Hello there! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My web site looks weird when viewing from my iphone 4. I’m trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. Thank you!


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

I have read so many articles or reviews but this post is genuinely a fastidious paragraph, keep it up.


iGameMom July 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm



HB July 15, 2013 at 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 at 10:59 pm

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


TAD Town November 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm

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


iGameMom November 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Now you know!


Mike Steadman November 6, 2012 at 11:31 am

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


iGameMom November 6, 2012 at 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 at 9:54 am

Thanks! Great info.


iGameMom November 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Glad you find it helpful!


ute November 6, 2012 at 7:34 am

Thank you very much for this information!


kalamitykelli November 6, 2012 at 4:57 am

Great information! Thanks!


iGameMom November 6, 2012 at 2:15 pm

You are welcome!


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