iPhone XS with purchased apps hide button

The App Store has been around for over a decade now, and most of us have amassed quite a lot of apps since the App Store debuted in 2008. Some of those purchases or downloads we've acquired may be embarrassing to potential snoopers, or perhaps you just don't want to see it in your purchase history. Fortunately, it's possible to hide apps in your purchase history, as well as view them. Here's how.

How to hide apps from your purchase history

Want to make sure no one can see your potentially embarrassing purchases? It's super easy to hide apps from your history.

  1. Launch the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on your Account avatar in the top right corner of every view (except for the Search).
  3. Input your password or Touch ID/Face ID if prompted.

    Revised iOS 12 Home Screen, App StoreRevised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID

  4. Tap on Purchased.
  5. Select My Purchases (if Family Sharing is enabled).
  6. You can switch between All Purchases or Not on this iPhone or iPad.
    • If you have a lot of purchases and know the specific app you want to hide, just search for it in the search bar.
  7. Swipe to the left on the app you want to hide.

    Revised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID, Purchasedrevised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID, Purchased, Swipe Hide

  8. Tap on the red Hide button.
  9. Repeat this process for as many apps as needed.

How to find hidden apps you've purchased

So you've hidden those apps that you don't want others to see you purchased. But how do you find them again in your purchase history if you want to download them again?

  1. Launch the App Store on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on your Account avatar in the top right corner.

    Revised iOS 12 Home Screen, App StoreRevised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID

  3. Tap on your Account avatar banner near the top of the screen.
  4. Scroll down and tap on Hidden Purchases under the iTunes in the Cloud section.
  5. Tap on the cloud arrow button to download the app on your device next to the app that you want to re-download.

    revised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID, Account bannerrevised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID, Account, Hidden Purchasesrevised iOS 12 App Store, Apple ID, account, Hidden Purchases, Download Button

Unfortunately, if you hide a purchase, there doesn't seem to be a way to remove it from the Hidden Purchases list. You'll need to find it manually in your Hidden Purchases and re-download it each time you want to get it back if it was deleted, or search the App Store.

If you're afraid that someone may pick up your phone and search for something with Siri and iOS Search, and you don't want anything potentially embarrassing to pop-up in those results, then you can make sure that certain apps don't appear.

  1. Launch Settings on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Scroll down and tap on Siri & Search.

    revised ios 12 home screen settings apprevised ios 12 settings, siri and search

  3. Scroll down until you see the list of apps.
  4. Find the app(s) you want to hide and tap on them.
  5. Toggle both Siri & Suggestions and Allow on Lock Screen to OFF (not green).

    revised ios 12 settings, siri and search, app pickrevised ios 12 settings, siri and search, app, toggle off

  6. Repeat this process for all of the apps that you want to hide from prying eyes.

How to hide apps in folders

You could always just go the traditional route of hiding apps from others, though it may not always work out. Yup, that's right—just tuck those secret apps away in folders on your Home Screen.

  1. On your Home Screen, tap and hold on an app icon until everything starts jiggling.
  2. Find the app you want to hide, and drag it into an existing folder, or on top of another app to create a new folder.

    • The first page of an app folder can hold up to nine apps, which show up as tiny icons on the home screen. If you want to hide it from others, make sure the app is on the second page, at least.

    revised ios 12 home screen wiggle rearrange moderevised ios 12 home screen wiggle rearrange mode multiple folders

Maximize your privacy

Maxboost Privacy Screen Protector ($12 at Amazon)

If you want to protect your screen but have a little privacy too, these are a good option. Privacy screen protectors mean others can't see your screen unless they're directly in front of the screen, so no more prying eyes! Maxboost is also of decent quality and the price is right, as you get three in a pack.

iCloud Storage (Starting from $0.99 for 50GB)

If you often download a lot of apps, you should look into iCloud storage. While you get 5GB for free, that is definitely not enough for backing up all of your iOS device's data, as well as storing photos, documents, and app data, including the ones you want to hide from your purchased list. Getting an additional 50GB is just a dollar a month, and the higher tiers are fairly reasonable as well ($3/mo for 200GB and $10/mo for 2TB).

Questions?

These are the best ways to hide some potentially embarrassing apps from prying eyes should you ever need to. Have any questions about getting to your hidden purchases? Let us know in the comments and we'll do our best to help.

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