Most people who have an Android device don’t have every app on their Home Screen. Most people have the apps they use most frequently on their Home Screen and the rest are usually in the App Drawer. Some people don’t want their apps to be shown because they like a clean Home Screen, or they don’t want someone to see the content of the apps.
It’s not usually a big deal when you can’t see all the apps someone has on their device, but if you are a parent or teacher who needs to be able to monitor your child or students’ use of apps on their device, this is a big deal to you. There are a few places you should check to make sure you are seeing all that there is to see.
How Android Screens and Folders Function
The first thing you need to know is how the Android Screens and Folders work. Android devices, like most other devices, have a Home screen that can consist of multiple pages and not just the single page you see when first unlocking the device. You can scroll left and right to see all the pages that a device has on its Home screen. These pages can be used to help organize your apps by groups like Games, Social Media, etc. you might also use these pages to hide apps multiple pages deep into your Home screen to keep people from seeing them easily.
You can also put apps into a folder. This can help organize things without taking up a bunch of space on your Home screen, but it can also help camouflage an app. When just glancing at a folder you can’t see the names of the apps that are in them. You have to open the folder to see all the apps it contains. A folder looks like multiple icons inside of one. You just tap on the folder to open it.
How to Find Hidden Apps in the Android App Drawer
The Home screen can hold all the apps a person would like, but that doesn’t mean that it holds all the apps a person has on their Android device. If you want to see all the apps someone has on their Android, then you will need to take a look at their App Drawer.
You can do this by tapping on the icon in the middle of the screen at the bottom that has between 6 and 9 dots usually. On newer Android devices you just need to swipe the Home screen Up or Down. When you tap this icon, it will bring up a full list of apps on the device, but this still might not be EVERY app. If you think there still might be more than you should keep reading.
Note- This next method is not available on all Android devices by default. Depending on which LAUNCHER you have, you may or may not have the option to Hide Apps. There are Launchers available that support hiding apps on the Play Store.
How to Find Apps That the User has Chosen to Hide by Using the App Drawer
1. Open the App Drawer on the Android device
2. Tap on the Three Dots in the top right corner of the App Drawer
3. Tap Home screen Settings
4. Now, tap on the Hide apps option
5. This will show you a list of all the hidden apps on the device if there are any. If you don’t see this option or the screen is blank, there are either no hidden apps or the launcher doesn’t support it
How to Find Apps That the User has Chosen to Hide by Using the Settings App
You can also see a full list of apps on an Android device by going into the Settings App. The Settings app usually looks like a Gear icon but may look different if you are using a different Theme or Launcher.
1. Open the Settings App on the Android device from the App Drawer or Home screen
2. Now, tap on Apps and notifications or Apps depending on your device
3. This will either show you a full list of apps or you will have to press See all apps to see the full list.
System applications and files that help the Android run properly might also be shown in this list.
Checking the Android Device for Trick Apps
Sadly, there are Trick apps out there that are disguised as one kind of app and are actually used to hide things like pictures, videos, and other kinds of data. You can find them on the Play Store as well.
One of the most popular Trick Apps on the Play Store is called Smart Hide Calculator App. This app looks and works just like a normal calculator app would, which is why this app is so good at hiding its real function. This app actually stores hidden files. To access the hidden files the user just simply types a passcode into the calculator to unlock the true function of the app.
Finding the True Purpose of an App
You can find out what an apps true use is fairly simply.
1. Press and hold on an apps’ icon until a Menu pops up
2. In this menu, there should be a small “i” that you need to press to bring up the App Details
3. This page will show you details such as Storage size and Permissions the app uses. Tap on App details, you may have to scroll to see this option
4. This will take you to the apps product page in the Play Store where you can read all the official information on the app and its uses.
Make sure to check the internet history as well because not all apps require having the app installed on the device anymore. More and more apps are allowing users to access the app through a web browser so they don’t have to have the app stored on their devices.