Hidden apps on iPhone

Are you wondering if there are hidden apps on iPhone that you are not able to see? Or maybe you are suspecting that someone installed a malicious app. In this article, we are going to see how you can find it. Along with it, we will also see some apps which are hidden on your iPhone by default. See which are some of the most common things related to it. Also, see how you can unhide any of the hidden apps on your iPhone. Learn how to reset the Home screen layout and open the hidden apps.

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Hidden apps on iPhone
Hidden apps on iPhone

Hidden apps on iPhone-You Didn’t Know Existed

Here we will be seeing the hidden apps which are in every iPhone but we just can not see them. These apps are installed by Apple themselves and will be performing daily actions. These actions vary from filtering the SMS to dealing with the payments. We will be seeing how you can access these apps but you should know that it will take some time to access these apps.

NOTE: We will not be seeing the apps which we already know like Siri, Scree time app, Spotlight, Search tool, and more. These apps are already accessed by us without doing any additional work.
We will be seeing the apps which are hidden and can not be accessed directly.

Code Scanner

We all know that we can scan any OR code from our Camera app directly, but did you know that there is a dedicated app for it. The app is called “Code scanner” which automatically opens the URLs in the in-app browser. This lets us close the web page and scan another QR code again. However, sometimes you will be redirected to Safari due to the QR code’s design. But the app will open the web links in the in-app browser which saves a lot of time when scanning multiple QR codes.

Along with this, the Cade scanner’s UI is also better compared to the Camera app. When you scan any QR code with the camera app, you will be shown a small link and you need to tap on it. On the other hand, the Code scanner will show animation when scanning App clips and opens App clips instantly.

Now to open the Code scanner, follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Wake up your iPhone and search from the home screen.
  2. Or we can use the Siri, activate Siri, and say “Open code scanner”.
  3. Now the app should open, but keep in mind that the app does not exist in the App library. This means that you can not add a code scanner to your Home screen.

Print Center

Whenever we try to print anything using our iPhone, then we will be using the AirPrint technology which is already equipped. However, we can not open this app directly since there is no need for it when we are not printing anything. This means that we can open it by App switcher in the middle of the printing or when a printing job is queued.

Now if you want to open the “Print Center” app then follow the steps mentioned below:

  1. Wake up your iPhone and open any document or image.
  2. Now tap on the “print” from the share sheet on the document.
  3. Select the printing settings from the options, and then tap on “print”.
  4. Now once the printer starts, you need to open the App Switcher, and then you should be able to see “Print Center”.
  5. Along with you will be able to see the list of queried printing jobs in the Print Center app.
  6. If you want to see the details for any of the printing jobs then you can tap on it. But if all the printing jobs are done then you will see a “No documents waiting” message in the app.

Diagnostics

If you want to perform diagnostics on your iPhone, you can type “diags://” or “diagnostics://” in the Safari. This will open the Diagnostics app on your iPhone with all the data you would need to troubleshoot any issues. This is a really helpful tool and we would suggest using it. Keep in mind that you need to place a ticket number after the URL for this to work.

We can open the Diagnostics in another way by powering off your iPhone and then connecting the power source. Now press both Volume buttons until the Apple logo appears. Now the Diagnostics tool will open and from there you can run any test you want. From here you can see your iPhone’s information such as IMEI, MEID, serial number, and more.

Field Test

If we type in “*3001#12345#” in your dialer then a special app will open called the “Field Test”. Unlike other dialer codes, this one will open a dedicated app that we can use to check iPhone’s cellular reception strength. Once you type in the code, hit the call button and the app will open.

Magnifier

This is an accessibility tool on your iPhone that you can use to zoom in on anything. This app is present on iPhone since iOS 10 and got upgraded to iOS 14. The new feature was added in iOS 14.2, where the app can detect people on the screen.

Now if you want to open the app, then you can use the older method of using the Accessibility shortcut (triple-click on the home button). Or you can open it by tapping on the back button (if the back tap is set up). Alternatively, you can use Siri to open the app. Or if you are going to use the app frequently, then create a custom build shortcut.

NOTE: If you are using iOS 15 or above then the app will be by default in the App Library. This means you can simply search for it.

Feedback Assistant

If you are a part of a public beta or developer beta for iOS, then you will have a secret app called “Feedback assistant”. This app allows the beta participants to submit detailed reports or report any issue they had with the iOS. This is how Apple can develop iOS which performs wonderfully without having any major bugs.

However, if you want to access this app without getting into beta then you can do it by using Safari. Open the Safari and type “applefeedback://” and open the feedback assistant.

NOTE: If you want to see the complete list of iOS URLs for Apps and services then check out this.

Once the Feedback assistant app opens, you will have to sign in with your Apple ID and then submit the feedback. This feedback will be used by Apple to improve their software products such as iOS and iPadOS. Using the URL is the only way to access the app without getting into a beta trial.

Find Hidden Apps with of iPhone’s search feature

We can use iOS’s in-build feature to find all the hidden apps on your iPhone. With this feature, we can find all the installed apps on the iPhone, even if the app is hidden in the App library. Follow the steps mentioned below to search for the apps:

  1. Wake up your iPhone and swipe down from the top on the Home screen. Now you should be able to see the search bar and type the name of the app you want to search.
  2. Once you type the name, tap on the “Go” key on your keyboard. After tapping, you will see a list of apps from those tap on the one you want to open.
  3. If you do not get any search results, then the app may be blocked from appearing on the search results.
  4. (Optional) If you want to see all the apps in the research results, then open “Settings” and then find “Siri & search”. Once you open it, scroll down and look for “Show in search”, if it’s deactivated then turn it on.

If this is not helping you with hidden apps, then move to the next section.

Using Siri to find Hidden Apps

This is a very easy way of finding the hidden apps on your iPhone, and it is just like iPhone’s search feature. However, you should know the name of the app to open it. So if you do not know the name, then skip this method.

Press and hold the side button to activate Siri and then say “Open [name of the app]”. Now Siri will locate the app for you and you will not do anything.

Look Inside App Library

If you have the iOS 14 or above then you can use the App Library which will show you all the installed apps on your iPhone. This will show us the hidden apps from the Home screen pages, which means we do not have to remove them.

NOTE: If you know the name of the hidden app you want to find then check the previous method. But if you do not know the name then continue with this step.

Follow the steps to use the App library to find and open the hidden apps:

  1. Wake up your iPhone and swipe to the right of the final Home screen page and you should be able to access the App library.
  2. Now from here see all the apps on your iPhone and try to find which you think is hidden. We would suggest going through the home screen to remember the names of visible apps.
  3. If you can not find it then try searching for it.
  4. Now if you want to return to the Home screen with an app, then press and hold the app icon and drag it.
  5. Now you will be taken to the home screen and you can release the icon where you want it to place on the home screen.
  6. Alternatively, you can select “Add home screen” by long-pressing the app icon.

Unhide Pages on the Home Screen

This is not a very handy trick since we will only be unhiding the pages where some of the app icons may be. A few Home screen pages may be hidden which makes it impossible to find apps faster. These apps can only be accessed via Siri or with the help of the App library.


Now to unhide the pages, long press on the blank area on the home screen to enter the “Jiggle mode”. Once done, tap on the dot strip above the dock and you should be able to see hidden home screen pages. From here you can unhide the pages and make your life a little easier.

Look Within App Store

When compared to Search, Siri, or the App Library, using the App Store to find hidden apps on the iPhone is less advantageous. It does, however, help you in determining whether you’ve deleted (rather than hidden) an app or restricted it using Screen Time.

Open the App Store, tap Search in the lower-right corner of the screen, and type in the app’s name. Tap Open if it shows up in the search results.

Instead, if you see a cloud-shaped symbol beside the app, tap it to download it. After that, you can open it.

If you get a Restrictions Enabled notification while tapping Open, you’ll need to use Screen Time to allow the app. We’ll look into how to remove these restrictions next.

Reset Layout Of Your Home Screen

If you are not satisfied with the home screen then you can simply reset it which will find the hidden app. Restoring the home screen will change it to the original state and it’s worth giving a shot.

To reset the home screen, open the “Settings” app and tap on “General Reset”. Once opened, look for “Reset Home Screen Layout” and tap on it.

NOTE: If you reset the home screen layout, then your custom folders will be deleted. But if any app is hidden then it will be unhidden and re-added in the app library. However, any app hidden using Screen time will not be unhidden.

Summary

In the article, we saw how we can unhide the apps on our iPhone and which are some of the most common hidden apps. The best way to look for any hidden app is via the App library but rarely apps may not be visible there.

If you have not downloaded any app aside from Apple’s App Store then you should not be worried. Since apps on the App Store are regulated and will not hide unless you hide them. But if you are not sure about any of the apps then feel free to drop down your query in the comment section below.

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