We all have something on our phones that wants to stay away from prying eyes. You can always add some form of biometric authentication to make sure no one else unlocks your device, however, there are apps that we want to be buried deep underground.
This could include banking apps that contain sensitive information or regular social media apps that you don’t want to check every few minutes.
When it comes to hiding certain apps behind passwords, OxygenOS is one of the best implemented of all Android skins. Unfortunately, the way OxygenOS 12 handles privacy features has completely upended the way you access and interact with hidden spaces on your OnePlus phone.
Next, we will explore how to hide apps on OxygenOS 12 and access them later when needed.
What Happened to Your Hidden Apps?
In previous versions of OxygenOS, you could hide apps and access them by simply swiping right in the app drawer. This brings up a hidden space that you can protect with a password or pin.
This way, accessing your hidden apps is almost effortless as they can be hidden with just a swipe. For better or worse (mostly bad), OxygenOS 12 uses a completely different system launcher that no longer has hidden space on the left side of your app drawer.
If you recently updated your OnePlus phone and can’t find your hidden apps in the usual location, you have nothing to worry about. The feature hasn’t been removed, and none of your apps have been removed. The way you access them has just changed significantly.
How to hide and access apps in OxygenOS 12
In addition to a series of new features in OxygenOS 12, OnePlus takes a more streamlined approach to privacy, nesting most of the major privacy-oriented features such as hidden apps, personal safes, and app locks in one section.
To access and use the hidden app space in OxygenOS 12, you first need to create a privacy password.
1. Navigate to Settings > Privacy and tap on Hide apps under the Privacy Protection section.
2. Here you will be prompted to add a six-digit password for accessing the privacy feature, as well as an access code that you will have to enter every time you want to access your hidden app. The access code must start and end with # and can have up to 16 digits.
3. Once you’ve set up your privacy and access codes, you can start choosing which apps you want to hide.
Any apps that you hide will no longer appear in your app drawer, even in search results.
To access your hidden app again, you need to enter the access code using the phone app. This will appear as a folder with all the applications you’ve stacked.
At first glance, this may seem like a safer way to protect sensitive data. However, most users are not happy with the friction that OnePlus has added in colorOS-inspired updates. To make matters worse, you won’t be able to access the hidden space using any third-party dialer apps, so you may have to look for other ways to hide apps on Android.
Hidden apps also behave a little differently in OxygenOS 12. First, when you quit an app or switch to another app, they disappear from the recent app switcher without leaving a trace. Under Privacy Options, there is also a new option to disable notifications from hidden apps.
Double protect your privacy
Some Android manufacturers have excellent privacy options that you can use to protect your sensitive data. Android has been slowly and steadily emphasizing privacy, and when OEMs like OnePlus adopt these features on their devices, you should strive to get the most out of them.