User's Manual

7 Hacks for Hiding Secret Stuff on Your iPhone

man using private mode on iphone
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

Your iPhone is safeguarded with a Touch ID, or maybe you've set up a crazy-complicated passcode. But still, there are probably some rather, uh, private things on there you'd prefer people didn't stumble upon when your phone is unlocked. Since Apple hasn't yet heeded our call for a special iPhone guest mode, it's on you to keep your private business private.

We caught wind of some of the tricks kids these days are using to hide things from their parents, and felt inspired. Here are a few easy ways to hide photos, embarrassing app notifications, and a bunch of other secrets in plain sight on your iPhone. 

hiding photos in iOS 9 on an iPhone
Screenshot via iOS/Shutterstock

Hide specific pics in your photo library

There's nothing more terrifying than an unsanctioned scroll, wherein you hand someone your phone to see your adorable baby nephew, and they go to town scrolling through your pics until they find something that's definitely not your baby nephew. Here's the deal: go to the photo or video you want banished, tap on the share button in the bottom left, and select "Hide." This will hide the selected item from Collections, Years, and Moments -- which means it won't show up as you scroll through recent photos -- but it will still be visible via the Albums tab.

calculator + app in iphone
Screenshot via Calculator +/Shutterstock

Stash extremely secret stuff inside a decoy calculator app

If your select pics or vids require some next-level, White House-style security, there are a handful of decoy apps designed for sneakily stashing things-that-shall-not-be-found. The best I've found is called Calculator+. Not only does the icon and interface resemble the default iOS calculator's, but it's actually a functioning calculator! Perfect for doing math! It will only unlock to reveal your secret photo vault when a special numerical code (which you set the first time you open it) is entered followed by the percent symbol. 

Use the Notes app to lock up sensitive documents and info

Not every iPhone default app is a total waste of space. Case in point: Notes is exceptionally helpful for staying organized. Thanks to a recent iOS update, you can also use it to protect information and the drafts of your secret Game of Thrones fanfiction novel behind a unique passcode or Touch ID.  With the note in question open, hit the share button, select "Lock Note," and follow the prompts.

deleting imessages on iPhone
Screenshot via iOS 9/Shutterstock

Get rid of potentially damning text messages individually

It's easy to delete entire text conversations, but it's also suspicious. What if you just want to expel a certain salacious or potentially incriminating section of a conversation? Here's how to do it: open the message, tap and hold on the text in question, and tap "More" when the pop-up appears. Here, you have the option to select any of the included messages (from any party involved) and trash them individually. Sneaky? Sure. Brilliant? Absolutely.

Edit your recent call history

Who hasn't stayed up all night with a 1-800 hotline psychic once or twice in their life, hmm? Erase the memory of specific calls by tapping the "Recent Calls" tab and swiping right to delete the incriminating evidence.

notifications menu in iOS 9
Screenshot via iOS/Shutterstock

Turn off select lock-screen notifications

Tinder messages, Neko Atsume updates, and other embarrassing notifications always pop up on your screen at the most inopportune moments. You can control which apps do what when your phone is locked, so hide that shit! Go to Settings > Notifications and scroll to the offending app(s) and uncheck "Show on Lock Screen."

Bonus tip: when you're in the company of others and you don't want them to see who's texting you, you can set it so that it simply reads "New Text Message" on the screen instead of the contact's name. From the Notifications settings menu, select Messages and uncheck "Show Previews."

safari private browsing mode
Screenshot via Safari/Shutterstock

Keep your Safari search habits private

If you want to keep your search history on the DL, you'd best be browsing in Private mode so that there's no tracking what you've been up to. To enable it, tap the New Window icon in the bottom-left corner of Safari, select Private, and hit the plus sign in the bottom center. Go forth and Google ye secretive heart out!

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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist and thinks cheating is bad, mmmk?