How to Hide Apps on PC Windows 7

Hiding apps on a PC running Windows 7 can be useful for a variety of reasons. Whether you want to keep certain apps private or declutter your desktop by hiding less frequently used programs, this guide will walk you through various methods to accomplish this. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily hide apps on your Windows 7 PC without the need for any third-party software.

Video Tutorial:

Why You Need to Hide Apps on Windows 7

There are several reasons why you might want to hide apps on your Windows 7 PC. Here are a few common scenarios:

1. Privacy: Certain apps, such as financial management tools or password management software, may contain sensitive information that you want to keep private. By hiding these apps, you can ensure that only authorized users have access to them.

2. Organization: With numerous apps installed on your PC, your desktop can quickly become cluttered. Hiding less frequently used apps can help you maintain a clean and organized workspace, making it easier to find the apps you need.

3. Distraction-Free Environment: If you often find yourself getting distracted by certain apps, such as social media or gaming applications, hiding them can help you stay focused and productive.

Method 1: Using the “Hide” Feature

Windows 7 has a built-in feature that allows you to hide apps from the desktop. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1: Right-click on an empty space on your desktop and select "Personalize" from the context menu.

Step 2: In the Personalization window, click on "Change desktop icons" located on the left side of the window.

Step 3: In the Desktop Icon Settings window, uncheck the box next to the app you want to hide and click "OK." The app icon will now be hidden from your desktop.


Pros 1. Quick and easy method to hide apps without the need for additional software.
2. The hidden app can still be accessed through Windows Explorer or the Start menu.
3. Reversing the process is as simple as checking the box again in the Desktop Icon Settings window.


Cons 1. The hidden app can still be accessed through Windows Explorer or the Start menu.
2. The process only hides the app icon, not the app itself. The app will still be running in the background.

Method 2: Via the Taskbar
The Windows 7 taskbar allows you to pin your favorite apps for quick access. You can easily hide apps from the taskbar by following these steps:

Step 1: Locate the app you want to hide in the Start menu or on the taskbar.

Step 2: Right-click on the app’s icon and select "Unpin from taskbar." The app will no longer be visible on the taskbar.

Step 3: To access the hidden app, click on the Start button and search for the app’s name. You can then launch the app from the search results.


Pros 1. Provides a clutter-free taskbar by removing less frequently used apps.
2. The hidden app can still be accessed through the Start menu or search.
3. Reversing the process is as simple as pinning the app back to the taskbar.


Cons 1. The hidden app can still be accessed through the Start menu or search.
2. The process only hides the app from the taskbar, not from the desktop or Start menu.

Method 3: Using Third-Party Software
If the built-in methods don’t meet your requirements, you can also use third-party software to hide apps on your Windows 7 PC. Here’s how:

Step 1: Download and install a reliable app hiding software, such as "Wise Folder Hider" or "My Lockbox."

Step 2: Launch the app hiding software and follow the on-screen instructions to set up a secure password or pattern lock.

Step 3: Once the software is set up, you can select the apps you want to hide and click the "Hide" or "Lock" button. The selected apps will now be hidden from view.


Pros 1. Provides an additional layer of security by requiring a password or pattern lock to access the hidden apps.
2. Can hide apps completely from view, ensuring that they are not visible in the desktop, taskbar, or Start menu.
3. Most third-party software allows you to easily unhide apps when needed.


Cons 1. Requires downloading and installing additional software, which may impact system performance or introduce security risks.
2. Some third-party software may have limited functionality in the free version, requiring payment for full access to all features.

Method 4: Using a Guest Account
Creating a separate guest account on your Windows 7 PC can be an effective way to hide apps from prying eyes, especially if you share your computer with others. Here’s how to set up a guest account:

Step 1: Open the Control Panel by clicking on the Start button and selecting "Control Panel" from the menu.

Step 2: In the Control Panel, click on "User Accounts and Family Safety" followed by "User Accounts."

Step 3: Click on "Manage another account" and then "Guest" to create a new guest account.

Step 4: Once the guest account is created, log in to it and set up any apps you want to make available exclusively to the guest account.


Pros 1. Provides separate user accounts for different individuals, allowing you to control access to specific apps.
2. Guest accounts can be easily configured with limited privileges, ensuring the safety of your personal data.
3. Apps installed in the guest account will only be visible and accessible when logged into that account.


Cons 1. Requires logging in and out of different user accounts to access specific apps.
2. Some apps may not function properly under a guest account due to limited privileges or restrictions.

What to Do If You Can’t Hide Apps on Windows 7
If you encounter any issues while trying to hide apps on your Windows 7 PC, there are a few solutions you can try:

1. Check Compatibility: Ensure that the app you are trying to hide is compatible with Windows 7. Some older apps may not support the hiding or pinning features.

2. Update Windows: Make sure that your Windows 7 PC is up to date with the latest updates and patches. Sometimes, app hiding functionality is introduced or improved in system updates.

3. Restart Computer: Restarting your computer can often resolve temporary issues or glitches that may be preventing app hiding.

Bonus Tips
Here are a few bonus tips to enhance your app hiding experience on Windows 7:

1. Customize Start Menu: You can rearrange apps in the Start menu to control their visibility and prominence.

2. Use Folder Options: In the Control Panel, navigate to "Folder Options" and enable the option to show hidden files and folders. This can be useful if you want to access the hidden app files without unhiding them completely.

3. Group Apps: Consider creating folders on your desktop or in the Start menu to group and organize related apps. This can help reduce clutter and make it easier to find specific apps.

5 FAQs

Q1: Can I completely hide an app from all user accounts on Windows 7?

A: The built-in methods and guest account option only hide apps on a per-user basis. To completely hide an app from all user accounts, you may need to use third-party software that offers system-level hiding options.

Q2: How do I unhide apps that I have hidden using the built-in methods?

A: To unhide apps using the built-in methods, simply reverse the steps outlined in each method. For example, in Method 1, go to the Desktop Icon Settings window and check the box next to the app you want to unhide.

Q3: Can hidden apps still receive notifications?

A: Yes, hidden apps can still receive notifications and function normally in the background. Hiding the app only affects its visibility on the desktop, taskbar, or Start menu.

Q4: Are there any risks associated with using third-party app hiding software?

A: While most reputable third-party app hiding software is safe to use, it is important to download from trusted sources and use caution. Some malicious software may masquerade as app hiding software, introducing security risks to your computer.

Q5: Can I hide system apps or Windows components?

A: The built-in methods and guest account option are primarily designed to hide user-installed apps. Hiding system apps or Windows components may require advanced knowledge and customization of the operating system.

Final Thoughts
Hiding apps on your Windows 7 PC can be a valuable tool for maintaining privacy, organization, and a distraction-free environment. By utilizing the built-in features or opting for third-party software, you can easily customize your desktop and taskbar to suit your needs. Remember to consider the pros and cons of each method and choose the one that best aligns with your requirements. Now you can enjoy a clutter-free workspace tailored to your preferences on your Windows 7 PC.

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