How to Hide Message Apps on iPhone or iPad

Annoyed with the apps in your Messages? Get rid of them!

The iMessage app drawer on your iPhone or iPad gives you quick access to things you might like to use while sending texts, such as GIFs, music, your location, games, and Apple Pay. However, if you only want to use the Messages app to send texts, hide the app drawer or customize which apps are shown in it.

These directions apply to iOS 11 and newer, on every iPhone and iPad model.

Can I Remove the App Drawer?

You can't remove the iMessage app drawer completely or delete it from your phone or tablet. All you can do is minimize it so you don't see it every time you send a text message, or customize it to make it less cluttered or better suited for what you want to use it for.

For example, if you don't want sports apps in your app drawer, or weather icons crowding out the games you like to play with your iMessage contacts, hide those iMessage apps from the app drawer.

Removing an app on your device involves a different process. The same is true for hiding an app. These steps only apply to hiding apps from the iMessage app drawer, not the home screen.

How to Hide the iMessage App Drawer

This is the easiest method to delete the iMessage app drawer. Hiding it will minimize it so that you don't accidentally tap any of the app drawer icons.

To hide the app drawer on your iPhone or iPad, open an existing or new message, then tap the A button to the left of the text box.

Apps icon in Messages on an iPad

If you accidentally tap an app from the app drawer, a window appears at the bottom of the screen. Tap the A button to close this app window but not the app drawer. To hide the app drawer, tap the button when an app isn't displayed.

How to Hide iMessage Apps

Don't want to hide the iMessage app drawer completely? To clean up the apps that are showing, customize the app drawer.

  1. Open a message in the Messages app, either an existing one or a new one.

  2. Swipe along the app drawer, from right to left, to scroll all the way to the right.

    Swipe along the App drawer in Messages
  3. Select the three dot menu. Depending on how you view the apps, it might say More.

    More button in the Messages app drawer
  4. Tap Edit.

    Edit button in Messages apps
  5. Select the red minus button next to an app, then tap Remove from Favorites to remove it from your list of favorites. This list contains the apps that show up first in the app drawer, so doing this hides the iMessage app from the first set of apps in the drawer.

    To delete apps from iMessage that are in the Favorites section, remove them from that area with the minus button, then tap the green button.

    To rearrange your iMessage apps from this screen, tap and hold the three-line button next to any favorited app, then drag it anywhere you like. The apps at the top show up first in the app drawer.

    Removing an iMessage app from favorites
  6. To hide an app from being seen in the iMessage app drawer, go to the More Apps section and select the green button next to the app.

    Switch to turn off iMessages app
  7. Tap Done to save the app drawer changes, then tap Done again to exit the app drawer settings and return to Messages.

    Done button in iMessage apps editing window