How to Hide iMessage Apps on iPhone or iPad

Annoyed with the apps in your iMessages? 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, Apple Pay, etc. However, if all you really want to use the Messages app for is sending texts, you can easily hide the whole app drawer or customize which apps are shown in it.

However, that's basically the extent of hiding 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're texting, 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, you can hide those iMessage apps from the app drawer.

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

Removing an app on your device involves a completely 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 "deleting" 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 and tap the A button to the left of the text box.

iPad app drawer button

If you accidentally tap one of the individual apps from the app drawer, a window will pop up at the bottom of the screen. Tapping the A button will close this app window but not the app drawer. To hide the app drawer, you must tap the button when an app isn't being displayed.


How to Hide iMessage Apps

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

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

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

  3. Select the three-dotted button. Depending on how you're viewing the apps, it might say More.

    iPad iMessage app drawer
  4. Tap Edit from the top-right corner of the screen.

    iPad iMessage app drawer apps
  5. Select the red minus button next to an app, and then 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 will hide the iMessage app from the first set of apps in the drawer.

    Remove from Favorites button in the iMessage app drawer for iPad

    To completely hide an app from being seen in the iMessage app drawer, select the green button from the MORE APPS section further on down the screen.

    Hidden iMessage apps in the iPad app drawer

    To delete apps from iMessage that are in the FAVORITES section, you have to first remove them from that area with the minus button, and then tap the green button from the bottom.

    You can also rearrange your iMessage apps from this screen. Tap-and-drag the three-lined button next to any of the favorited apps, and put it anywhere you like. The apps at the top show up first in the app drawer.

  6. Tap Done at the top right to save the app drawer changes, and then Done again to exit the app drawer settings and return to Messages.

    List of iMessage apps in iPad app drawer