How to Pin Apps on an Android Phone in 2023

When you share your phone with someone else, it can feel like they are invading your privacy. So, don’t let other people look through your private apps. You can instead pin well-known apps that are safe for other people to use. You can pin certain apps to the home screen of your Android phone, so you don’t have to worry about sharing it.

Here’s how to pin apps to your Android phone if you often let other people in your family or circle of friends use it.

How to Pin Apps on an Android Phone


Android has a feature called “app pinning,” which locks an app to the screen and prevents the person who is using the device at the time from using other apps or content on the device. This method isn’t foolproof because the pinned app could still open the apps that have access to your data.

Many Android phones don’t have the option to “pin” apps turned on by default. You’ll have to manually turn it on.

Step 1: Open up the Settings app on your Android.

Step 2: Scroll down until you find the Security section. Depending on your smartphone model, this option might be hidden under Security & Lockscreen.

Step 3: At the bottom tap on Advanced Settings. Or you should just scroll towards the bottom.

Step 4: You’ll find the App pinning option.

Step 5: On Pixel devices, the feature comes disabled by default. Tap on the option and toggle on  the ‘Use app pinning’ option.

How to Pin Apps on an Android Phone

This will turn on a second toggle that says “Ask for PIN before unpinning.” We suggest that you leave it on so that the guest can’t unpin the app on their own. You can turn off the option if you don’t think they are tech-savvy enough to do it.

If app pinning locks the app to the screen of your phone, it’s not the same as locking an app with a PIN or fingerprint. This is a completely different process that requires users to enter a PIN, use their fingerprint, or look at the screen to unlock some apps.


After you enable the option to pin apps, you can proceed to pin your first app. Here are the steps you need to take.

Step 1: First, you need to open the Recents screen. You can do this by tapping the Recents button or swiping up from the bottom of the screen and holding for a second.

Step 2: Look through the recently used apps until you find the one you want to pin. On Android 12, there should be an app icon at the top of the screen. Tap on it. On Android 11 and earlier, you may just need to tap on the app window to bring up the menu of options.

Step 3: Select the Pin option.

How to Pin Apps on an Android Phone

Android will stick the app to the home screen. When you turn on the phone, the app will be pinned to the screen, and the person using it won’t be able to use other apps or search for them.


You can remove the app when the person is done using your device. Here’s how to do it.

All you have to do to unpin the app is hold down the Back and Recents buttons at the same time. If you set your device to “Ask for PIN before unpinning,” you’ll have to unlock it first. If you don’t use a PIN to unlock your device, you can use the method you chose, like scanning your fingerprint, to unlock it.

If you’re not using three-button navigation, you’ll have to swipe up and hold again to unpin the app if you’re not using three-button navigation. It won’t be stuck to the home screen any longer.


It doesn’t have to be weird to let other people use your technology. With app pinning, you can give your phone to someone and not worry about your personal information getting stolen. If you want to make sure that your private information stays safe, you might be interested in reading about the 5 best Android gallery apps that let you hide photos.