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How to Hide Photos on Your Android Phone

by Hemant Saxena on August 12, 2023

If you have photos and videos on your phone that you don't want friends and family to stumble upon, you can secure them in a locked folder. The entire collection you put under this locked folder never shows up in the Photos grid, memories, search, or the albums you have. And these items aren't accessible to other apps on your smartphone that require permission to see media files.

Google Pixel phone showing the Utilities screen. You can see the Locked Folder option at the bottom.

Access to items stored in your locked Photos folder requires additional verification – typically a PIN code or biometric data like a fingerprint. On Google Pixel and select other Android phones, you can use Google Photos' Locked Folder, while a similar capability exists for Samsung phones called a Secure Folder.

How to hide your photos in Google Photos

Before you can move your photos or other media files to the Locked Folder, you'll need to set it up.

  1. Open Google Photos.
  2. Go to the Library tab (lower right corner).
  3. Tap the Utilities tab in the upper-right corner.
  4. You may see a tile that says "Set up Locked Folder." Otherwise, select the Locked Folder option in the Organize your library section.
  5. Tap the Set up button. You'll be prompted to use the method you currently use to open your phone from the lock screen – PIN code or biometric scan.
  6. You can do it using your current device screen lock option. Touch the fingerprint sensor or tap the Use PIN option.
  7. You'll see a "Nothing here yet" message. Tap the Move items button.
  8. Select the photos you want to move to the Locked Folder and hit the Move button.
  9. Tap the Continue button (if prompted) and then Move.

To view items in your Locked Folder, you'll need to go to Library > Utilities > Locked Folder and enter your PIN code. Access to your Locked Folder times out after one minute if you forget to close it.

Note that the photos and videos are locked inside Google Photos. They can't be accessed by other apps, you can't share them, and they won't be backed up. And when you switch to a new device, they won't be moved. To do anything other than move the items, you'll have to transfer the items out of your Locked Folder.

Once you have a Locked Folder set up in Google Photos on your Pixel phone, you can select your Locked Folder as the save location for the Pixel Camera app.

  1. Launch the Camera app.
  2. Just adjacent to the Shutter button, long-press the circle button showing your recently taken photo.
  3. From the popup menu that appears, choose the Locked Folder entry.

After you've set the destination as the Locked Folder, you'll see a padlock icon on the thumbnail of any new photos you take. Leaving the Camera app will reset the destination to the standard Photos folder. And when you access the Camera app next, you will see a thumbnail of the most recent photo you took that is saved to the regular Photos folder.

How to hide your photos in Samsung Gallery

Samsung's Secure Folder serves as a place to store photos from the Samsung Gallery app and use the Samsung Camera app to take pictures and videos and have them saved directly into the Secure Folder.

  1. Go to Settings and scroll down to the Security and privacy section.
  2. In the Biometrics section, select Secure Folder.
  3. On the Welcome to Secure Folder screen, select the Continue button at the bottom of the screen.
  4. On the Permissions screen, select the Continue button at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Tap on Lock Type.
  6. Select the type of security you want to use with your Secure Folder – PIN, password, pattern, or biometric scan.
  7. Go to the Gallery app.
  8. Select the items you want to move into your Secure Folder.
  9. Select the Share button and choose Secure Folder from the list of apps.

When you want to view your photos and videos, you'll need to open the Secure Folder app and then the Gallery app inside the Secure Folder. And if you want to take pictures and videos and have them saved directly into the Secure Folder, open the Secure Folder and use the Camera app there.

Also, check out our instructions on how to hide photos on an iPhone.

[Image credit: Techlicious]

As a lifelong tech enthusiast, Hemant Saxena is always looking for the latest gadgets that intersect with his hobbies. For more than a decade, he has been writing about consumer gadgets, popular apps, and social media tips for publications, including Windows Club and Techmate Tricks.


Tips & How-Tos, Cameras and Photography, Photo / Video Sharing, Phones and Mobile, Mobile Apps, Android Apps, Privacy

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