Whether you’re sharing vacation photos or letting your little ones watch funny videos, the last thing you want is anyone stumbling on sensitive media files on your device. It’s important to safeguard your private photos and videos, so no unsuspecting eyes can accidentally uncover them. It’s pretty easy to hide your media files using a few simple tricks. Of course, each method depends on your photo app and whether you’re using an Android device or something from Apple. Here’s how to keep your private media protected on your phone or tablet.
How to hide photos on your Android phone
Google Photos is the default gallery app that comes on every Android phone. The app has a handy Locked Folder add-on to hide photos and videos, and it’s simple to do. Here’s how.
- Open Google Photos on your phone.
- Select the Library tab at the bottom.
- Tap on Utilities menu.
- Find the Set up Locked Folder suggestion on the following menu.
- Tap Get started, and you can use your phone’s authentication method (PIN, password, or fingerprint) to access the Locked Folder.
Now that you have set up the Locked Folder, it’s time to add media files.
How to hide photos in the Locked Folder
There are two ways to add photos and videos to the Locked Folder. You can add them from the media library or through a single photo. For the first method:
- Launch Google Photos and go to the Photos tab.
- Long tap on an image and multi-select media files you want to hide.
- Tap on the three-dot menu at the top.
- Select Move to Locked Folder and confirm your decision from the following pop-up menu.
That’s all there is to it. If you’re only adding one photo or video, you can simply click into the media file, swipe up to check more details, and select the Move to Locked Folder option to hide it.
How to hide photos in the Locked Folder for Pixel users
Users with a Pixel 3 and newer can save captured images directly to your Locked Folder from the default Camera app.
- Open the default Camera app on your Pixel phone.
- Tap on the photo gallery icon at the top.
- Select Locked Folder from the Save to menu.
From now on, any photo or video you capture using your Pixel phone will go straight to the Locked Folder in Google Photos.
How to access hidden media in the Locked Folder
Now that they’re locked away, you might want to know where to find them. You can access your hidden media files in the Google Photos Utilities menu.
- Open the Utilities menu in Google Photos.
- Find Locked Folder under the Organize your library menu.
- Open it, authenticate your identity with a fingerprint or PIN, and check your hidden files.
Google’s Lock Folder implementation does carry some notable disadvantages. Before jamming the Locked Folder with hundreds of media files, you must keep them in mind.
- Locked Folder is an offline add-on. Google won’t sync hidden files to your Google Photos library, and you can’t access the same from the web or another phone.
- Since hidden photos are stored on the device only, you don’t get any Google Photos editing or sharing capabilities.
- If you uninstall Google Photos or reset the device, you lose all the data in the Locked Folder.
How to hide photos on your Samsung Galaxy phone
Powered by Samsung Knox, the Secure Folder in One UI (Samsung’s Android skin) does the job of securing your private photos and videos.
- Swipe down from the top and open the notification center.
- Swipe down again and expand the quick toggles menu.
- Enable the Secure Folder toggle and find it in the app drawer menu.
- If you don’t see Secure Folder in the quick toggle menu, tap on the three-dot menu at the top.
- Select the Edit buttons, and drag the Secure Folder icon (from suggestions) to the quick toggles menu.
How to set up Secure Folder
- Swipe up from the home screen and open the app drawer menu.
- Find Secure Folder (which looks like a lock icon) and open it.
- Set it up with a 4-digit PIN.
- Close Secure Folder and open the Gallery app on your Samsung phone.
That’s it. Now you can start adding media to your Secure Folder.
How to hide photos in the Secure Folder
- Find the Gallery app on your phone’s home screen or the app drawer menu (represented by a flower icon).
- Select multiple images and tap on More at the bottom.
- Select Move to Secure Folder, and your photos will vanish from the Gallery app.
When you want to access any of your hidden media, you can open the Secure Folder from the app drawer menu, authenticate with a PIN (the one you created during the setup), and select the Gallery app.
How to hide photos on iPhone
The default Photos app on iPhone and iPad allows users to protect sensitive media files in a hidden album.
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Tap the Select button at the top and select the photos and videos you want to hide.
- Hit the share icon in the bottom left corner and select Hide.
That’s really all there is to it. It’s also just as easy to find your hidden media.
How to access hidden media on your iPhone
To check the hidden album, you first need to enable it from Photos settings.
- Open Settings using the gear icon on your iPhone.
- Scroll to Photos.
- Enable Hidden Album toggle.
- Open the Photos app and go to the Albums menu.
- Scroll down to the Utilities menu and open Hidden album to check sensitive media files.
Keep prying eyes away from private photos
Although the Google Play Store and App Store are filled with third-party apps to hide photos, we suggest sticking to the default method. It’s a bit risky to trust any random app with your private media. If you prefer Google’s Safe Folder, you can also use it to safely hide documents as well as images and videos. If you find yourself running out of space, you can always consider moving your photos to Synology NAS. While not a complete substitute for Google Photos, it may help if you already own a Synology NAS server.
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