Fortunately, Google Photos has a feature called Locked Folder that allows you to preserve your privacy. The strong point of Google Photos is the ability to securely back up all your images on different devices. If something happens to one phone, your photos are safe in the cloud. But what if you don’t want certain photos to be backed up in the cloud? The solution is Locked Folder – which is basically devoid of all the special features that make the rest of Google Photos special. Since no cloud backup has been made, all images within it are hidden and will require a successful fingerprint scan or PIN entry to access it. That’s why your photos are safe here and can only be accessed by directly accessing the locked folder. It also means that other applications cannot access your hidden images. The Locked Folder feature is available for most Android devices that use the latest version of Google Photos. Since Locked Folder does not have a backup in the cloud, a few things should be noted. Keep in mind that the absence of these features acts as a security method for storing your images.
Here’s what to remember:
- Different versions of the photo you move – including saved copies and modified versions – are not moved along with the photo you selected.
- Photos that have been moved to the Locked Folder from your image backups will be taken out of the cloud and will not be backed up.
- When you use the Google Photos search feature, images in Locked Folder will not appear.
- Applications that have access to your device’s images will be blocked from accessing Locked Folder.
- If you uninstall Google Photos, the images in Locked Folder will be deleted.
There are several different ways you can move photos to Locked Folder, just as there are different ways to move other images to Google Photos. First you need to know where Locked Folder is:
- Sign in to Google Photos on your Android device.
- At the bottom, tap the Library section.
- At the top of the tabs, tap Utilities.
- Look for the section called Locked Folder.
- You will need to use the device unlock form that is set. For example, you might need to scan a fingerprint or enter a PIN.
If this is your first time in Locked Folder, there will probably be no photos inside. No worries, you can select and add photos directly from it:
- In Locked Folder, tap the icon to add an image in the upper right corner of the screen.
- You will be sent to a page that contains all your backups of photos and videos. Select the images you want to move.
- When you choose what you want to hide, tap Move.
- Unlock the Locked Folder again with your fingerprint or PIN.
- You will be asked again if you want to move them. Touch Move.
After going through this process, the photos you selected will be moved to the Locked Folder, hidden from prying eyes. The second method of moving images to a locked folder works well if you want to move images that have not yet been backed up and that are in the local folder on your device:
- Open Google Photos on your Android device.
- Tap Library at the bottom of the screen.
- In the Photos on device section, tap View all.
- Touch the album that contains the images you want to lock.
- Long press to select photos and videos.
- Tap the three-point menu in the upper right corner and select Move to Locked Folder.
- Confirm and tap Move.
If you need to remove photos from Locked Folder, simply select the images and tap the Move button. This will send the photo back to its original location before locking.
All in all, the Locked Folder feature in Google Photos is fantastic for hiding images that don’t need to be backed up in the cloud. Just remember that if you uninstall Google Photos or reset your device, those images will disappear forever.