Google just released a new feature in Google Photos that lets you hide your sensitive images from prying eyes.
Available first on Pixel devices and later this year on more Android devices, the new Locked Folder allows you to save photos you don’t have. The photos stored there are protected by your device’s screen lock code and will not appear in the Photos, Reminders grid or be available to other apps that have access to your recordings.
Here’s how to set up the Google Photos Lock Folder on a Pixel.
Open Google Photos. Tap on Library, Utilities, then Locked Folder.
Tap Set up Locked Folder. Next, unlock your device with either your fingerprint or your PIN. If you don’t already have a passcode, you’ll have to go create one first.
On Pixel smartphones, you can save photos directly to a locked folder. Open the Camera app, tap Photo Gallery, then tap Lock Folder. If you leave the locked folder checked, all photos will be taken.
If you want to move photos from your camera roll to the locked folder, select the photos you want to save there. Tap the More icon in the upper right corner and select Move to Locked Folder. Then tap Move. Just remember, if you have those photos saved in the cloud, they will be deleted. The locked folder keeps your sensitive photos on your device where no one can see them.
It’s not yet clear if Google plans to bring the Google Photos feature to iOS, although Apple has its own method of hiding photos via a hidden folder on iPhone.
The downside is that you won’t be able to back up the photos stored in the locked folder, but this tradeoff can be worthwhile.