Hide your sensitive photos & videos

You can save sensitive photos and videos to a folder protected by your device screen lock in the Google Photos app. Items in Locked Folder won’t appear in the Photos grid, memories, search or albums and won’t be available to other apps on your device that have access to your photos and videos. 

Important:

  • This feature is only available on Android 6 and later.
  • People who have access to the device screen lock can unlock Locked Folder.
  • Items in your Locked Folder that are saved to your device aren’t moved to other devices during cable or cloud data transfers.
  • If you uninstall the Photos app or clear your Photos app data, you’ll lose all items in your Locked Folder. To save these items, remove them from Locked Folder before you make changes.

Set up Locked Folder

Important: The first time you try to move photos and videos to Locked Folder, you'll be prompted to set it up.
  1. Open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Go to Library and then Utilities and then Locked Folder .
  3. Tap Set up Locked Folder.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to unlock your device. If your folder is empty, you’ll find "Nothing here yet."

Save directly from Pixel camera to Locked Folder

Important: This feature only works on Pixel 3 devices and later.

  1. Open the Pixel camera app.
  2. In the top right corner, tap Photo gallery  and then Locked Folder  .
  3. Take a photo. Photos that you take with Locked Folder  on are automatically saved to Locked Folder.

Move photos or videos to Locked Folder

Important: Cloud backups of these items will be deleted.
  1. Select the photos and videos you want in Locked Folder.
  2. At the top right, tap More More and then Move to Locked Folder. 
  3. Tap Move.
Tip: To move photos and videos from Trash to Locked Folder, first restore the content from Trash.

Learn more about Locked Folder

What’s the difference between Locked Folder & Archive?
Archived photos and videos still show up when you search in Google Photos. Locked Folder keeps them hidden and protected by your device screen lock.
What can I do with items in Locked Folder?

You can: 

  • Move them out of Locked Folder
  • Permanently delete
  • After unlocking your device, view them at any time

What can’t I do with items in Locked Folder?

To prevent accidental exposure of your sensitive photos and videos, you can’t do the following with your Locked Folder content:

  • Add items to an album or photo book
  • Back up items
  • Edit items or revert changes made before an item was moved to Locked Folder
  • Share items in Google Photos or with other apps like Instagram or Facebook
  • Move items to Trash
  • View photos or videos that your device can't display in original format or resolution

Important:

  • Photos and videos that you move to Locked Folder are removed from your existing memories and photo print orders. They also won’t be shown on Google smart displays like Nest Hub or through Chromecast, although it may take up to an hour for items to disappear.
  • Locked Folder items aren't transferred in USB-USB device transfers and aren't kept when you factory reset your device or clear app data.
  • If you delete the Photos app, your Locked Folder and any items inside will also be permanently deleted.
Where can I find items in Locked Folder? 
You can find items you’ve moved to Locked Folder in the Photos app library under "Utilities".

Where can I not find items in Locked Folder?

To keep your sensitive photos and videos private, items in Locked Folder:

  • Won’t appear in search results, albums, shared items or any new memories.
  • Are removed from existing memories and draft print orders.
  • Aren’t available to share through third party apps.

Important: Your sensitive photos and videos won’t be shown on Google smart displays like Nest Hub or through Chromecast, although it may take up to an hour for items to disappear.

Can I view items from Locked Folder elsewhere on my Pixel device? 
To protect your content, no other app on your device can access items in Locked Folder except Google Photos and the device's camera.
Why is an item I placed in Locked Folder found in other areas of Photos? 
When you move a photo or video to Locked Folder, only the original item gets moved from wherever it appears in Google Photos. After an item is moved to Locked Folder, any new copies stay where they are stored, including items in trash, unless you move or delete them too.
Why am I ineligible for Locked Folder? 
Locked Folder is currently unavailable on fully managed devices and for certain account types. Please reach out to your device's admin or your account’s admin for more information.
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