Hide your sensitive photos and 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 Pixel 3 devices and later.
  • People with whom you've shared your device screen lock can unlock locked folder. 

Set up a locked folder

Important: The first time that 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

  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 that 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 Bin to locked folder, first restore the content from Bin.

Learn more about locked folder

What’s the difference between locked folder and 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, such as Instagram or Facebook
  • Move items to the bin
  • 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, such as Nest Hub or via 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.
Where can I find items in locked folder? 
You can find items that 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, such as Nest Hub or via 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 that 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 is 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 the bin, 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 contact your device's admin or your account’s admin for more information.
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