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Google Photos Locked Folder on an Android smartphone
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Security & privacy

Google Photos Locked Folder coming to more Android phones – How to set it up

Over a trillion photos are taken each year on smartphones. Every photo we take ends up stored in our phones — even when we wished they wouldn’t.

Your phone is probably loaded with memes, screenshots and other junk hiding the photos you actually care about. Tap or click here for steps to find and delete pesky duplicate photos.

Surely there are some you’d like to keep private, too. If you have an Android phone and use Google Photos, there’s a new way to keep some of your photos out of your photo gallery. The Google Photos Locked Folder is coming to more Android phones and we’ll show you how to set it up.

What is the Google Photos Locked Folder?

The Locked Folder is similar to the Hidden Folder on iPhone — with an upgrade. You need to put in a password or your fingerprint to unload this folder. You can add any photos you don’t want to show up in your general camera roll to your Locked Folder, where only you can access them.

As with most new Android updates, the feature originally rolled out only on Google Pixel phones. Now it’s making its way to older Pixels and Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

There are a couple things to keep in mind if you decide to use the Locked Folder. Any photos saved to the Google Photos Locked Folder won’t be synced to the cloud or other devices. If you accidentally delete the folder, lose your phone or factory reset your phone, you lose the photos forever.

How to set up and use the Google Photos Locked Folder

The Locked Folder is not available for all Android models. To check and set it up, follow these steps:

  • Open the Google Photos app, then head to Library.
  • Tap Utilities.
  • Choose Locked Folder.
  • Then select Set up Locked Folder.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to unlock your device.

Once your folder is set up, you can move photos directly from your photo reel into the locked folder so nobody but you can see them. Here’s how:

  • Choose the photos and/or videos you want to hide.
  • Choose the three dots at the top right to access the More menu.
  • Select Move to Locked Folder, then tap Move.

You can repeat this process with as many photos and videos as you want. If you want to view them later, open Google Photos. You’ll find them under Utilities > Locked Folder.

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