How to Lock Images in Google Photos

Sensitive images stored on your phone? Now you can hide them.

Google just rolled out a new feature in Google Photos that will help you hide your sensitive images from prying eyes.

Available first on Pixel devices and coming later this year to more Android devices, the new Locked Folder lets you store photos that you don’t want anyone to see. The photos stored there are protected by your device screen lock passcode and won’t show up in your Photos grid, memories, or be available to other apps that have access to your camera roll.


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 phones, you can save photos directly to a Locked Folder. Open the Camera app, tap on Photo Gallery, then on Locked Folder. If you keep Locked Folder on, all the photos you take will be stored there.

If you want to move photos to the Locked Folder from your camera roll, select the photos you want to store there. In the top right, tap the More icon and select Move to Locked Folder. Then tap Move. Just something to keep in mind: If you’ve been storing those photos in the cloud, they’ll be deleted. The Locked Folder keeps your sensitive photos on your device where no one can see them.

It’s still unclear if Google plans to bring the feature to Google Photos for iOS, though Apple has its own way to hide photos via a Hidden Folder on the iPhone.

The downside is that you can’t back up photos stored in the Locked Folder, but that trade-off may be worth it.