Here’s how to hide your sensitive photos and videos on Android phones and tablets

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Here’s how to hide your sensitive photos and videos on Android phones and tablets
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  • Google recently rolled out the Locked Folder feature on Pixel devices.
  • You can save photos and videos in the Locked Folder to hide them from others.
  • On other Android devices, you can use the Archive feature in the Google Photos app to hide sensitive media.
Most of us have photos that are sensitive and personal that you do not wish for everyone to see. On an Android device, almost all the photos and videos that you capture or receive via messaging apps such as WhatsApp are stored on Google Photos. It is your one-stop organiser for all your photos, as you can create collages, albums, edit media and share them with your contacts.

To protect your privacy, Google earlier this year rolled out Locked Folder to hide all your sensitive photos and videos at one location in Google Photos. Though this feature is currently only available on Google Pixel 3 or later devices, the company plans to launch it for all Android phones and tablets at a later date. Until then, you can continue using the Archive feature to protect the sensitive media on your device on your Android devices.

Here’s how you can use the Locked Folder and Archive feature to hide your sensitive photos and videos.

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Before starting to move photos and videos to the Locked Folder, Google will prompt you to set it up.

Setting up the Locked Folder
  • On your Pixel device, open Google Photos.
  • Go to Library at the bottom right of the screen.
  • Tap on Utilities and look for Locked Folder.
  • Click on 'Set up Locked Folder'.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to unlock your device. If your folder is empty, you’ll find "Nothing here yet."
  • Your device must have the screen lock set up, else you will have to set it up first and then create the Locked Folder.
You can choose to directly save your photos to the Locked Folder by following the simple steps given below-
How to save photos directly from the camera to Locked Folder
  • Open the camera app on your Pixel device.
  • On the top right corner, tap on Photo Gallery and then Locked Folder.
  • You can now click a picture and it will get saved to the Locked Folder.
Every photo or video that you capture with the Locked Folder on gets automatically saved to the folder.
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You can also move your photos and videos from the Google Photos app and hide them in the Locked Folder. It is important to note that the Cloud backup of these media will be deleted once they are hidden in the Locked Folder.

How to move photos and videos to Locked Folder
  • Select the photos and videos you want to hide.
  • Click on More, the three dots icon, at the top right.
  • Tap Move to hide the media away.
If you wish to move photos and videos from the Trash to the Locked Folder, you will need to first restore them and then follow the steps given above. The Locked Folder will be accessible only with people you have shared your screen lock with. The folder is only available on your device and the media saved here are deleted from the cloud.

If you have any other Android device, you can archive images and videos in the Google Photos app to hide them.
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How to move images and videos to the Archive folder
  • Open the Google Photos app.
  • Select a photo you wish to hide.
  • Tap More, the three-dot icon.
  • Select the Move to Archive option.
To find any photos that you’ve archived from your Photos view, in the Google Photos app, at the bottom, tap on Library and then Archive.

If you wish to unarchive any image or video, you can select them in the Archive folder and tap on the three-dot icon at the top right. Select Unarchive to restore the media to the main Photos folder.

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