Earlier this year, Google Photos got a feature called ‘Locked Folder’ which enabled users to lock away photos and videos with a passcode. This was only available for Google Pixel smartphones, but it is now rolling out to all Android phones running on Android 6 or later. Users are reportedly getting pop-up notifications about the feature, so be on the lookout if you don’t have it already.
How exactly does ‘Locked Folder’ work?
Google Photos’ Locked Folder is a simple, yet incredibly useful feature. If you have any photos that you want to keep private, such as your vaccination card, driver’s license, or… anything else, you can put them in the folder for safe keeping. This will hide the photos from the photo grid, search, and apps that have access to your device’s photos.
For Apple users, it’s like the Hidden album in Photos, but with a few key differences. Images in the Locked Folder are hidden behind a passcode (your device screen lock), and they are stored right on the device. This means that they’re not backed up to the cloud and will be removed if you delete the Google Photos app. This also means that your other devices will not share the same Locked Folder.
Want to check if you have the feature already? Head to Google Photos, tap on ‘Library’, then ‘Utilities’. If you have the device, there should be a prompt to set it up under ‘Organise your library’.
If you have a Google Pixel, you can even take a picture and save directly to the Locked Folder instead of the camera roll. This could be useful if you do an intensive photoshoot and don’t want every picture to be automatically synced to the cloud.
Unfortunately, iOS users will have to wait until sometime next year to get the feature. If you can’t wait until then, Apple’s Notes app has a Lock feature that you can use to hide things behind a passcode. Just make a new note, tap on the triple dot icon, and select Lock. You can even use biometrics or a full password! Have fun hiding your… “vaccination cards”.
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