Google Drive app on iPhone asking for Face ID authentication
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Storing important and or sensitive documents in Google Drive isn’t the most secure way to protect your data, but if you are, your iPhone and iPad can help keep everything safe. Here’s how to add a Face ID or Touch ID lock to the cloud storage’s mobile app.

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Google doesn’t offer enhanced security options on its Drive app for Android or on the web. Enabling two-factor authentication on your Google account is your best bet for keeping people out of your cloud files.

RELATED: Google Drive on iOS Now Supports Locking the App With Face ID and Touch ID

Start by opening the “Drive” app on your iPhone or iPad. Use Apple’s built-in Spotlight Search if you can’t find it on your home screen.

Open the Google Drive app

Next, tap on the three-line hamburger menu icon.

From the slide-over menu that appears, select the “Settings” option.

Select the "Settings" option

Tap on the “Privacy Screen” button found in the middle of the screen.

Tap on the "Privacy Screen" option

You can now read more about the Privacy Screen feature. If it’s something that you’d like to enable, toggle on the “Privacy Screen” option.

Toggle on the "Privacy Screen" option

Your iPhone or iPad will display a pop-up asking for you to give the Google Drive app permission to access Face ID or Touch ID on your device. Tap on the “OK” button to permit it.

Give Google Drive permission to access Face ID or Touch ID

The next time you exit and reopen the Google Drive app, you will see a screen similar to the one below. Authenticate using your face or your fingerprint to access the cloud storage application.

Google Drive will now use Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate

Now that the Privacy Screen setting is enabled, you will see several new options to customize the feature further.

By default, the Privacy Screen feature locks the Drive app the moment you lock your iPhone’s or iPad’s display or leave the app. If you want to add a time delay, tap on the option that corresponds to the “Delay” listing.

Tap on the "Delay" option to change the lock timeout

Here, you can choose from “Immediately,” “After 10 Seconds,” “After 1 Minute,” and “After 10 Minutes.” Choose one of the options and then tap on the Back arrow.

Choose a delay period

If you don’t trust Face ID or Touch ID to protect your files stored in Drive, you can require your phone or tablet’s lock screen passcode to enter the app.

Back in the “Privacy Screen” settings menu, tap on the blue “Open System Settings” link.

Tap the "Open System Settings" link to adjust Face ID or Touch ID settings

You will be taken to Drive’s section of your iPhone’s or iPad’s Settings menu. Here, you can toggle off permission to use Face ID or Touch ID.

Adjust permissions for Face ID or Touch ID to turn off access

With the security setting disabled, the next time you open the Google Drive app, it will require you to enter your device’s lock screen passcode.

Without permissions, Google Drive will use your device's lock screen passcode

RELATED: How to Organize Your Google Drive

Profile Photo for Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at How-To Geek (and LifeSavvy Media as a whole). He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry.
Read Full Bio »