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Similar to Google’s own Files app, Google Photos includes a “Locked Folder” feature. This allows you to hide sensitive photos behind some form of security. We’ll show you how to keep prying eyes away from your photos.

Unlike the Files by Google app, Google Photos utilizes the screen lock on your Google Pixel smartphone. So, if you use a fingerprint to unlock your phone, that’s what you’ll use to open the “Locked Folder.” There’s also some nifty integration with the Google Camera.

Note: Photos and videos moved to the Locked Folder won’t appear in the main photos grid, memories, search, or albums. They aren’t backed up to the cloud and can’t be accessed on other devices.

RELATED: How to Hide Files with Google's Safe Folder on Android

Hide Photos in the Locked Folder

First, let’s set up the Locked Folder. Open the Google Photos app on a Pixel 3 or a newer Pixel smartphone. Then, go to the “Utilities” section in the “Library” tab.

Go to the "Utilities" section.

Scroll down and select “Locked Folder.”

Select "Locked Folder."

If you already have a screen lock method, you’ll be prompted to enter that.

Use your screen lock method.

If you don’t, the app will ask you to set one up, directing you to the Settings app.

Set up a screen lock method.

Now, you can go back to Google Photos and select “Move Items.”

"Move Items" to Locked Folder.

Select all the photos you want to move to the Locked Folder and tap “Move” in the top-right corner.

Select photos and tap "Move."

You can also add a photo to the Locked Folder while viewing it. Tap the three-dot menu icon in the top-right corner.

Then, select “Move to Locked Folder.”

Then select "Move to Locked Folder."

Save Directly to the Locked Folder from the Camera

You can skip the step of moving photos to the Locked Folder by using the Google Camera app. With this method, any photo or video that you take will go straight to the Locked Folder, never touching the cloud.

Open the default Google Camera app on your Pixel 3 or newer Pixel phone.

Open the Google Camera app.

In the top-right corner, tap the folder icon.

Select “Locked Folder” from the menu.

Select "Locked Folder" from the menu.

Now, you can snap a video or record a video like normal. The photo or video will automatically go to the Locked Folder, as indicated by the purple lock icon.

Take a photo or video.

That’s all there is to it! You can access your Lock Folder through the Utilities section at any time. This is a handy little feature for some extra protection on private photos.

RELATED: How to Hide People from Memories in Google Photos

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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