How to hide your private photos and videos in Google Photos

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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support.microsoft.com

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Here's how you can protect your private photos and videos from prying eyes using the locked folder in Google Photos.

Google Photos is arguably the best way to manage your large and ever-growing photo library. The various tools it offers make it super easy to sort your photos and videos and group them by events and people.

As a privacy measure and to protect your personal photos from prying eyes, you can also lock all your private photos in a special folder. This locked folder will then only be accessible after entering its unlock PIN.



The Google Photos locked folder

Any photos and videos you move to a protected folder won't appear in search results, albums, your photo library, or memories. They will also be removed from all existing albums and won't even show up on your smart displays.

However, there are some caveats on how the locked folder in Google Photos works.

  • First, the feature is currently only available on the Google Pixel 3 and newer Pixel devices. Google has not currently extended the Blocked Folder feature to non-Pixel devices.
  • The Locked Folder feature is only available on your phone, not on the web. The feature will also not appear on Pixel devices managed by companies and other selected account types.
  • Your locked folder is also not synced across devices, so you won't be able to access it from other devices.
  • Although Google Photos itself is cloud-based, the Blocked Folder feature works locally. Any photos or videos you transfer to a secure folder in Google Photos will be downloaded to your Pixel and password protected using the screen lock. The cloud backup copy of that photo or video will then be deleted from your Google Photos library.
  • The contents in the locked folder are also cleared if you clear the Google Photos app app data. If you ever delete your Pixel phone, all photos and videos stored in the locked folder will also be deleted.
  • Also, you can't share photos stored in a protected folder.
  • The locked folder will use the same screen lock as the phone. You can't set a different unlock pattern or PIN for the locked folder in Google Photos.
  • For security reasons, you can't take screenshots of the locked folder, so you can rest assured that the content inside is always protected.

How to set the locked folder in Google Photos

Before you can move your photos and videos to the locked folder, you need to set it up first.



  • Open the Google Photos app on your phone.
  • Select the tab library down. Then select Utilities> Locked Folder .
  • Tap the option Set locked folder . You will then need to unlock the device using the unlock pattern / PIN / password.

How to move photos and videos to the locked folder in Google Photos

  • Open the Google Photos app and select all the photos and videos you want to move to the locked folder.
  • Tap the 3-dot menu button in the top right corner, then select the option Move to locked folder .
  • Confirm your selection by tapping again Move .

You can also take photos and videos directly which will be saved in the locked folder. For this, open the Camera app on your Pixel phone. Click the Photo Gallery icon in the top right corner, followed by Locked Folder.



Now, any photos or videos you take will automatically be saved in the locked folder in Google Photos.

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