How to Secure Your Photos with Google Photos Locked Folder

If you’re looking for a way to keep your private photos hidden and secure, Google Photos has got you covered. Previously, you had to rely on third-party apps or workarounds to hide your sensitive photos, but now you can use the native Google Photos Locked folder feature to password-protect your photos. Let’s dive into what the Locked folder is and how you can add photos to it.

What Is Locked Folder in Google Photos

The Locked folder is a special feature in Google Photos that allows you to hide your sensitive photos and videos behind a passcode. This folder uses your phone’s screen lock, such as a password or biometric authentication, to provide an additional layer of security. Any items you place in the Locked folder are kept private and cannot be accessed by other apps or appear in your gallery. You can only view these photos and videos after unlocking the Locked folder.

How to Add Photos or Videos to Locked Folder

There are three simple methods to add photos and videos to the Locked folder:

Method 1

  1. Open the Google Photos app and go to the Library tab.
  2. Tap on Utilities and select Set up Locked folder if it’s your first time. Otherwise, scroll down and tap on Locked folder under the Organize your library section.
  3. Unlock your device using your screen lock method, or set it up if you don’t have one.
  4. In the Locked folder screen, tap on the Move items button or press the Add icon at the top.
  5. Select the items you want to add to the Locked folder and tap on Move.

Method 2

Alternatively, open a photo or video in Google Photos and swipe up. Tap on Move to Locked folder.

Method 3

If you own a Google Pixel phone, you can save photos directly from the Camera to the Locked folder. Open the Google Camera app, tap on the Photo Gallery option, and choose Locked folder. Now, any photo or video you capture will be automatically saved in the Locked folder.

What Happens by Putting Photos and Videos in Locked Folder

When you place photos and videos in the Locked folder, certain changes and restrictions apply:

Google Photos Features

Items in the Locked folder won’t appear in Google Photos search, memories, movies, or albums. They will only be visible inside the Locked folder. Additionally, you cannot move items from the Locked folder to the trash or put them in albums. Editing pictures is also not possible in the Locked folder.

Sharing Restrictions

Photos and videos in the Locked folder cannot be shared directly from the Google Photos app or through other apps. These photos are inaccessible to other apps, ensuring their privacy.

Cloud Functionality

Unlike regular photos in Google Photos, items in the Locked folder are stored locally on your device and are not uploaded to the cloud. If a photo is already backed up to the cloud, the cloud backup will be deleted, and the photo will only exist on your device.

Data Transfer

Items in the Locked folder are not transferred when sharing with other devices using cables or USB transfers.


Both screenshots and screen recordings are blocked inside the Locked folder. If you attempt to capture either, the resulting photo or video will appear black.

Uninstalling App

Deleting the Google Photos app or clearing its data will permanently delete any items inside the Locked folder. Make sure to remove them from the Locked folder if you want to save them.

How to Remove Photos from Locked Folder

To remove a photo or video from the Locked folder:

  1. Go to the Locked Folder inside Google Photos.
  2. Unlock the folder and tap on the photo or video you want to move back to a regular album.
  3. Tap on the Move button. If you want to delete the photo permanently, tap on the Delete button. Note that deleted items from the Locked folder are not moved to the trash but are permanently deleted.
  4. If you want to move multiple items, tap on the three-dot icon on the Locked folder screen, select the items, and tap on Move.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can You Password Protect a Google Photos Albums?
No, you cannot password-protect individual albums in Google Photos. To hide a photo, you must move it to the Locked folder.

Can You Use a Different Password Than Lock Screen?
No, the Locked folder uses your device’s lock screen password. Anyone with access to your device’s lock screen will be able to unlock the Locked folder.

What’s the Difference Between Locked Folder and Archive?
Archived items in Google Photos are not protected by a lock and can be accessed by anyone. They also appear in Google Photos’ search and can be easily shared. The Locked folder provides enhanced privacy and security for your sensitive photos.


With the Google Photos Locked folder, you can now protect your private photos with ease. No need for third-party apps or complicated workarounds. If you’re a fan of Google Photos, make sure to check out our best tips for editing photos and videos. Enjoy the peace of mind knowing that your sensitive moments are securely hidden away in the Locked folder.

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