You wouldn’t freely share your home address or phone number with just anyone, and the same instinct for privacy should extend to your photos. Most people have a few photos that they are willing to share with others, and the rest are destined to remain in a private collection to protect the privacy of you and your family. Every once in a while you might hand over your phone so your boss, co-worker or best friend can see your cat doing something cute, but at that point there is no guarantee that your viewer will stop there.
You have to protect the privacy of your photos at all times and make sure that random people can’t flip through and see the rest of your pictures. Since the temptation can be overwhelming, you can hide photos on your Android device – either in your device settings or with a third-party app. We’ll show you how to do it.
Hide photos on your Android phone
While there’s no built-in secure way to hide photos on your Android phone or tablet, many Android device manufacturers offer built-in privacy features that can help you easily hide photos and other files from prying eyes. The archiving feature in Google Photos can also come in handy for this purpose. The example shown below refers to the latest version of Google Photos using Android 11 on the Samsung S20 FE.
Archiving photos in Google Photos
If you use Google Photos on your Android phone, you can use the archiving feature to hide photos that you wouldn’t want people to accidentally stumble upon from your main feed. Don’t worry about losing precious pictures – they’ll still be available through Archive, in albums and through search.
- Find the photos you want to archive, hover over the date (to select all) or the first image (to select inconsistent images), and then click the circle in the upper left corner of each photo thumbnail you want to hide. A checkmark will appear next to each hidden photo.
- Click the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the screen and select Move to Archive from the drop-down menu.
- You’ll receive a notification that the selected photos have been moved to the archive. You can cancel this action if you change your mind.
You can still access these photos by clicking the Library icon in the lower right corner of the screen and then clicking Archive. To return them to the main photo feed, tap and hold to select, then tap the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner and select Unarchive.
Hide photos on your Samsung phone
If you have a Samsung phone, such as the Galaxy S21 Ultra, there’s a safe and secure way to keep your personal photos and videos safe.
- Open Settings and click on Biometrics and Security, then find the Protected Folder option and click on it.
- You may be prompted to log in to your account and agree to the terms.
- Now you can configure your protected folder and decide whether it should appear in your app drawer, how to access it, whether it should automatically lock when you turn off your screen, and other options.
- We recommend locking it with your fingerprint and setting it to lock automatically at screen shutdown.
- Open the Gallery app and find the photo you want to hide.
- Tap and hold to select it, then tap the three vertical dots in the bottom right corner.
- From the drop-down list, select “Move to Protected Folder.
If you want to unhide photos, just find them in the Gallery app in the protected folder, tap and hold to select, then tap the three vertical dots in the upper right corner and select.
Best Android apps for hiding photos
If your phone or tablet doesn’t have a built-in security feature for hiding photos, it’s best to download and install one of the best apps for hiding photos. We recommend a few of them.
LockMyPix protects your personal photos with hidden, encrypted and secure photo and video storage. Featuring military-grade AES encryption, this app gives you complete power over who has access to view your images. You have many intuitive options for logging into the vault. Some use a PIN, facial recognition, fingerprint, password, or picture. All of these options ensure that everyone who tries to log into your vault is constantly and reliably monitored. Users can even use the Fake Vault setting to create a fake vault for even more protection. This additional vault provides a separate PIN and unlimited storage capacity.
Vaulty is a free Android app that hides your photos and offers several other services as in-app purchases. The app allows you to store photos and videos in a vault that can only be accessed with a PIN or password. It includes a special backup feature that immediately encrypts and saves your photos in the cloud. For increased security, you have the option to create many different vaults for your photos and videos, each with its own individual password. Vaulty even has a “photobooth” feature that allows you to take pictures of intruders trying to break into your storage.
Gallery Vault is another simple and widely used photo hiding app on Android, similar to a secure locker. It lets you select the photos and videos you want to protect and protect them with a PIN, fingerprint or password. It also encrypts your images. The only drawback of this app is that there is no online backup. Your files will stay on your device. Gallery Vault extends support for Micro SD cards and a false password option that points to a fake vault. The app also provides users with a secret icon that masks the app itself. You can also set up notifications to receive them when someone tries to break into the device.