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 they’re willing to share with others, while the rest are destined to remain in a private collection to shield the privacy of you and your family. Every so often, you may hand over your phone so your boss, co-worker, or best friend can see your cat doing something cute — but in that moment, there’s no guarantee your viewer will stop there.
It’s up to you to protect the privacy of your photos at all times and make sure random folks can’t continue to swipe and check out the rest of your photos. Because the temptation may be overwhelming, you can hide photos on your Android device — either in the device settings or using a third-party app. We show you how it’s done.
Hide photos on your Android phone
While there’s no built-in secure way to hide photos on an Android phone or tablet, many Android device manufacturers offer native privacy features that help you to easily shield photos and other files from prying eyes. The archive function in Google Photos can also come in handy for this purpose. The example shown below is with the latest version of Google Photos using Android 10 on an LG V40 ThinQ.
Archive photos in Google Photos
If you use Google Photos on your Android phone, then you can employ the archive function to hide any photos you’d rather people didn’t accidentally stumble onto from the main feed. Don’t worry about losing your precious pictures — these photos will still be accessible via the Archive, in albums, and via search.
- Find the photos you want to archive and hover over either the date (to choose all) or over the first image (to select non-consecutive images) and then tap the circle at the upper left of each thumbnail of the photos you want to hide. Each hidden photo will have a checkmark.
- Tap the three vertical dots at the top right of the screen and choose Move to Archive from the drop-down menu.
- You will get a notification that your selected photos have been archived. You can Undo this action immediately if you change your mind.
You can still access these photos by tapping the Library icon at the bottom right of the screen and then tapping on the Archive button. To put them back into the main photo feed, tap and hold to select, then tap the three vertical dots at the top right and tap Unarchive.
Hide photos on a Samsung phone
If you have a Samsung phone, like the Galaxy S20, there’s a robust, secure mode to keep your private photos and videos private.
- Open the Settings and tap on Biometrics and security then find the Secure Folder option and tap on it.
- It may prompt you to sign in to your account and agree to the terms.
- Now you can configure your Secure Folder and decide whether it should appear in the app drawer, how to access it, whether it should lock automatically when the screen turns off, and various other options.
- We recommend locking it with your fingerprint and setting it to lock automatically when the screen turns off.
- Open the Gallery app and find a photo you want to hide.
- Tap and hold to select it and tap the three vertical dots at the top right.
- Choose Move to Secure Folder from the drop-down list.
If you ever want to unhide photos, simply find them in the Gallery app in the Secure Folder, tap and hold to select, then tap the three vertical dots at the top right and choose.
Best Android apps for hiding photos
If your phone or tablet doesn’t have a built-in security option for hiding photos, then your best bet is to download and install one of the best photo hiding apps. There are a few that we recommend.
Your private photos are safe with LockMyPix, which provides a private, encrypted, and secure photo and video vault. Protected by military-grade AES encryption, the app gives you complete control over who sees your photos and videos. You can log in with your PIN, face, fingerprint, password, or pattern as the app keeps an eye on people who try to open your private vault. You can create a decoy Fake Vault with a separate PIN for an unlimited number of images and albums, just in case.
Here’s a great, free photo hiding app for Android with some optional extras available as in-app purchases. You can put photos or videos into your vault where they are accessible only by entering a PIN or password. There’s an optional, automatic, online backup built-in, which encrypts your photos and uploads them to the cloud. You can also set up multiple vaults for different photos and videos, all with different passwords to gain entry. Vaulty has a mugshot feature, too, which snaps a photo of anyone trying to gain access.
This is a very popular app for hiding photos on Android, and it’s easy to use — like a secure locker. You choose which photos and videos to add to it, and you can only access them by using your PIN, passcode, or fingerprint. It encrypts your files, but keeps them on the device — there is no online backup. It also supports Micro SD cards, includes a fake passcode option that takes you to a decoy photo vault, a hidden icon to disguise the app, and break-in alerts.