Hide your sensitive photos & videos

You can save sensitive photos and videos to a folder protected by your device screen lock in the Google Photos app. Items in Locked Folder won’t appear in the Photos grid, memories, search or albums and won’t be available to other apps on your device that have access to your photos and videos. 

Locked Folder is protected by Google Photos’ standard encryption practices. Learn how Google Photos keeps your data private & secure.


  • Locked Folder is only available on devices with Android version 6 and later.
  • People who have access to the device screen lock can unlock Locked Folder.

Set up Locked Folder

Important: The first time you try to move photos and videos to Locked Folder, you'll be prompted to set it up.
  1. Open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Tap Library and then Locked.
  3. Select Set up Locked Folder.
    • You can also choose to turn on backup for Locked Folder at this time.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to unlock your device. If your folder is empty, you’ll find "Nothing here yet."

Back up your Locked Folder

You can turn on automatic backup for your Locked Folder.

When you turn on backup for Locked Folder, you can access your Locked Folder from other devices when you're signed in with your Google Account.


  • To automatically back up your Locked Folder for the rest of your photos & videos, you must first turn on backup.
  • You can keep backup for Locked Folder off but still manually back up items in Locked Folder.
  • Items in Locked Folder that you don't back up will only be stored on that device. You can’t see these items from other devices you're signed into with Locked Folder. You’ll lose Locked Folder items you haven't backed up if:
    • You uninstall the Photos app
    • You clear your Photos app data
    • Your device is damaged or lost

Turn backup on & off for Locked Folder

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. At the top, tap your Profile picture or Initial.
  4. Tap Photos settings Settings and then Backup and then Back up Locked Folder.
  5. Open Locked Folder.
  6. Use your device screen lock when prompted.
  7. Turn Back up Locked Folder on or off.

Tip: Learn about the benefits of backup.

Manually back up your Locked Folder

You can choose to manually back up individual photos & videos in your Locked Folder.

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Google Photos app Photos.
  2. Sign in to your Google Account.
  3. Tap Library and then Locked.
  4. Use your device screen lock when prompted.
  5. Select with a long press the photos or videos you want to back up.
  6. At the bottom, select Back up .

Save directly from Pixel camera to Locked Folder

Important: This feature only works on Pixel 3 devices and later.
  1. Open the Pixel camera app.
  2. At the bottom, tap Gallery
  3. Touch and hold the last Gallery image.
  4. To save your image, select Photo gallery or Locked Folder .
  5. Take a photo. Photos that you take with Locked Folder  on are automatically saved to Locked Folder.

On Pixel 7 & later, including Pixel Fold:

  1. Next to the Shutter , long press on the circle showing the last photo you took.
  2. In the popup, tap Locked Folder.

Move photos or videos to Locked Folder


  • Google Photos backups of these items will be deleted if backup for Locked Folder is not turned on.
  • When you move photos and videos to Locked Folder, related items aren’t moved. This includes copies, edited versions, and shared photos and videos saved by others.
  1. From the Photos app, tap Photos.
  2. Select the photos and videos you want in Locked Folder.
  3. At the top, tap More More and then Move to Locked Folder.
  4. Tap Move.
Tip: To move photos and videos from Trash to Locked Folder, first restore the content from Trash.

Learn more about Locked Folder

The difference between Locked Folder & Archive

Locked Folder keeps items hidden and protected by your device screen lock or Google Account password. Archived items can still be accessible.

Locked Folder items won't show up when you search in Google Photos, while Archived items will show up.

What you can do with items in your Locked Folder

You can:

  • Move them out of Locked Folder
  • Permanently delete them
  • Find them within Locked Folder after unlocking it

What you can’t do with items in Locked Folder

To prevent accidental exposure of your sensitive photos and videos, you can’t do the following with your Locked Folder content:

  • Add items to an album or photo book
  • Edit items or revert changes made before an item was moved to Locked Folder
  • Share items in Google Photos or with other apps like Instagram or Facebook
  • Move items to Trash
  • View photos or videos that your device can't display in original format or resolution


  • If backup is off, Locked Folder items that are saved locally to your device aren't transferred in USB to USB device transfers or Cloud data transfers.
  • If backup is off, Locked Folder items are deleted if you:
    • Factory reset your device
    • Clear app data
    • Delete the Photos app
  • To keep your Locked Folder items, turn on Locked Folder backup or individually back up items in your Locked Folder.
How Locked Folder items count towards your storage quota
Locked Folder items that are backed up do count towards your storage quota. Learn more about how storage works.
Where you can access items in Locked Folder

To find items you’ve moved to Locked Folder:

  • On your computer: Click Locked Folder.
  • On your mobile device: Tap Library and then Locked.

Where you can't access items in Locked Folder

To keep your sensitive photos and videos private, items in Locked Folder:

  • Won’t appear in search results, albums, shared items or any new memories.
  • Are removed from existing memories and draft print orders.
  • Aren’t available to share through third party apps.

Important: Your sensitive photos and videos won’t be shown on Google smart displays like Nest Hub or through Chromecast, although it may take up to an hour for items to disappear.

Why you may find copies of Locked Folder items in other areas of Photos
When you move a photo or video to Locked Folder, only the original item gets moved from wherever it appears in Google Photos. After an item is moved to Locked Folder, any new copies or copies you created or edited previously stay where they are stored, including items in trash, unless you move or delete them too.
Why a sharing recipient may still have access
If a shared photo is auto saved or saved by the user you shared it with, anything you do to your version of the shared photo won't apply to the copy that’s saved by the other user. This includes any edits, deletions, or transfers to your Locked Folder.
Learn about your eligibility for Locked Folder
Locked Folder is currently unavailable on fully managed devices and for certain account types. Please reach out to your device's admin or your account’s admin for more information.

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