Private Google Photos Folder: An Easy Way to Hide Photos and Videos on Android

Private Google Photos Folder: An Easy Way to Hide Photos and Videos on Android

If you need to hide your personal photos or videos on your Android phone so they don't appear in the default Gallery or other apps and file managers, you can use the "Personal Folder" feature built into the Google Photos app.

This tutorial details the steps to set up personal folder and hide secret photos and videos on your Android mobile phone or tablet, as well as more information on how this feature works. In a related topic: How to hide secret files using the Google Files app.

Activating and configuring the private folder function

All you need to start using Personal Folder is an installed Google Photos app. To configure it, follow a few simple steps:

  1. In the Google Photos app, go to "Library" and then click "Tools."
  2. At the top of the next screen, you'll most likely see an option to start setting up your personal folder. If the item does not appear, find "Personal Folder" in the list of available options below. Or wait for "Library Preparation" to complete if you just installed the app (you may also need to restart the app).
  3. A screen will appear with information about the personal folder: that the files placed in it will not be visible in the main interface of Google Photos or other applications and will not be synchronized. Also, that all files in the private folder (if not extracted from there) will be deleted when uninstalling the Google Photos app or deleting the app's data (so beware of automatic Android "memory cleaners") . I'll add for myself that you can't take screenshots in your personal folder, so it's not available here, as it is for some of the articles below. On this screen, press the “Setup” button.
  4. Unlock the personal folder with one of the phone's unlock methods, such as fingerprint.
  5. You will see the message “Here is empty for now”. Hit the “Move Items” button to add new photos to the secret personal folder.
  6. Select the desired photos and press «Move».
  7. You will see information with important data. I recommend that you read it, especially the part about deleting the application. I would like to add again: deleting the data from the Google Photos app will also delete the photos from your personal folder. Click "Continue".
  8. Confirm the transfer to your personal folder.
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Done, the photo or video will be removed from the original location and moved to your personal folder.

In the future, you will always be able to access your personal folder via Library – Tools – Personal Folder.

In the personal folder itself, you can add new photos and videos (photo icon with a "plus" in the upper right) or select items from the personal folder, press "Move" and transfer them back to the shared storage, accessible from all the applications.