All the photos you take with your smartphone end up in your device’s photo gallery. A curious set of eyes could easily see images you don’t want them to view. Perhaps you’ve got snaps of confidential information, gift ideas for a loved one, or just endless memes you want to remove from your main photo reel. Whatever the reason, it’s easy to hide photos from the gallery.
If you want to know how to hide photos on Android, keep reading!
Some mainstream phone manufacturers have built-in privacy tools that can help you hide pictures on Android. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.
If you have a Samsung phone running Android Nougat 7.0 or above, you can take advantage of Samsung’s Secure Folder feature. It lets you keep private files, images, and even apps in a separate password-protected area.
To set up Secure Folder for the first time, go to Settings > Biometrics and security > Secure Folder. You will need to sign in with your Samsung account.
After signing in, your device will prompt you to choose your preferred lock method. Once complete, the Secure Folder will be accessible from your app drawer. To hide photos in the Secure Folder, open the app and tap Add Files.
The process to hide pictures on Android if you’re still using an LG device is slightly different.
This time, start by heading to Settings > Biometrics and security > Content Lock. The phone will ask you to secure the feature using a PIN, password, or fingerprint scan. Now go to your phone’s default gallery app. Select all the photos you want to hide and tap Menu > More > Lock. You can also lock entire folders of pictures if you wish.
When you’ve tapped Lock, the photos/folders will vanish from the library. To view them, navigate to Menu > Show Locked Files. Enter your security credentials, and the photos will reappear.
Use a File Manager to Hide Photos From the Gallery
If your phone doesn’t have a built-in solution, don’t despair. You still have options available, but the process is slightly more convoluted.
You can either use a file manager to perform some tricks or rely on third-party tools that specialize in hiding content. Some third-party gallery apps also have the functionality. Let’s investigate two file manager tricks to hide files first.
Create a New Folder
Before you can begin, you need to install a high-quality file manager on your phone. There are lots to choose from; if you’re not sure which one to download, check out our guide to the best file managers in the Play Store.
Once you’ve made a decision and installed a file manager, fire up the app. You need to create a new folder that starts with a period (for example, .PrivateFiles or .Secret).
Next, move all the photos you want to hide into the newly created folder. The method for doing this varies from app to app, but typically long-pressing on the file you want to move will give you the option.
Any files you relocate will no longer show in the gallery app. Without going into too much detail, this is because any folder that begins with a period does not get scanned by the phone’s software.
Create a “.nomedia” File
If you’ve got hundreds of photos you want to hide, it’s impractical to move them all manually. Instead, it’s easier to create a .nomedia file in the folders you want to obscure.
When your phone sees a .nomedia file in a folder, it won’t load the folder’s contents when it scans your directory.
To create the file, you’ll still need a third-party file manager app. Use it to navigate to the folder you want to hide and create a new file in the directory called .nomedia (make sure you include the period). The file does not need to have any contents—the filename is the important part.
To reverse the process, just delete the .nomedia file.
While both these methods hide content from the native photo library, the images will still be visible in any file manager. They are not password-protected.
Third-Party Apps to Hide Pictures on Android
If fiddling around in a file manager app sounds too cumbersome, you can try the Locked Folder feature in Google Photos. If you’d rather use a third-party app that specializes in hiding photos, there are several to choose from.
Here are three of the best:
Vaulty has established itself as the leading app for hiding content. Hundreds of thousands of users have left a positive review on the Google Play Store.
It comes with its own photo gallery. Any photos you lock are only viewable within it. The gallery also lets you create multiple vaults, meaning you can have different sets of photos to show to different people. All your content is password-protected, and it even backs up your media so it’s safe if you lose your phone.
Download: Vaulty (Free, premium version available)
2. Keepsafe Vault
Keepsafe Vault is Vaulty’s largest competitor. The feature set is very similar; all your photos are password-protected and encrypted, and you can back up your photos to the app’s cloud storage.
The app also comes with a feature that hides its onscreen icon, meaning no one who picks up your phone will know you’re hiding anything. Lastly, it has a Snapchat-esque self-destruction feature, letting you share photos that self-delete after 20 seconds with other users of the app.
Download: Keepsafe Vault (Free, premium version available)
LockMyPix uses standard-grade AES encryption to hide an unlimited number of photos or videos on your Android phone or tablet. Some of the app’s other features that help it stand out include a way to create a fake decoy vault with a separate PIN, support for photos on your SD card, encrypted backups, and support for GIF files.
Download: LockMyPix (Free, premium version available)
Hide Photos on Android Easily
We’ve walked you through an array of tricks for anyone who wants to hide photos on Android. Some users can probably stick with their phone’s native tool. If your phone’s gallery app doesn’t have support for secure folders, you will need to turn to a third-party app instead.
The 5 Best Android Gallery Vault Apps to Hide Your Private Photos