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!
Native Tools to Hide Photos
Two mainstream phone manufacturers, Samsung and LG, have built-in privacy tools that can help you hide photos.
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 Apps > Settings > Lock screen 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 Home and Apps screen.
To hide photos in the Secure Folder, open the app and tap Add Files.
The process to hide pictures on Android if you have an LG device is slightly different.
This time, start by heading to Settings > Fingerprints 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.
Note: Content Lock is not available on all devices.
Use a File Manager to Hide Photos From the Gallery
If you don’t own a Samsung or LG phone, 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. 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.
Warning: 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 use a third-party app that specializes in hiding photos.
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.
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.
3. Hide Something
Hide Something is another solid way to hide pictures on Android. Once again, you can hide photos behind PINs and passwords, and all your pictures will be backed up on Google Drive.
The app also has a couple of unique features. First, you can save any file or folder on your phone into its vault using the share menu. Second, the app won’t show up in your recently used apps list.
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.
How to Hide Photos on Android, Made Easy
We’ve walked you through an array of tricks for anyone who wants to hide photos on Android. Samsung and LG owners can probably stick with their phone’s native tool; other users will need to turn to a third-party app.
If you would like to learn more about security and privacy on Android, check out some Android security apps you need to install and privacy-friendly Android apps.