People usually store a lot of pictures and videos on their mobile devices and computers. Some of these items are too personal. They could be anything from pictures or sensitive documents to videos you would rather no one else view. That's where Google Photos Locked Folder comes in.

It works the same way as the iPhone's Photos app, which allows you to hide and unhide photos on your device. The Locked Folder is a  pass-code-protected space where you can save items on your smart device.

But you can also back up the Folder on the cloud, allowing you to access your content on different devices. Or you can set it up on the web on your Windows computer and be able to access it through your mobile devices.

Once the Folder is set up, you can only access your items after authenticating your identity. Only a person with access to the device screen lock can unlock and view the Locked Folder's content. Discover how you can use this feature to keep your sensitive documents safe.

In this article

Part 1 Google Photos Locked Folder: How to Set it Up

You'll be prompted to set up a Locked Folder the first time you try to add photos and videos. The device you use needs to be connected to your Google account.

Only Android devices running Android version 6 and later support this feature. Likewise, Locked Folder is only available for iOS versions 15 and later.

Setting up a Locked Folder in Google Photos on your smartphone is easy and will take a few minutes.

Check the steps out:

  1. Launch the Google Photos app on your mobile device and move to the Library.
  2. Choose Utilities.
    navigate to google photos app and choose utilities
  3. Under Utilities, tap Locked Folder.
  4. Tap Set up Locked Folder in the resulting window.
    tap locked folder and then set up locked folder
    icon note
    Note: You can opt to turn on backup for Locked Folder at this time.
  5. Follow prompts to unlock your device. You must first set up a screen lock for your Android device before using Locked Folder. Your Locked Folder password is the same as the phone's screen lock.

You'll also need to set up a Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode for an iPhone or iPad to use Locked Folder. Like Android, your Locked Folder password will be the same as your Face ID, Touch ID, or passcode.

Upon unlocking your device, you'll see a window saying, "Nothing here yet." That means your Locked Folder is empty and ready to receive items.

If you're on a Windows PC, the steps to set up a Locked Folder are as follows:

  1. Open your browser and go to
    icon note
    Note: If you haven't signed into your Google Account, click "Go to Google Photos" to do it.
    sign in to set up locked photos on computer
  2. Once you sign in, click the Locked Folder option on the left panel under Library.
  3. Verify that it's you by entering your Locked Folder password. It is the same as your Google Account password.
    choose locked folder once you’re signed in
  4. Once you click the Next button, you'll see the Locked Folder tab, "Nothing here yet." It's time to add photos and videos.
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Note: People with access to your Google Account password can unlock the Locked Folder. Items in the Locked Folder on your mobile device will only appear in the Locked Folder on the web if you have created a backup.

Part 2 How to Move Photos & Videos into the Locked Folder

Now that you have set up a Locked Folder, adding sensitive photos and videos is like cutting a piece of cake.

Here is how to lock Google photos (move items into the Locked Folder) on your mobile device:

  1. From the Google Photos app, tap Photos and choose the pictures and videos you wish to add to the Locked Folder.
    choose items to move to locked folder
  2. Tap More at the top right of the screen and then Move to Locked Folder.
    add selected items to locked folder
  3. Tap Move to confirm your choice.
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Note: Backups of these items will be deleted unless you turn the Locked Folder backup on. Also, related items, such as copies and edited versions, aren't moved into the Folder.

Here's how to move Google photos to Locked Folder on a Windows PC:

  1. From the Locked Folder window that says "Nothing here yet," tap Move items on the top-right.
    move items to locked folder on computer by tapping on move items in the top-right corner
  2. Select photos and videos to move to your Locked Folder.
  3. Click "Move to locked folder" to import the selected items.
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Note: If the items you wish to move are in Trash, restore them first and then follow steps 1-3. Items in the Locked Folder on your computer will be visible in the Locked Folder on your other devices.

Part 3 How to Access Locked Folder in Google Photos

To access the Locked Folder in Google Photos on your mobile device, follow the following simple steps:

  1. Launch the Google Photos app and go to the Library.
  2. Choose Utilities and then the Locked Folder option.
  3. Authenticate yourself. After that, you'll be presented with all the photos and videos you added to the Folder.
icon note
Note: On your computer, you can go to Google Photos and choose Locked Folder on the left panel. Follow the on-screen prompts to unlock the Folder. Then you will see all the locked photos and videos.
view private photos in google locked folders

Part 4 Easy Way to Safely Back Up Your Sensitive Photos & Videos

You could lose photos and videos in the Locked Folder if you don't have backup. Items in the Folder without backup are only saved on that device. Also, even if Google Photos Locked Folder is password encrypted, it is still connected to the Internet and not fully protected.

Thus, backing up private photos and videos adds a layer of safety for your items. You can back up the Folder's content using the backup feature on your phone. But if you choose not to back your items to the cloud, Wondershare MobileTrans covers you.

MobileTrans provides a convenient and secure way to back up sensitive files. You can use it to safely back up your private photos and videos to a computer with a few clicks, which is even more secure than Google backup, as only you can access your computer data.

Wondershare MobileTrans - Backup & Restore

Back Up Private Data With One Click!

  • • No data loss. No data leaks.
  • • Support various data, including files, photos, videos, apps, contacts, etc.
  • • Safely backup to and restoration from your computer.
4,085,556 people have downloaded it
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In addition to pictures and videos, MobileTrans can back up more than 18 file types to a PC. These include photos, videos, documents, music, WhatsApp messages, etc.

Also, you can use it to transfer data between devices and manage your contacts.

This tool now supports both Android OS and iOS on over 6,000 types of devices.

Steps to back up data to a PC with MobileTrans:

  1. Download and install MobileTrans on your PC for free.
  2. Connect your mobile to the PC using a functional USB data cable or a lightning cable.
  3. Open MobileTrans and choose the Backup & Restore option. Then click on Backup under Phone Backup & Restore.
    choose backup & restore from mobiletrans interface
  4. Once a connection between the phone and PC is established, MobileTrans will display all file types supported. Choose your files to back up.
    choose files to backup with mobiletrans
  5. Click Start and keep your device connected. The backup will be through in a few minutes.
    mobiletrans has completed the backup process


You've learned what a Google Photo private folder (Locked Folder) is and how it works. It's a unique feature that helps keep snooping eyes away from your sensitive files. It's perfect if you want to tuck away private pictures like driver's license and credit cards.

The added layer of privacy can give you peace of mind, knowing that your private content is safe. So, don't hesitate to exploit this technology. Follow the steps talked about in this guide to set the Folder up on your device and move your items.

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Rafael Kaminski
Rafael Kaminski Dec 19, 23
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