While most of the photos on your phone will be ones you’d be proud to share, there’s always a few that you might prefer other people didn’t accidentally discover. These might be ones that suggest presents you’re thinking of buying for a loved one, screenshots of job advertisements or simply others that you wish to keep private. So, how can you ensure that those photos don’t appear when you go to share things on social media or if you pass your phone to a friend or family member when they need to check something?

There are various ways to hide photos on an Android phone, and here are some of the best.

How to hide photos on Samsung phones

If you own a Samsung Android phone, you'll already have a Secure Folder option which is a great way to keep certain photos private. Other manufacturers have variants on this theme. Huawei phones have PrivateSpace, and LG offers Content Lock, so it's worth checking if your phone already provides some sort of privacy option like this.

To use Secure Folder open Settings > Biometrics and security > Secure Folder. You’ll need to Agree to the terms and conditions and enter your Samsung account details before you’ll be able to get the Secure Folder up and running.

How to hide photos in Android

Once it’s been created, set which security methods you’ll use to restrict access, then all that’s left to do is move files into the folder. You’ll see a list of apps on the Secure Folder page that you can tap to access their relevant files, plus there’s the Add apps and Add files at the bottom of the page that you can use to go directly to either on your device.

How to hide photos in Android: Selecting files for Secure Folder

Tap the Add files option then select Images from the menu that appears. Tap on the photos you want to move, then when you have them all tap the Done option in the top right corner. You’ll be asked if you want to move or copy the files, so choose Move otherwise everyone with access to your phone will still be able to see them.

That’s it. The photos will now be invisible but safe and you can access them at any time by navigating to the Secure Folder app and tapping the Gallery option. The process is fairly similar on the other brands we mentioned, with the files stored accessible only via your fingerprint, PIN or password.

Can I hide photos on Android manually?

If you’re happy to edit file names and take a more hands-on approach, then there’s a simple way to turn normal files and photos into Hidden Files. All this requires is adding a full-stop (period) to the beginning of the file name. We have a standalone tutorial that explains how to hide files in Android, so take a look at that for a step-by-step guide to the process.

How to use apps to hide photos on Android

Alongside the secure folders and hidden files that can be used on Android, there are a number of dedicated apps that make the process much simpler for most users. Some of the most popular on the Google Play Store are LockMyPix, Hide Something, Photo & Video Locker, Vaulty, as well as a load of others. They all work in a similar fashion, providing a secure folder on your device into which you place the files you want to keep private.

For example, Gallery Vault is a hugely popular app with a smart interface and plenty of features. You can use it for free (although this has a monthly file limit of 100) or sign up for a yearly fee of £5.95/$7.50.

How to hide photos in Android: Gallery Vault

Simply install the app, grant it access to your files, add a passcode, link your Google account for recovery, then tap the big Plus button followed by Add Pictures & Videos to search for files and add them to your secure folder.

If you’re concerned about preserving your anonymity online too, we’d also recommend using a privacy browser and VPN for Android as both will keep prying eyes at bay.