At Google I/O 2021, Google announced several new features for Google Photos, including a new Locked Folder feature. As the name suggests, Locked Folder allows Google Photos users to hide their sensitive photos or videos in a secure folder protected by a passcode or fingerprint. While Google didn’t provide an exact timeframe for the feature rollout at the time, the feature is finally going live for some Google Pixel users.
The Locked Folder comes as part of the new Pixel Feature Drop update, which started rolling out last week. After installing the new update, you can find the new feature under Library > Ulitlites > Locked Folder. Once you set it up, you can start adding your existing photos or videos from your library.
Photos or video stored in Locked Folder won’t appear in the Photo grid, search, albums, and memories — they also won’t be available to third-party apps. One downside of using the secure folder is that you can’t back up the hidden photos to the cloud. In case your photos/videos were already backed up, Google will delete them from the cloud, and they will only exist locally in the folder.
Pixel users can also set up the Google Camera app to directly save new photos or videos to the locked folder. To do so, open the Google Camera app, tap on the gallery icon in the upper right-hand corner and select “Locked Folder” from the list. This will ensure any subsequent photos or videos you take are automatically saved to the Locked Folder.
The locked folder feature is currently rolling out to the Pixel 3 series, Pixel 4 series, and Pixel 5 with the June Pixel update. Although the feature remains a Pixel exclusive for now, Google says it will also be coming to other Android devices later this year.
Thanks @jay__kamat for the tip!