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Tips: Google Photos has received a new Locked Folder feature. Find out how it works!

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Google Photos received a new locked folder feature, which was in keeping with the strong privacy theme of the Google IO 2021 developer conference.

The idea of ​​the locked folder is very simple: it is a password protected place where you can save photos separately, so that they do not appear in the Google Photos feed (or in any other phone application) while you browse them.

The first thing to note is that it is initially only available on Google Pixels, starting with Google Pixel 3, and will be released for these phones in the coming weeks.

Google says it will reach ‘more Android devices over the year’, with no mention of iPhone users – for now, they will have to use the iOS 14 Hidden Album feature instead.

Tips Google Photos has received a new Locked Folder feature

What is the locked folder in Google Photos?

Google Photos’ new locked folder feature is a private space that is effectively protected by your phone’s screen lock – be it a password or your fingerprint.

But Google Photos already had an Archive feature, so what’s the difference? The main one is that the photos or videos archived in Google Photos will still appear when you search on Google Photos, while the locked folder keeps them hidden under your phone’s screen lock.

1621596077 494 Tips Google Photos has received a new Locked Folder feature

Once you save something to the locked folder, it will not appear in the grid, in memories, in search, or in Google Photos albums. Crucially, it will also not be available for any other application on your phone.

The slight disadvantage of using the locked Google Photos folder is that you cannot back up any of the images or videos it contains.

In its list of things you cannot do with files in the locked folder, Google includes “backup items”, in addition to editing, sharing, adding them to an album or photo album and sharing them on social networks for the likes of Facebook and Instagram.

1621596077 393 Tips Google Photos has received a new Locked Folder feature

If you move existing photos or videos to the locked folder, Google says that “cloud backups of these items will be deleted”. While this makes sense from a privacy point of view, it does mean that you will have to accept not having a backup copy of the images or videos on Google Photos (unless you make one yourself elsewhere).

Using the locked Google Photos folder

On Google Pixel phones, there are two ways to use the locked Google Photos folder – you can save snapshots directly to the Pixel camera folder, or you can move existing images or videos to the folder after it is set up.

On other Android phones, which will receive the feature later this year, you will only be able to make the last one.

To set up your locked folder, open the Google Photos app and go to Library> Utilities> Locked folder. Tap on the ‘Configure locked folder’ option and follow the instructions. When you start, the folder will simply show a message ‘nothing is here yet’.

1621596078 60 Tips Google Photos has received a new Locked Folder feature

If you have a Pixel phone, you can save images or videos directly from your phone’s camera, but you’ll need to take a few steps before taking the photo.

To do this, open the Pixel Camera app, in the upper right corner, touch Photo gallery> Locked folder. When you take a photo, it is automatically saved to the locked folder.

The most common way to use locked folders is to move existing snapshots or videos that are already in the Google Photos library, instead of sending them directly from the camera of a Pixel smartphone.

To do this, select the photos or videos you want to move in your Google Photos library, holding down one of them and then tapping on all the ones you want to save.

After doing this, tap on the ‘More’ option in the upper right corner and then on ‘Move to locked folder’. Finally, click on ‘Move’ to keep them hidden in the password-protected space.

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