How to Hide Pictures in Google Photos on Mobile and Desktop

Set up Google Photos Private Folder

If you have a Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, Pixel 3a XL, Pixel 4, Pixel 4XL, Pixel 4a, Pixel 4a 5G, or the Pixel 5, you can start using Locked Folder on Google Photos right now. The Google Photos rivate locked folder eature will eventually roll out to more Android phones sooner.

To hide and lock photos in Google Photos, you’ll first have to set up the Locked Folder. There isn’t much to set up, however. Just follow the simple steps below to learn how to lock your photos.

  1. Launch the Google Photos app, obviously.
  2. Head over to the Library tab from the bottom bar.
  3. Select the Utilities section on the top.
  4. Tap Get started on the card inviting you to set up the Locked Folder feature.
  5. If you don’t see the card, just scroll down and select Locked Folder.
  6. On the next page, tap the Set up Locked Folder button.
  7. Enter your PIN, password, or Fingerprint ID to enable the feature.

Related: How to Enhance Photos with New AI Features on Google Photos


Method 2: Add a .nomedia File (Android Only)

On Android phones, the Google Photos app acts as your gallery app as well. It shows images from local folders, such as screenshots, WhatsApp, and similar folders. In case you don’t want any of those folders to appear in the Google Photos app, you can hide it by adding a .nomedia file inside that particular folder.

A good File Explorer app can help you out. Use any File Explorer app such as Solid Explorer or ES File Explorer and open the folder you wish to hide. Look for a button that says New file.

In most cases, it will be present under the three-dot icon. Tap on that to create a new file. You will be asked to name the file. Type .nomedia. That is a dot followed by the nomedia text. That’s it. If you open the Google Photos app now, the folder containing the .nomedia file will not show up. If you use other gallery apps, the folder will disappear from them as well. However, it will still be accessible from the File Explorer.

Note: I have used FX Explorer for the screenshots.

The downside of this method is that you need to hi

The downside of this method is that you need to hide the entire folder instead of selecting a few photos. What you can do is create a new folder, add a .nomedia file in it, and move photos that you want to hide to this folder. Check our guide on how to remove WhatsApp photos from Google Photos.

Pro Tip: Fed up with Google Photos uploading your screenshots as well? Check our guide on how to stop Google Photos from uploading your screenshots.

What can’t you do with the Locked Folder?

To prevent exposure of your photos and videos in the Locked Folder, Google doesn’t let you add those items to an album or photo book, back them up, edit or revert changes, or even share them. They also won’t be shown on Google smart displays like Nest Hub or through Chromecast.

Save directly from Pixel camera to Locked Folder

Important: This feature only works on Pixel 3 devices and later.

  1. Open the Pixel camera app.
  2. In the top right corner, tap Photo galleryTake a photo. Photos that you take with Locked Fol Take a photo. Photos that you take with Locked Fol Locked FolderTake a photo. Photos that you take with Locked Fol .
  3. Take a photo. Photos that you take with Locked Folder  on are automatically saved to Locked Folder.

How to set up Secure Folder in Google Photos

 The process is fairly easy / © NextPit
The process is fairly easy / © NextPit

Setting up a Secure Folder is a simple process. You open the Google Photos app and…

  1. Navigate to Library > Utilities > Scroll down to Locked Folder.
  2. Click on Set Up Locked Folder.
  3. Use your Lock Screen password or fingerprint to activate it.

Then you will be shown some basic information about the service. After reading it, hit Continue, and now we can add pictures to our secure folder.

Hidden album on Google Photos

Storing Photos on the cloud is a great way to protect your photos and save local storage space. Google Photos is one of the most popular cloud storage for photos because it provides users with unlimited storage as long as you upload your photos and videos in High Quality mode (discontinued). In addition, it also offers many advanced features like shared albums, automatic creations, and an advanced editing suite.

Nowadays, more and more users choose to back up their photos to Google Photos. After uploading, they can access and manage these photos from any devices. However, there may be some private photos among the uploaded photos that user does not want to display them on the main page of Google Photos. Given this situation, Google is rolling out a new feature that can help users hide photos on Google Photos that they want to save but don't necessarily want others to see.

Called Archive, the feature is now available for both Android and iOS users as well as the desktop version of Google Photos. To hide pictures, you just need to select them and choose Archive to hide them. After archiving, the photos will no longer display on your album or homepage, but they remain in your Google Photos and you can view them in the Archive option.

Bonus tips: Google Photos no longer provide unlimited storage

Google announced that it no longer provides Google Photos Unlimited Storage Service after June 1, 2021. Thus, you can't store as many as you have on Google Photos if you don't want to upgrade your Google Drive plan. Fortunately, here is a free way for you to get more Google Photos storage space, the free cloud backup service CBackup, it allows you increase Google Drive storage space for free by merging multiple Google Drive accounts (Google Drive and Google Photos share the same cloud storage space).

Besides, you could use CBackup to:

  • Backup files to Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive and CBackup Cloud automatically via daily, weekly, monthly basis.

  • Perform cloud to cloud backup, which allows you backup Dropbox to Google Drive, backup Google Drive to OneDrive, etc.

  • Sync files from one cloud to another with everything to easily switch cloud drives if you don't want to use Google Drive anymore.

Tip 1. Increase Google Photos Storage Space for Free

Here is how to use CBackup to expand your Google Photos storage space

1. Download CBackup and create a new CBackup account, and then sign in to CBackup desktop app.

Secure Download

2. Click "My Storage"on the left side, and click the "+ Add Cloud" button, then choose Google Drive and hit "Add". Then follow the on-screen guide to allow CBackup to access your Google Drive files. Repeat the process to add other Google Drive accounts.

3. Select the "My Storage" tab, and then press the "+" > "New Combined Cloud" button.

4. Tick all the Google Drive accounts, and click Next. 

5. Determine the order to store backup files for all Google Drive accounts, and click OK.

Now Google Drive has been increased successfully. And you could see the Google Combined Cloud on My Storage tab.

Tip 2. Backup Files to Google Drive Easily

Besides, CBackup allows you backup files to Google Drive easily, here it is:

1. Select the "Backup Tasks" tab, and then press the "+ New Task" button to backup files to clood.

4. Specify the "Task Name", and click "Add Source" button to choose folders you want to backup.

5. Hit "Add Destination" button to choose "Single Cloud" and choose Google Drive as the target location.

6. Press "Start Backup" button to backup files to Google Drive.

Note: You can tap "Settings" at the bottom of the window before starting back up, you can tick the "Scheudler" > "Set a backup schedule for automated backup" option to automatic backup files, set up the "File Filter" to include or exclude the file types you like. or enable email notification to get email alert.

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