iOS doesn't have a native feature that lets you lock any apps of your choice. Have you ever been in a situation where you wanted to show some photo to someone, but you are scared of showing the images in your Photos gallery? I have been there many times. So many times I have to create a separate album to show photos to people.
I wish there was a way to actually lock the photos app so that nobody could actually get into the Photos app even though they have access to my phone. Since there isn't a native app lock feature, we are forced to find alternative ways to password protect your photos. Here are the three ways to actually do that which are not so hard to do actually.
Three Ways to Hide Your Photos on iPhone
In this post I'm giving you three ways to hide your photos and videos on your iPhone, Steps are going to be simple and easy.
1. Hiding Photos using Photos App
- Open the Photos app on your iPhone
- Select the photos you want to hide
- Click share icon
- Now, choose Hide
Now the photos and videos you have shared to Hide will be sent to the "Hidden" album in your photos app. If you want to hide the photos app, go to setting and turn off showing the Hidden Album.
If a friend or family of yours takes your phone and if they want to see your hidden photos they can clearly see the photos by enabling the Hidden album. If you want to password protect and hide photos on your iPhone, follow the below steps.
2. Key App
- Go to App store on your iPhone and download the app called Secret Key Lock Album. Once you download and install it, you would see the name only as Key in your Home Screen.
- Open the Key app in your Home screen. In the landing page, the first thing you need to do is to setup a passcode and make sure the authentication settings with Face ID are done right.
- Enter a passcode to unlock the Key app. You will have to re-enter like everywhere to make sure you remember the passcode. It would also ask you to enable FaceId to unlock the Key app.
- If you wish to use Face ID to unlock the Key app, you could choose Use in the popup that is shown. In case if you wish to use only the passcode, you could choose Do Not use in the popup.
- Due to the new privacy features in iOS 15, then you might want to read the popup that appears. This is about giving access to the Photos to the Key app and about how frequent its going to be.
- Once that's done, Tap on the Red plus button at the bottom right corner to add the pictures to the Key app. This is not exactly Locking the Photos app but to move photos to an app that could be actually locked and protected by passcode and/or Face ID. You will have guides to do so as well.
- This is the give access to the FaceID to actually unlock the Key app.
- Give Key app permission to select pictures, or give access to All Photos etc., This is the new iOS 15 privacy features that I was talking about earlier in Step 5. Please understand this clearly.
- Once that access is given, you would see the window with all the photos from the Photos app. You could select all the photos that you want to protect from anyone else who could use your phone. There is an option to Select All at the top right corner of the screen. You might want to be vary this. Tap on Save button once you have selected to protect certain images in this app.
- Once these images are added to the Key app, you might want to delete the photos from the iOS Photos app because that's the whole point I guess. You want the protected pictures only in the Key app and not in the Photos appp. If you click on OK, you would get a popup to delete.
- As you can see this prompt is to delete the photos from the Photos app. You could choose Delete or Don't allow if you choose to do so. Make your choice accordingly.
- If you choose the Delete, you could do so and you would get a confirmation like you see here.
Since the Key app is locked, whatever you stored in the app is locked and is not accessible unless you unlock the Key app separately.
3. Hide Photos using Notes app
This is another way to protect images on your iOS device. Let's be clear that this is also not a direct way to actually lock the Photos App. I guess we'll have to keep waiting for the Apple Folks to work on it.
- Go to the Photos app. Choose the photos that you'd want to keep in private similar to the Key app.
- Once you have chosen the photos, tap on the Share button at the bottom left corner of the screen. This would open the Share activiity window as you can see here.
- Scroll down on the Apps section and choose Notes. This would share the Photos you have selected to be created as part of the new note that's going to get created in the Notes app.
- In the window that appears, you would see the Photos attached to the notes. You could save this note after adding a title and even text to the note as you can see. Tap Save once its done.
- The note will get created with the images in it. Now its just a regular note in the Notes app.
- Now the job is to protect this note. Tap on the three dots icon at the top right corner of the screen. In the popup window that appears, choose Lock option next to Pin and Delete at the top.
- You would be asked to set a specific password for that note. In the window that appears, type in Password, verify password again and even add a hint to remember this password. Another option is to enable Use Face ID to unlock this particular. This is optional. Do as you please.
- Once you have done all of those, tap on Done at the top right corner of the screen.
- If the Use Face ID is enabled, iOS would request you to allow Notes to use Face ID. This option would be there in the Settings app as well. You could do it that way as well.
- Once its locked, you would receive a confirmation as follows.
- After that whenever you open anote, you would see something like this. If you want to unlock the app, tap on the Lock button at the top right corer fo the screen which would ask you to enter the passcode or verify your identity by using the Face ID if that was enabled earlier.
These are the three ways you could actually protect your images in the iOS operating system. There is a hidden feature in the Photos app which you could use to hide photos but it's not protected at all. Anyone who knows where the hidden photos folder is can go there and see the photos you have hidden.