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How to Hide Photos on Android and Why They Aren’t Failsafe

by Vaibhav
Hide Android Feature

Whether it is a vacation picture with your significant other or a picture of your half-naked body, everyone has pictures they don’t want others to see. At the same time, they are in no mood to delete them. While there are several ways to hide specific pictures and videos in the gallery, we hardly think from an intruder’s point of view. For instance, you can use a third-party app to lock your gallery, but an intruder can always download an alternative gallery app from the Play Store. They can also simply go to photos.google.com to see all your pictures. So, here are some of the best ways to hide photos and on a side not reasons why all of them are not failsafe.

Native Secure Folder

Method

Unfortunately, stock Android doesn’t have a native way to hide photos. However, if you are using a different Android device, like Samsung, you can do that by moving the picture to a private space which can only be accessed using a password or a biometric lock. To do this, select a picture you would like to hide and choose Move to Secure Folder from the options.

Where does it fail?

As I mentioned before, this option is not available on all Android phones like the Pixel and the Oneplus. Moreover, even if you have a skinned version of Android running this feature, you still have to go through every single image in your gallery to hide them. It would be so much better if you could hide Albums or Folders in one go (Samsung is an exception).

Samsung Secure Folder

 

Locking the Gallery

Method 

You can simply put a lock on the gallery app. So, whenever you give the phone to someone and if they try and open your photos, they’ll be disappointed with a lock screen. I’ve used the app lock feature extensively on my Realme phone. On phones like Samsung and Pixel that doesn’t have this feature, you can use a good third-party app such as Norton App Lock. Just download and run the app. You’ll be prompted to choose a password and a recovery e-mail in case you forget the password. Next, choose the apps you want to lock from the main app screen and you’re done.

Where does it fail?

If you lock the gallery app, it does not let anybody access your pictures. But if they’re clever enough, downloading another gallery app from the Play Store acts as a key. This app will still display all your pictures and locking one gallery app will go in vain. You can suggest locking the Play Store, but do remember sideloading APKs is an option as well.  Secondly, all the pictures in Photos can be viewed using the Google Photos web app on the browser. For someone who regularly accesses your phone, it’s a goldmine.

Instead of hiding private images, you can encrypt it which gives more privacy. So that other alternate gallery apps or even file explorer apps wouldn’t be able to access it.  

Norton-App-Lock

 

Read: The Best Security Apps for Android

Gallery Vault

Method?

Gallery vault is a simple app that lets you encrypt your photos with a password. The best part is, the app icon disguises itself as a calculator app, thus raising fewer eyebrows. You can either manually add pictures that you want to hide or straightaway send it from the gallery to the app. It also lets you capture pictures and videos which are automatically encrypted. It is a free app but if you want to remove ads and have improved features like fake passwords while unlocking, photo capture if someone tries to break-in. You can get the pro version at $15.

Where does it fail?

As I said, most of the pictures that I want to hide are NSFW and it’s practically impossible to go through all of them and filter out everything. Even if I do it manually chances are I’ll miss some really important ones. Therefore an AI-driven app that can hide them automatically would be a far better choice. You save time and energy if the app does that automatically for you. Right?

Download Gallery Vault

Gallery Vault

Photo Vault | NSFW

Method?

You click, receive and download NSFW pictures, but after that, its presence on the phone keeps on bothering you. So every time a new NSFW picture crop up regardless of the source, it automatically scans everything and segregates them using machine learning. In case you’re worried about missing out on new pictures, this runs in the background and keeps a lookout for any new picture or video and adds a blurred screen over them even if they’re displayed in chat.

Where does it fail?

The app thrives on the auto-protection feature. However, I don’t have complete faith in it. If there is even a slight bit of possibility that the app indexes the images on the cloud, I am not sure where these pictures would end.  Hence, a secure messaging app that keeps these pictures within the app makes more sense.

Download Photo Vault

Photo Vault

Read: 7 Best Applock for Android 

Telegram

Method? 

If all you are looking for is to hide photos you send and receive on private chats, then consider switching to Telegram. The reason I recommend Telegram over other messaging like WhatsApp is that it takes privacy further and makes these pictures encrypted. You can even take a screenshot of the chat. If you’re paranoid and want to have more control, you can set a self destruct timer as well. So, every picture you send will have no trace after it expires.

Where does it fail?

Of course, it won’t work with the gallery. So if you want to hide any picture that is not in Telegram’s chat. You’ll have to depend on all the other options that I mentioned.

What’s the solution?

Using the Telegram app in conjunction with other native methods or vault apps is the maximum you can do to protect yourself. This way you won’t have to be concerned about private pictures shared in the chat nor will you have issues hiding pictures from the Gallery app.

Telegram Secret Chat

Is there a fool-proof way to hide your pictures?

Well, technically there isn’t. If you have a native private space and app locker, the combination is a killer and can seal your private pictures efficiently. Installing Vault Apps and Lock Apps may work but with the loopholes, it hardly makes sense to use them. Lastly, I feel Telegram is one method that can be easily installed across devices and provides far more safety than all of the others combined together.

Also Read: WhatsApp vs Telegram, Which One to Choose?

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