Pixel phones received the option to secure images and videos behind a passcode in June, earlier this year. Google confirmed that the Locked Folder in Photos would soon be arriving on all other Android devices as well. This feature was announced at Google I/O 2021. As expected, the Google Photos Locked Folder hides selected pictures/videos from the main media grid of the application, search, and other apps that have access to the device's photos and videos.
Additionally, these photos will not be backed up or shared and require a device screen lock for you to access.
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The private collection will be accessible from the "Library" tab > Utilities > Locked Folder. You get a standard grid view, which you can adjust by pinching in or out, while a button at the top lets you move items to the Locked Folder. This is done through a reverse-chronological camera roll view, with search also being available. When you are transferring over, Google will again warn you how the locked items in the folder cannot be backed up or shared. If you have already uploaded it to Google Photos, it will be deleted in the cloud and only exist as a file on your device.
As a security measure, users will not be allowed to take screenshots when they are inside a secure space. And only two actions are available when viewing media; you get to move or delete. Google has also pointed out how "People you've shared your device screen loc with can unlock Locked Folder." On Pixel phones, you can save images directly to the Locked Folder from Google Camera.
According to Google, the Photos Locked Folder is rolling out "soon" to devices running Android 6.0 and newer. Once it is live, users will be able to set up this folder once they have received a notification from Google Photos.