Calling all Apple users, did you know “Hide” function already exists in-built within the Photos app? Alas, it doesn`t prevent anyone having access to your iPhone from peeping. So, to conceal your precious media, we suggest the below.
Hiding in the Photo App
Once you start taking pictures/videos, they all go to the Photo app by default. Not ideal to hold private pics while say, showing photos of pets to your friends. To avoid awkward situations, you can use the “Hide” option on the Photos app.
Steps to hide media:
- Choose the media you want to hide
- Click on “Share” bottom-left corner
- Scroll down and click on “Hide”
Now it is in “Hidden” album, under the “Albums” tab in the Photos app. View it under “Other Albums”.
What are the issues of hiding in the Photos App?
Hidden media can`t be locked, not even with Face/Touch ID or password, so very little protection.
Easily accessible as the Hidden Album is listed with other albums, so we are only tidying up the Library.
Apple can improve this if they introduce locking by password, Face or Touch ID. We hope for this to be included in future updates, hopefully starting with iOS14, but don`t hold your breath.
Hiding Photos in the Notes App
For better safety, use Notes app, which accepts media attachment and also locking by password, Face or Touch ID, which is a piece of mind. Once you are using the Notes app, you can delete same media from the main photo library.
How to utilise Notes app:
- Look for media you want to hide/lock, you can select several
- Click Share icon bottom left-corner
- Browse apps and choose Notes, if it isn`t listed, try under More
- Select New Note for the first time you will be attaching photo/video, while if you already have a Note in place you can add with it; search for it by the name you gave that Note to open it
- Click on Save to export your media to Notes
Once your media is exported, you now need to lock it on your Notes:
- Look for the Note you just created, or the one already existing where you attached your media
- Swipe left on the title to uncover the padlock icon
- Click on the padlock to lock the note. If it is your first time locking a note, you will be asked for a password and enable the Face or Touch ID. You will be using this password for all locked notes, so make sure it is something you will recall easily, or store it in a password manager (more on this one below)
From now on, you can access your note and unlock it as described above.
This Notes method has its limits too, since you can`t transfer media from Library to an existing locked note, even if you unlock it in advance.
Nevertheless, you can group several locked notes within the Notes app under one folder which you`ll name for example Private or Hidden.
While this is not the ideal situation, the Notes app still remains safer than the classic Photos Library.
Always remember to delete the chosen media from the Photos Library once you transfer the photos/videos you want to hide and lock under Notes, if not they will remain visible and accessible on Library.
Using Secure Notes in Your Password Manager
There are apps like password managers, that are intended for security. They make it easier to use unique identifications by recalling a single master password. Moreover, most of these apps store more than just passwords. These can be banking info, scanned documents but also photos and videos. It is similar to the Notes app, but using third-party app or service.
Any password manager app may fit your needs, but sometimes there is a limit in storage.
We recommend: LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane or Bitwarden.
Be aware that most of these apps sync via the web, meaning that your hidden media will be uploaded via the internet, however it will be covered by your master password, which is more safe than using iCloud Photos, or any other online photo service.
Hiding Media in a File Locker App
File locker apps are also created with security in mind, as they provide a simple password or passcode lock, and a section in which you can store files. Open the app, unlock it with the password/passcode, and you can access any media you have saved.
We recommend: Folder Lock, Private Photo Vault, KeepSafe and Secret Apps Photo Lock.
Select one that you have confidence in, check that it has decent reviews, and doesn`t have features that you need to buy-in-app to access.
Again, don`t forget to delete the media you transferred to a file locker app from the photos library.
What about deleting those photos from your phone instead?
It could be a more sensible idea to get rid of the media you want hidden from your phone altogether, and say store it on your home pc, where access and prying eyes are less possible. This way, you have a piece of mind, and can browse your phone in front of everyone.
If you already own an Apple machine at home like a Mac, you can use AirDrop and drag what media you want to transfer from your phone to your Mac, otherwise you plug your phone to the pc and transfer manually as you would do with a digital camera. There are also alternatives like Dropbox or Google Photos, but consider if you will be trusting Google with your most private media using the internet.
Don`t forget to delete the media you transferred from your phone.
Keeping Your Phone Safe
Ultimately, keep your phone secure by locking it, either by password, Face or Touch ID, don`t leave it unattended, and keep up to date with Apple`s iOS security updates.