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Google Photos users can now natively secure their important documents as Google starts to release Locked Folder to Non-Pixel devices

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Some normal history about the company being discussed before jumping onto the topic:

Google was founded on 4 September 1998 by Larry Page. Its headquarters is in Mountain View, California, United States, and its current CEO is Sundar Pichai. Its revenue is 18,169 crores USD. Its subsidiaries include YouTube, Kaggle, Fitbit, Dialogflow, Google AdMob. Its parent organization is Alphabet Inc.

Google brought out a piece of grand news for all non-pixel users! Now everyone, no matter what smartphone, can access the “Locked Folder‘ update. Google Photos’ Locked Folder feature promises to keep sensitive photos out of your main photo roll. This useful update is now starting to roll out to non-Pixel phones, according to Android Police.

Google officially said in September that the feature would be rolling out to more Android phones “soon.” And it has already started to show up on some Samsung and OnePlus devices, as per Android Central. Older Pixel devices that didn’t have that feature originally are also getting access to it now.

The feature lets you choose specific photos or videos and put them in a passcode or biometrics-locked folder, taking them out of your main photo feed and keeping them off the cloud. Quite useful, isn’t it?

It was introduced on Google’s phones (Pixel 3 and up) in June, after announcing Google’s I/O presentation in May 2021. They had a whole presentation prepped up too. The main heading and key point in that presentation were:

“THE LOCKED FOLDER LETS YOU KEEP PRIVATE PICTURES PRIVATE”.
In its presentation, Google used the example of parents hiding pictures of a newly purchased puppy from their children. A valid use case and cute examples for sure, though I suspect most people will probably use it for less wholesome and pictures-no-one-should-dare-have-a-look-at type pictures, alleviating the whole “what if they swipe too many pictures back and see something that shouldn’t be seen”, or the anxiety that can come when showing people photos from an unfiltered library. (Definitely a relatable concern.)

It’s just best to not have any ‘No-one-can-see-these’ type photos in your phone in the first place, or just don’t tell anyone your phone’s screen lock passcode. Simple as that. This feature should be available to phones running Android 6 or later, and you can be able to access it by going to Photos > Library > Utilities.

Once you got the option all you have to do is open Google Photos and mass select the pictures and videos you want to move. Once they’re all selected, find the ‘Move to Locked Folder’ option under the More section on the top right.

Easy! Done!

An important point to keep in mind is these photos will not be backed up or shared and it requires a device screen lock to access. Google also mentioned that the feature will come to the iOS version of Google Photos very early next year.

If you’ve got the feature and want to use it, it’s worth noting if those photos stored in the Locked Folder won’t be backed up to the cloud and will be deleted if you uninstall Google Photos or wipe your device without transferring them.

You can read more on Google’s Locked Folder support page.

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