Google Photos really wants you to try Locked Folder

Google Photos app with edited photo stack

In summary

  • Google Photos is making a change that puts the locked folder at the top for easy access.
  • Placing the secure storage solution in a more prominent place should encourage its use, but it undermines its purpose.
  • Photos continues to test the revised layout of the collections.

Wanting to keep certain photos to yourself is a common thing. Whether you’re taking photos of a surprise in the making that you don’t want to spoil, working on a sensitive project for work, or just taking some personal photos of an intimate nature, Google Photos is ready to help keep your private photos private with the help of Locked Folder. Google is currently working on making the feature easier to access than ever, as there’s a prominent Locked Folder button at the top.

As noted by 9to5Google In version 6.89 of the Photos app for Android (the change is also visible on iOS), Google tweaked the app’s interface to replace the Utilities button at the top of the Library tab with a button that opens the Locked Folder. Before this change, opening images protected with Locked Folder required navigating through the Utilities screen itself. Google has already updated the Locked Folder support documentation to reflect the new workflow.

While admittedly a relatively small change, this tweak should garner more attention for Locked Folder in the first place, including from many users who were unaware of or simply didn’t take advantage of the secure storage functionality. Considering how often we hand our phones over to people we trust some of our information — but perhaps too little all of it — this is probably a security tool more of us could use.

This change is a double-edged sword, though. Burying the Locked Folder under a few submenus had its advantages, and by placing it in such a prominent place, its existence is no longer an open secret. It is, after all, a place to hide your secrets.

While Google is pushing Locked Folder into the spotlight, the Photos app continues to test a broader redesign that transforms your Library tab into Collections. While there’s controversy surrounding the shift, we can at least confirm that Locked Folder is making an appearance at the top of the Collections screen for us, too.

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