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How to back up Google Photos Locked Folders to access from any device

It might not be the most shouted-about of features in Google’s long list of photo innovations, but for a few years now it’s offered a really handy little option in Google Photos, called Locked Folder.



Using this will let you create a folder in Google Photos, a part of your library that no one else can access – protected by a password or code of your choice to ensure that it stays private and secure.

It’s a great option, but after a decent chunk of time in which you could only access it on a few types of devices, Google has now opened the gates more widely, to let you use the system on both iOS and in the cloud. Here’s how you can use it, and access it from anywhere.


How to set up cloud backup for Locked Folder

Locked Folder is a really handy tool for secrecy of whatever type, and now Google says you’ll be able to back your Locked Folder up to the cloud – still encrypted so that it’s private.

The simplest part is that you’ll now be given the option of having back-up on whenever you set up your Private Folder for the first time – it’s part of the process and you’ll be able to choose whether you want it.

Massive Google Photos update Whats different and when youll get it photo 7
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For those who already have a Private Folder, though, things aren’t quite as easy. You’ll have to go through some steps to turn back-up on. While we don’t have exact steps yet, we’ll update this article as soon as we’re able to run through them ourselves. It should run as follows, though:

  1. Open the Google Photos app (running the latest version of the app)
  2. Tap your profile image at the top-right
  3. Tap on Back up
  4. Change your settings to have your Locked Folder either backed up or not

You can choose to have back-up enabled for your photos but not your Locked Folder if you’d prefer to keep your private images just on your device, so you’ve got multiple options for how to handle things.

As always, and regardless of whether you have back-up turned on or off, anything in your Locked Folder will never appear outside of it, so you won’t have to worry about it popping up in memories or image grids.

All of this is enabled by a new and much simpler Settings page for Photos that Google has rolled out, so you should hopefully be able to navigate through matters more easily.

What is Locked Folder in Google Photos?

Locked Folder is, pretty much, exactly what it says on the tin. By that, we mean that it’s a locked folder that you set up using the steps we’ve laid out above, and which keeps anything you put inside it private.

This means photos and videos that aren’t for public consumption or prying eyes, and the system ensures that these files don’t appear in highlights montages, memories, or any other algorithmically created places on your phone or other device.

You get to choose whether to lock the folder using a numerical passcode or a password, which leaves it up to you how difficult you’d like its protection to be to crack.

Other Google Photos tips

Google Photos is a hugely powerful hub for photo storage, of course, and it’s not just Locked Folder that lets you organise it how you want. If you’re keen to get some more intricate options, do check out our full list of tips and tricks for Google Photos, which is sure to have some ideas in it that you hadn’t thought or heard of.

It’s always changing, too – only recently, Google added a new feature called Photo Stacks as a way to arrange bursts of photos that look really similar without losing access to all the versions you’d like to keep.

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When you add that sort of little option to the unbelievable power of Magic Editor – which can swap backgrounds, delete clutter and people from your images, and much more besides, you can do a heck of a lot in Google Photos.

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