How to Hide Files Using Google’s Safe Folder on Android

Smartphones are incredibly personal devices and can contain sensitive information. If you’re concerned that prying eyes will find something they shouldn’t, you can hide and lock files behind a four-digit pin with Safe Folder in the Files by Google Android app.

Safe Folder is a special folder in the Files by Google app that stores files behind a PIN code. Files that have been moved to the Secure Folder are nowhere else on the phone. Whether sensitive photos or documents with personal information, Safe Folder can keep everything safe.

Keep in mind, however, that contrary to what some have reported, your files are not encrypted beyond the security measures built into Android and the Files by Google app.

How to set up the secure folder

First download the Files from google App from the Google Play Store. Open the app on your Android smartphone there. First-time users must tap “Next” to agree to the terms of use.

To allow Files to view content on your phone, tap Allow to give them access to photos, media, and files.

Files according to Google permissions


Now that you’re in the app, make sure you’re on the Browse tab, scroll down to the Collections section, then tap on Safe Folder.

Files from Google Safe Folder

You will now be asked to set a four-digit PIN. Enter the PIN and tap on “Next”.

Put files from Google Pin

Enter Confirm again with your 4-digit PIN and then select the “Next” button to continue.

Confirm files from Google PIN

The app politely reminds you that the secure folder cannot be opened without the PIN, so don’t forget it. Tap on “Got it”.

Remember files from Google Pin

You will now be greeted by an empty secure folder. Tap the back arrow to return to the Browse screen.

Files from Google Safe Folder

How to add files to the secure folder

We are now going to add content to the secure folder. Select any folder from the files available for browsing. Therefore example, we use the “Download” folder.

Files from google downloads


Press and hold to select a file to add to the secure folder. You can choose multiple files if you want.

Move files from Google to a safe folder

In the top right, tap the three-dot menu icon.

Files from google menu

Select “Move to Safe Folder” from the drop-down menu.

Move files from Google to a safe folder

You will be asked to enter the four-digit PIN you created earlier. Enter PIN and tap the blue “Next” button.

Confirm files from Google Pin to move

That’s it! The file (s) have now been removed from the public folders and can only be accessed in the secure folder. The file (s) are also not available for third-party apps.

How to remove files from the secure folder

Removing files from the Secure Folder works in the opposite way to adding them. Open the Files by Google app on your Android smartphone and tap the “Safe Folder” option on the “Browse” tab.

Files from Google Safe Folder

Enter Your four-digit PIN and tap “Next”.

Enter files from Google PIN

Press and hold to select the file you want to remove from the safe folder.

Select files from Google File

In the top right, tap the three-dot menu icon.

Files from google menu

Select “Remove from Safe Folder” from the drop-down menu.

Move files from Google's Safe Folder

How to change your PIN

Resetting your secure folder PIN is easy as long as you remember your original passcode. To do this, open the Files by Google app on your Android smartphone. In the upper left corner, tap the “Hamburger” menu icon.

Files from google menu

Select “Settings” from the menu.

Files according to google settings

Go to Secure Folder> Change PIN.

Files according to Google's secure folder settings


Enter Your current four-digit PIN and then tap the “Next” button.

Change files from Google Pin

Now enter your new PIN and tap on “Next”.

Set files from Google new pin

You will be asked to confirm the PIN again. Enter it and tap “Next” to continue.

Confirm files from Google PIN

That’s it! Tap “Got it” to finalize the change.

Remember files from Google Pin

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