You often run the risk of exposing your photos and videos on your Apple iPhone. It’s all too easy to stumble across something sensitive around someone else, or to share it between contacts by accident. Your privacy is also at stake if someone else gains access to your iOS device.
Thankfully, you can stop that by hiding sensitive photos and videos on your iPhone. Use the Photos app or any of the alternative methods below to get the job done. The instructions in this guide also apply to iPod touch and iPad.
1. Add photos to Hidden Album
The fastest way to hide photos and videos on iPhone is to move them to a “Hide” album — which you can also hide — in the Photos app. However, it may not be a practical solution since you cannot lock the album with a password.
Hide photos on iPhone
To hide a photo in the Photos app:
1. Open Picture app and tap the image you want to hide.
2. Press Repost (box icon with an arrow coming out from the top) in the bottom left corner of the screen.
3. Scroll down to the Share Sheet and tap Hide.
Hide multiple photos on iPhone
You can hide more photos faster by entering selection mode. To do that:
1. Click Option in the top-right corner of the Photos app while viewing the contents of any album, photo library, or photo library.
2. Mark the photos you want to hide.
3. Click Repost Icon.
4. Scroll down and press Hide.
Access Hidden Photo Albums
Hidden photos will no longer appear in your album, photo gallery, and photo library. If you want to see them, you have to open the “Hide” album on your iPhone. To achieve it:
1. Switch to Albums in Photos.
2. Scroll down Utilities section.
3. Press Hide.
If you use iCloud Photos, the changes above will also sync across Apple devices. You can access hidden photos on any other iPhone or iPad you own by repeating the steps above. On a Mac, select Hide instead on the Photos sidebar.
Hide Album Hide
You can also hide the “Hidden” album on your iPhone. To do that:
1. Open Setting app on your iPhone.
2. Scroll down and press Picture.
3. Turn off the side switch Show Hidden Albums.
If you want to show the album “Hide”, go back to the above screen and turn on the switch next to it Show Hidden Albums.
Show photos on hidden albums
If you want to show photos in the “Hide” album:
1. Open Hide album.
2. Click Option and mark the picture or images you want to show.
3. Click Repost button.
4. Scroll down and press Unhide.
2. Hide Photos in Notes
The following method involves hiding photos in the Notes app on your iPhone. It is not as convenient as the previous method but is relatively more secure as you can lock the note with a password.
Export photos to Notes app
Start by exporting your private photos from the Photos app to Notes. To do that:
1. Open Picture and select the photo or photos you want to hide.
2. Press Repost.
3. Press Note.
4. Create a new note or select any of your existing notes in icloud or On my iPhone locations.
5. Press Save.
Lock notes in notes
Next you have to lock the note. That involves creating a password for an iCloud or On my iPhone account for the first time.
1. Open Note application.
2. Tap the note that contains the photo.
3. Click Menu icon (three dots) at the top right of the screen.
4. Press Lock up.
5. Create a password, activate Face ID or Touch ID unlock (optional) and press Accomplished. You won’t encounter this step in any subsequent notes you want to lock.
Remove image from photo
Don’t forget to remove the image from the Photos app. To do that:
1. Open Picture.
2. Select the image or images you want to delete.
3. Click Garbage in the bottom right corner of the screen and select Delete.
Save notes on photos
If you want to save images from the Notes app to Photos later, you must:
1. Open the note that contains the photo.
2. Long press a photo in the note and tap Repost.
3. Press Save a photo.
4. Repeat for any other images you want to save to Photos.
3. Hide Photos in Files App
The Files app on your iPhone offers another way to hide photos and videos by allowing you to conveniently store them in hidden locations in the iCloud and On My iPhone folders. However, you cannot use password protection as in Notes.
Hide pictures in files
1. Open Picture and select the photo you want to hide.
2. Press Repost.
3. Scroll down and press Save to File.
4. Select a location or create a new folder and tap Save.
5. Delete the photo from the Photos app.
Save image back to photo app
If you want to save your photo back to the photo library on the Photos app:
1. Open Files app and navigate to the location of the photos.
2. Select a photo or photos and press Repost.
3. Press Save a photo/Picture.
4. Hide Photos app
Removing the Photos app from your iPhone’s Home screen can reduce the chances of someone viewing your photos without permission. You may also want to build on that by removing the Photos widget and preventing images from showing up in search results.
Remove the Photos app from the Home screen
To remove the Photos app from the Home screen:
1. Press and hold Picture application icon.
2. Press Uninstall apps.
3. Press Remove from Home screen.
If you want to access the Photos app, open the App Gallery, expand Photos & Videos category and press Picture. To add a Photo back to the Home screen, press and hold Picture icon and press Add to home screen.
Remove the Photos app widget
If you have a Photos app widget on your iPhone Home screen, you can remove it by long pressing Remove Widget. However, if it is part of a widget stack:
1. Long press the widget stack and tap Edit Widget.
2. Locate Picture widget and touch Delete Icon.
3. Press Eliminate.
Hide photos in search results
To prevent the Photos app and your images from showing up in search results:
1. Open Setting.
2. Scroll down and press Picture.
3. Press Siri & Search.
4. Turn off the side switch Show apps in search.
Optionally, you can turn off photo-based Siri suggestions by turning off Show on Home screen, Recommend appsand Proposal Notice switches.
5. Use a Third Party Stock Photo
Third-party photo locker provides the best way to hide photos on iPhone with less hassle. Doing a quick search on the App Store will bring up many apps that offer the ability to lock photos, but here are some of the top picks.
Warning: Always check the App Store privacy label before granting permission to third-party apps to your photo library.
Private Stock Photo – Pic Safe
Private Photo Vault begins by requiring you to set up a dedicated passcode so that only you can access it. You can then move pictures and videos from your photo library, have the app delete the original photos shortly after, and organize the hidden items into separate albums.
Private Photo Vault also offers a built-in camera that lets you capture and save content directly into the app itself, saving you the hassle of moving them around. It even has a built-in browser that automatically hides any photos you download. If you’re willing to shell out $6.99/month or $39.99/year, you can sync your images across devices using the built-in Cloud Vault feature.
Secret Stock Photo – Keepsafe
Secret Photo Vault works similarly to Private Photo Vault, allowing you to add, organize, and lock photos with a secure passcode. It also has a built-in camera to capture and hide content directly into the app, although it lacks a private web browser.
You can subscribe to Secret Photo Vault for $9.99/month or $23.99/year to remove ads and unlock extra features like cloud-based backup and device sync cross.
In private mode
Hiding photos directly in the Photos app on your iPhone is quick and easy. But if you feel it’s not enough, you may want to explore the other methods above or consider investing in a third-party photo locker to protect your privacy. Plus, learn what you can do to prevent people from accessing content in other apps on your iPhone.