Here’s a quick and simple guide on how to hide photos on iPhone – it’s quick and simple. Just follow the steps outlined below to create a secret cache of photos inside your iPhone…
As we increasingly use our iPhones for virtually everything, from communicating to storing personal documents and photos, privacy is a growing concern.
This has led to an increasing demand for ways to keep specific files and photos out of sight. Fortunately, Apple has recognized this and provides options on your iPhone to hide photos, thereby ensuring they are only visible to those who should see them.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of hiding and unhiding photos on your iPhone, thus giving you more control over your privacy.
Understanding iOS “Hidden” Album Feature
First, it’s important to understand the “Hidden” album feature. The Hidden album is a feature in your Photos app where you can store photos you would rather not appear in your regular album view.
Keep in mind that this does not mean the images are fully hidden or secured – anyone who has access to your phone can still view them if they navigate to the “Hidden” album.
This feature might be more aptly named the “Out of Sight” album, as it essentially moves photos out of your main library view. That said, this feature can be helpful if you simply want to clean up your photo library or keep some images less accessible.
How to Hide Photos on Your iPhone
Let’s start by learning how to hide photos using the inbuilt feature.
- Step 1: Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Step 2: Select the photo or photos that you want to hide. You can do this by tapping ‘Select’ in the upper-right corner, then tapping the photos you want to hide.
- Step 3: Once you’ve selected your photos, tap the ‘Share’ button (the box with an arrow pointing upwards) at the bottom left corner.
- Step 4: Scroll down in the sharing options until you see the ‘Hide’ option. Tap on it.
- Step 5: Confirm your decision by tapping ‘Hide Photo’ or ‘Hide Photos’ if you’re hiding multiple pictures.
Accessing Your Hidden Photos
Even though your photos are out of sight, you can still view them whenever you want. Here’s how:
- Step 1: Open your Photos app.
- Step 2: Scroll down to the ‘Albums’ section and look for the ‘Hidden’ album.
- Step 3: Tap the ‘Hidden’ album, and there you will find all your hidden photos.
How to Unhide Photos on Your iPhone
If you’ve changed your mind about a photo or simply need it to be back in your regular view, you can unhide photos easily. Here’s how:
- Step 1: Go to your ‘Hidden’ album following the steps in the previous section.
- Step 2: Find the photo you want to unhide and select it.
- Step 3: Tap the ‘Share’ button at the bottom left corner.
- Step 4: Scroll down until you find the ‘Unhide’ option and tap on it.
- And there you have it! The photo will be back in your main photo library.
Additional Privacy – Using Third-Party Apps
For additional privacy, you can download third-party apps that provide password protection for your photos. Apps such as Vault, Keepsafe, and LockMyPix offer an additional layer of security by encrypting your photos and requiring a PIN, fingerprint, or face ID for access.
Before you download any third-party apps, remember to read reviews and confirm the app’s security and privacy policies. It’s crucial to trust the app before you decide to store sensitive data on it.
Photo’s Hidden Album Explained
The idea behind the Hidden album has always been that it’s a place you could put private photos in it and thus remove them from view in the main Photos library. Of course, with any “hidden” album there are always jokes that such an album is created specifically to hide your porn pics.
And while of course the Hidden album can be used for that–people like to hide plenty of other photos besides porn pics. For example, you might want to keep personal photos or your partner hidden from view. Or maybe you take photos of receipts for purchases you want to keep hidden. Or maybe health-related photos–for example, if you are taking a photo of a lump on your body you want to share with your doctor only.
In other words, there are a ton of other reasons why everyone should take advantage of a Hidden album.
That being said, the way iOS 13 and earlier handled the iPhone’s Hidden album was a bit baffling. Yes, placing a photo in the Hidden album would remove that photo from view from the main Photos library.
Yet anyone who had physical access to your unlocked iPhone could simply open the Photos app and tap Album view and scroll down and see the Hidden album right there. Tapping on it would give them access to all the photos Hidden in it.
From iOS 14 onwards, however, you can actually hide the Hidden album from view. But it should be noted that this still isn’t the most secure thing. After all, if someone knows how to unhide the Hidden album–they can simply do that on your iPhone and then view the pics anyway.
What Apple should really do is allow users to set a PIN, or require Touch ID or Face ID to unlock the hidden album. Until then, at least with iOS 14, the Hidden album is a little more hidden.
How To Hide Photos & Videos On iPhone
Before we get to hiding the Hidden album, let’s explain how to actually hide photos and videos:
- Launch the Photos app on your iPhone.
- In Library view, in the top-right corner of the screen, tap the Select button.
- Now tap on the photos or videos you want to hide. When you tap on them, a blue checkmark will appear to show they are selected.
- After selecting the photos or videos you want to hide, tap the Share button in the lower-left corner of the screen. The Share button is a box with an arrow pointing up from it.
- In the Share Sheet that pops up, tap Hide.
- A confirmation prompt will appear. Tap “Hide [# of] Photos” to confirm you want to hide the photos or videos.
After following the steps above, the photos and videos you selected will be removed from Library view and be visible in the Hidden album.
How To Hide The Hidden Album On iPhone
Once you’ve got a Hidden album with photos in it, you’ll probably want to hide that album from view in the Photos app entirely, too.
Again, if you do not hide the Hidden album, anyone with access to your iPhone can easily see the album named “Hidden” if they open up your Photos app.
Unless you hide this album, it’s essentially a big sign saying “HEY LOOK HERE AT ALL THE PHOTOS AND VIDEOS I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO SEE.”
So again, it’s a good idea to hide the Hidden album as well. Here’s how:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Photos.
- Toggle the Hidden Album switch to OFF (white).
Once you’ve done this, the Hidden album will be hidden from view in the Photos app. In order to un-hide the Hidden album in the future, you’ll need to do the following:
- Open the Settings app.
- Tap Photos.
- Toggle the Hidden Album switch to ON (green).
Interested in photo security? Be sure to check out Google Pixel’s Locked Folder feature!
Want to make GIFs? Here’s how to make a GIF on iPhone! And here’s how to transfer photos from iPhone to iPhone! Plus be sure to check out how to delete albums from iPhone!
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.