How to Lock Hidden Photos on iPhone in 2024 (Maximize Privacy)

In 2024, privacy is more important than ever when it comes to our personal photos and videos stored on our iPhones. We all have some photos that we want to keep private, whether they are for our eyes only or for sharing with a loved one. Luckily, Apple has provided iPhone users with easy options for hiding and locking photos to maximize privacy.

Why You Should Lock Hidden Photos on Your iPhone

Here are some top reasons you should make use of the hidden photo album and locking capabilities on your iPhone:

Prevent Snooping

Locking your hidden photos album ensures that no one who casually picks up or uses your phone can access those private pictures and videos. This provides an extra barrier against friends, family members or even strangers snooping through areas of your camera roll they shouldn’t be seeing.

Added Security If Phone is Lost/Stolen

We never want to lose our iPhones, but it happens. If your device ends up lost or stolen and isn’t recovered, you likely don’t want the finder or thief browsing through your entire camera roll either. Locking the hidden album requires additional authentication to view the photos.

Separate Truly Private Pictures

For those extra private, intimate or sensitive photos you may have, the hidden album provides complete separation from your main camera roll and everyday pictures. Only you can access them with the proper credentials.

Child Safety/Monitoring

Parents handing phones down to children can better monitor and limit access to the full device camera roll. The hidden locked album provides extra privacy, control and boundaries.

How to Set Up Hidden Album on iPhone

Enabling and using the Hidden album to store private photos takes just a few steps in the latest iPhone models.

Access Photo Albums

First, open the Photos app and select the Albums tab at the bottom to view all your albums.

Find Hidden Album

Here you will see an album named Hidden, even if you haven’t added any photos to it yet. If you don’t already see the Hidden album, you can enable it manually:

Go to Settings > Photos and toggle on the Hidden Album option. This makes it available in your Albums view for storing photos.

Add Photos to Hidden Album

Now you can add photos to the Hidden album just like any other – tap to open it up, then hit the + sign and select images from your library.

Voila! Those photos are now tucked out of sight from your camera roll while safely stored in the Hidden album.

Locking Hidden Photos on iPhone

Simply putting photos into the Hidden album does not lock them. To add a layer of security through locking:

Go to Settings

Open your Settings to find the locking toggle for hidden photos.

Toggle On Hidden Photo Locking

In Settings, choose Photos and toggle on the switch next to Hidden Album.

This requires Face ID, Touch ID or your device passcode to access the Hidden album going forward. An additional confirmation is needed before anyone can view those photos – keeping them locked down.

How to View and Unlock Hidden Photos

If you go to access the Hidden album after locking it, don’t panic when you see this message.

Your device is simply requiring the authentication method you’ve set up:

Use Face ID

If you try opening the Hidden album on a Face ID iPhone model (iPhone X or later), it will prompt you to show your face. Position yourself in front of the TrueDepth camera for it to scan and recognize you.

Provide Fingerprint

On Touch ID iPhones, you will be asked to scan your fingerprint when trying to view hidden photos. Place your finger over the Home button.

Enter Passcode

On any iPhone, as a backup you can enter your lock screen passcode (4 or 6 digits) to gain entry as well. Type this in to the passcode field after failed Face/Touch ID attempts.

Once authenticated with biometrics or passcode, you will have access to all the hidden photos freely until closing the album. Then authentication will be required again on the next viewing.

Adding or Removing Photos in Locked Hidden Album

You aren’t restricted from editing the contents of your Hidden album after locking it. To add or delete photos:

Unlock the Album

First, unlock the Hidden album with Face/Touch ID or Passcode. You can then view all existing photos inside.

Tap Edit

Hit the Edit button in the upper right corner. This puts you into Edit mode to modify album contents.

Add/Delete Photos

In Edit mode you can:

  • Tap + to select more photos from your library to add to the album
  • Tap the circle beside images to remove them from the album

Once done editing, tap Done and your changes are saved. The album will lock again automatically when closed.

Turn Off Hidden Photo Locking

What if you decide you no longer want your Hidden album to be locked? Just as easily as you turned on the setting, you can disable it:

Go Back to Settings

Return to the Settings menu and choose Photos.

Toggle Off Switch

Under Hidden Album, turn the switch off to disable locked status. No more authentication will be required to view those photos going forward.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still have some questions? Here are answers to top queries about locking hidden photos on your iPhone:

What iPhones Support Hidden/Locked Photos?

All iPhone models dating back to the iPhone 7 running iOS 14 or later support the Hidden album generally. However locked photos require an iPhone model with Face ID or Touch ID (iPhone 5S or newer).

Can Locked Photos Be Viewed from iCloud?

The Hidden album does sync to iCloud like other albums IF you have iCloud Photos enabled. However, the locking protection also applies even when viewing on You’d still need to use Face/Touch ID authentication to unlock.

Do Screen Time Restrictions or Parental Controls Override Lock?

No – the locking of photos is controlled strictly through device biometrics or the passcode method set up. It acts independently of any Screen Time or parental restrictions configured through Family Sharing.

If I Delete a Photo from Hidden Album, Is it Deleted from All Albums?

No! Deleting a photo from the Hidden album does NOT delete it from your camera roll or other albums. It simply removes that second instance that was placed in Hidden. So your photos are always safe in your main library.

Can You Recover Deleted Hidden Photos?

As long as you have not cleared your Recently Deleted album in Photos, you should be able to recover deleted images from Hidden just like other photos. They go to Recently Deleted first for 30 days before permanent removal. However full iCloud backup would be another way to recover them outside this window.

Remember Your Options for Locking Photos

Locking your Hidden album is a handy native option for keeping certain photos more discreet and secure on your iPhone. Just dive into Settings, enable Hidden Album under Photos settings and toggle on its locked status for on-device protection from prying eyes.

Face ID, Touch ID or your passcode will then restrict entry until explicit authentication. This prevents unwanted snooping if your phone is picked up while also guarding those memories if lost or stolen. For any truly private, intimate or sensitive pictures you want to always control access to, the built-in locking mechanism keeps them under lock and key!

Also Read