How to Hide Photos on Your iPhone (UPDATED FOR iOS 13)

So you want to know how to hide photos and videos on your iPhone, eh? Well, the iPhone doesn't really allow you to create a private photo album even though your photos are technically hidden, but we have some great workarounds to share with you. Hiding picture on your iPhone within the Photos app has some big loopholes that make it easy for someone to find the photos you mean to keep private. Which is why we’ll not only go over how to hide photos with the built-in "private" photo album, but also how to lock photos away on the iPhone so that they are hidden behind a passcode. We consider this the way to really, truly hide photos on your iPhone. But for even more security, you can also use an app to hide photos and videos in a secret photo album on your iPhone. Here’s how to hide photos on your iPhone by creating a locked photo album or using a "private photo vault" type app.

Related: How to Hide Apps on the iPhone (& How to Find Them Later On)

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Hidden photos and videos on the iPhone are simply put in the Hidden album, which isn't private or password protected. Anyone who looks through your photos will still be able to find the supposedly hidden private photo folder on your iPhone. If that’s okay with you, the first part of our article will show you how to hide photos on the iPhone. But if you really want those pictures hidden, we recommend using the second part, which will show you a way to really, truly hide photos on the iPhone from prying eyes using the Notes app to make a private picture folder on your iPhone.

It’s good to note that it doesn't matter what iPhone you have. The iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and older models are all capable of hiding photos and videos in the Photos app. However, only devices that are running iOS 10 or later are able to lock pictures with the Notes app.

The above video is a preview of an iPhone Life Insider Daily Video Tip

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How to Hide Photos & Videos on the iPhone in a "Private" Album

For operating systems through iOS 10, hiding a photo on your iPhone means the photo is hidden from Years, Collections, and Moments. However, it’s still visible in All Photos. Starting with iOS 11 and continuing in iOS 13, hidden photos are finally removed from All Photos too. You view hidden albums by opening the Hidden album, which means the security on your Hidden private photos album is next to nothing (aside from the passcode to unlock your device in the first place.) But, if that’s okay with you, here’s how to hide photos on the iPhone in a private photo album.

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone.
  2. Find the photo or video you want to hide.
  3. Tap the Share icon in the lower left corner.
  4. For photos, scroll down and select Hide from the action menu. For videos, select Hide Video.


     
  5. If Hide doesn't appear on your action menu, you can add the Hide action using the Edit Actions feature.
  6. Confirm Hide Photo.

That’s it! To view your hidden photos and videos, tap on the Albums tab in the Photos app. Find the album called Hidden and tap on it (it will be down at the bottom of your screen, under Other Albums.)

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How to Lock Pictures on the iPhone Using the Notes App 

There are a couple steps to really, truly hiding a photo on the iPhone. (Note that you can't currently lock Notes containing videos, so if you want to know how to hide and lock videos on your iPhone, you'll need to skip down to the section on apps that hide photos.)

  1. First, you need to make sure the Notes app is able to lock notes. This can be turned on in Settings if not already on.
  2. Second, if you want to keep your private pictures out of the cloud, you need to enable the On My iPhone Notes account as well if it's not already on.

To Hide a Picture on Your iPhone:

  1. Locate the photo in the Photos app.
  2. Tap the Share icon.
  3. Select the Notes icon. If you don't see it, tap the three dots and then tap the Notes app.


     
  4. From here, you can name your note and add text.
  5. Tap Save on the top right to save the note to your default account.


     
  6. You can also tap the right facing arrow to switch accounts or save the picture to an existing note.


     
  7. Next, open the note with the photo, tap the Share icon, tap Lock Note, and then enter your Notes password if requested to.


     
  8. Now, return to the photo in the Photos app and select the trashcan icon to delete the photo from the Photos app.
  9. Next, open the Albums tab.


     
  10. Scroll down, and under Other Albums, select Recently Deleted.
  11. Select the picture, then tap Delete.


     
  12. To confirm, tap Delete [#] Photos.

When you open Notes up, the photo will be safely locked within Notes. If you decide to save the photo back to the Photos app, simply unlock the note, tap the Share icon, and select Save. This is a bit of a workaround; but if you’re trying to really, truly make a private picture folder on iPhone using built-in Apple apps, this solution is the way to go.

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Best Apps to Hide Photos & Videos on the iPhone

Locking photos on iPhone using the Notes app is convenient because it doesn't require any additional apps. But you can't make a locked photo album in Notes if you want to lock notes containing videos in the Notes app. And then there are those who want to make a secret photo album on iPhone that only they know about. Some people looking to lock pictures on iPhone don't even want anyone to know that they have private photos on their phone. In that case, the solution is using apps that hide pictures on your iPhone and sometimes even hide themselves.

Secret Photo Vault ($9.99/month)

Highly rated, the Secret Photo Vault has a clean and secure interface for keeping your photos and videos safe. The app lets you create custom albums, full-screen slideshows, and integrates the camera so that you can take private photos directly from the app. You can test Secret Photo Vault with a free 30 day trial.

Best Secret Folder (Free)

photo hider app

This free app lets you make locked photo albums of private photos and videos on your iPhone. The app will even let you know if someone tries to log in to the password protected app and snaps a photo of the offender.

Private Photo Vault Pro ($3.99)

how to lock photos on iphone

This app lets you not only password protect the app, but also create locked photo albums with their own passwords. While you can't take photos or videos directly in the app, importing and exporting to and from the Photos app is easy. This app also will take a photo of anyone trying to break into the app.

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Top image credit: sergey causelove / Shutterstock.com

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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.