How to Hide Photos on Your iPhone (Updated for iOS14)

So you want to know how to hide photos and videos on your iPhone? Well, the iPhone allows you to create photo albums and to hide photos, but Apple doesn't offer a properly private album or a way to lock a photo album. Apple offers the 'hidden' option for pictures, which will keep them from showing in your widgets or the automated For You slideshows. However, hiding pictures 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. This 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. For even more security, you can also use an app to hide photos and videos in a secret, locked photo album on your iPhone. We've already gone over how to lock a note in the Notes app on the iPhone, and how to use Incognito mode in Google Maps. Now, 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. Those hidden photos won't show up in your widgets or Photo Library, but 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 locked, 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 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, 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

What's in This Article:

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 14, hidden photos are removed from All Photos and also Widgets. 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.

    private pictures 01 the home screen with the settings app highlightedPrivate pictures on the iPhone 02 the photos app with an image open and the share icon highlighted
     
  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.

    private pictures 03 the share images menu with the hide photo option highlightedsecret photos iphone 04 the hide photo confirm menu with the hide option highlighted
     
  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.
  7. 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.)

That’s it! If all you need to do is remove your images from showing up in the Home Screen widgets, this will do the trick.

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How to Lock Pictures on the iPhone Using the Notes App 

There are a couple of 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.)

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.

    hide photos iphone: the photo share menu with the Notes app highlighted
     
  4. From here, you can add text. If a new note doesn't have a name, Notes automatically sets the first few words of the note as the name, so this text could be the name of your new note.
  5. Tap the Save To field at the top to choose where to save the note. 

    secret photos iphone: the share photo to Notes menu with the text field highlightedprivate photos iphone: the share photo to notes menu with the Save To field highlighted
     
  6. (Optional) Tap the Save To field if you want to put the photo into an existing note or into an existing folder, then tap the Save To Location option. This will let you navigate your Notes app to where you want to save the image. If you don't, it will just save to the root directory in the Notes app. You can skip this and it will make a new note with the photo, but if you want to put lots of photos behind the same password, you can put them all into the same note.
  7. When you're done, tap the Save option in the top right corner.


     
  8. Once you've added all the images you want to lock to the note, open the Notes app and navigate to the one you've created. There, tap the three-dot More icon. 
  9. Tap Lock Note, and then enter a password and password hint for the note.


     
  10. Now, copies of these photos are safely locked away in a Note, but the originals are still visible in your Photos app. You'll need to return to the photos in the Photos app and select and then delete them.


     
  11. Then, navigate to the Albums tab. Scroll down, and under Other Albums, select Recently Deleted.
  12. Select the picture, then tap Delete. This is similar to emptying the trash can on your Mac. 


     
  13. 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 the iPhone don't even want anyone to know that they have private photos on their phones. In that case, the solution is using apps that hide pictures on your iPhone and sometimes even hide themselves.

Secret Photo Vault (Free, premium begins at $3.99/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 ($6.99)

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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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

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.