How to Hide Files with Google’s Safe Folder on Android

files by google safe folder

Smartphones are incredibly personal devices, and they can contain sensitive information. If you’re worried about prying eyes finding something they shouldn’t, you can hide and lock files behind a four-digital pin with Safe Folder in the Files by Google Android app.

Safe Folder is a special folder in the Files by Google app that puts files behind a PIN code. Files that are moved to the Safe Folder are not accessible anywhere else on the phone. Whether it’s sensitive photos or documents with personal information, Safe Folder can keep things, well, safe.

Just keep in mind that, unlike what some have reported, your files aren’t encrypted beyond the safeguards built into Android and the Files by Google app.

How to Set Up the Safe Folder

First, download the Files by Google app from the Google Play Store. From there, open the app on your Android smartphone. First-time users will need to tap “Continue” to agree to the Terms of Service.

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To give Files the ability to see content on your phone, tap “Allow” to grant it permission to access photos, media, and files.

files by google permissions

Now that you’re in the app, ensure that you’re in the “Browse” tab, scroll down to the “Collections” section, and then tap “Safe Folder.”

files by google safe folder

Now you will be asked to set a four-digit PIN. Type the PIN, and tap “Next.”

files by google set pin

Enter your 4-digit PIN again to confirm and then select the “Next” button to proceed.

files by google confirm pin

The app will politely remind you that Safe Folder can’t be opened without the PIN, so don’t forget it. Tap “Got It.”

files by google remember pin

You will now be greeted by an empty Safe Folder. Tap the “Back” arrow to return to the “Browse” screen.

files by google safe folder

How to Add Files to the Safe Folder

We will now add content to the Safe Folder. Select any folder of the available to browse files. For this example, we’ll be using the “Download” folder.

files by google downloads

Press and hold to select any file you would like to add to the Safe Folder. You can select multiple files if you’d like.

files by google move to safe folder
Grid View (Left)/List View (Right)

Tap the three-dot “Menu” icon in the top-right corner.

files by google menu

Select “Move to Safe Folder” from the drop-down menu.

files by google move to safe folder

You will be prompted to enter the four-digit PIN you created earlier. Enter the PIN, and tap the blue “Next” button.

files by google confirm pin to move

That’s it! The file(s) has now been removed from the public folders and can only be accessed in the Safe Folder. The file(s) will not be available to third-party apps either.

How to Remove Files from the Safe Folder

Removing files from the Safe Folder works in the opposite way as adding. Open the Files by Google app on your Android smartphone, and tap the “Safe Folder” option on the “Browse” tab.

files by google safe folder

Enter your four-digit PIN and tap “Next.”

files by google enter pin

Press and hold to select the file you wish to remove from the Safe Folder.

files by google select file

Tap the three-dot “Menu” icon in the top-right corner.

files by google menu

Select the “Move Out of Safe Folder” option from the drop-down menu.

files by google move out of safe folder

How to Change Your PIN

Resetting your Safe Folder PIN is easy as long as you remember your original passcode. To do so, open the Files by Google app on your Android smartphone. From there, tap the “Hamburger” menu icon in the top-left corner.

files by google menu

Select “Settings” from the menu.

files by google settings

Go to Safe Folder > Change PIN.

files by google safe folder settings

Enter your current four-digit PIN and then tap the “Next” button.

files by google change pin

Now, type in your new PIN and tap “Next.”

files by google set new pin

You will be asked to confirm the PIN one more time. Enter it and tap “Next” to proceed.

files by google confirm pin

That’s it! Tap “Got it” to complete the change.

files by google remember pin

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