How to lock photos and videos with a password or Face ID on iPhone and iPad

Want to prevent people from looking at your photos and videos? Check out these 5 free ways to restrict access to your photos and videos on iPhone or iPad with a password or Face ID.

Password-protect photos on iPhone

Do you often hand over your iPhone or iPad to other people and are worried that they may go inside the Photos app and see your private pictures or videos? In this tutorial, we will show you five free ways to hide your private photos & videos and lock them with a passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID.

Once locked, anyone except you will be able to see these confidential pictures.

1. Put a lock on your iPhone, and don’t share its passcode

Let’s start with a fundamental tip.

By simply adding a passcode to your iPhone and iPad, you can not only protect your photos and videos but all the other apps and everything else on it.

You’re most likely already using a passcode, but in the rare case you aren’t, go to iPhone Settings > Face ID & Passcode or Touch ID & Passcode and set one.

Lock Screen passcode on iPhone

Related: 17 tips to secure your iPhone

2. Hide pictures and videos in the Apple Photos app and lock them

You can’t put an app lock on the iOS Photos app. But there is an easy workaround, which involves hiding the pictures and videos away from prying eyes and locking them. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Photos app on your iPhone or iPad and go inside Recents or any other album.
  2. Tap Select and pick the photos you want to hide.
  3. After selecting, tap the three dots button and choose Hide > Hide n Photos.
  4. Next, open the iPhone or iPad Settings app, scroll down, and tap Photos.
  5. Make sure the switch next to Use Face ID or Use Touch ID is enabled and green.
Hide and access Hidden album on iPhone

These hidden images will not appear inside the Recents section of the Photos app and no one else can see them (as long as their face or fingerprint is not added to your iPhone’s Face ID or Touch ID).

To see these photos, open the Photos app, go to Albums > Hidden, and authenticate via Face ID or Touch ID.

The moment you come out of the Hidden section, it will automatically lock all the photos you have hidden again.

3. Use a third-party photo hiding and locking app

Some iPhone apps can protect your photos and videos by putting them behind a passcode. All these applications work on the same basic principle:

  • Get the app and set a passcode.
  • Import the sensitive pictures & video clips you want to hide into these apps.
  • Next, delete those pictures from the stock iPhone Photos app.
  • Whenever you want to see those hidden images and videos, simply open the third-party app, enter the passcode you set, and voila, you have access to them.

Here’s how to use an excellent free app to lock your photos and videos behind a passcode on your iPhone or iPad:

  1. Download the Hide it Pro (HIP) app for free from the App Store and open it.
  2. Set the pin code and tap Done > OK.
  3. Log in using the recently set pin.
  4. Tap Photos > Create Album. Choose an album name and hit OK.
  5. Tap the newly created album and hit Add Photos > Gallery. Now, allow the app to access your iPhone or iPad photos.
  6. Select the images and video clips you want to hide. To quickly select many, just run your one finger over them. After that, tap Add.
  7. The selected photos are added to the HIP app and are now locked behind a passcode. Next, you can tap Delete to remove these images from the Photos app or tap Don’t Allow and delete them manually from the iOS Photos app. In either case, don’t forget to go to the Recently Deleted section and remove the images.
  8. Now, exit the HIP app.
  9. Next, open the HIP app again, and you will see that it asks for the 4-digit PIN to get inside. Enter that, and you will see your hidden photos.
Lock photos and videos using Hide it Pro app on iPhone

Remember to explore this app’ settings. You will find several handy features like disguising the screen with a joke, calculator, currency converter, etc. You can also enable face or fingerprint lock.

Besides HIP (which is the best, in my opinion), I tested 51 other photo vault apps on my iPad. Out of those, here are some good alternatives you can try:

4. Put photos in Google Drive or Dropbox and lock the app

  1. Get Google Drive or Dropbox from the App Store and upload your photos & videos to it.
  2. Next, go to Google Drive or Dropbox app settings and enable their passcode lock. In the Google Drive app, hit the three lines icon from the top left > Settings > Privacy Screen and enable Privacy Screen. For Dropbox, open the app > Account > settings icon > Turn passcode on.
  3. Finally, delete the original images from your iOS Photos app.
Enable lock for Google Drive and Dropbox on iPhone

You can access your images inside Google Drive or Dropbox apps after you enter the app passcode or authenticate via Face ID or Touch ID.

Note: Google Drive offers 15 GB of free cloud storage, while Dropbox only gives 2 GB.

5. Message the photo to yourself on WhatsApp and lock it

Finally, you can hide photos and videos using WhatsApp, which is an encrypted messaging app. This approach may be a little unconventional but is super easy and quick. Here’s how:

  1. Send the photos you want to hide to yourself on WhatsApp. You can also message those photos in full quality.
  2. Next, archive that chat so that it stays hidden from the main WhatsApp chats screen. Or, a better alternative is to lock WhatsApp on your iPhone with a passcode so that no one can get inside it. Tip: If you often change phones, don’t forget to back up your WhatsApp chats.
  3. Finally, delete the original images from your iPhone Photos app.
Send photos to yourself on WhatsApp and lock the app on iPhone

These were five easy ways to lock photos and videos on your iPhone or iPad. Additionally, you can create a locked folder on your Mac and put sensitive photos, videos, and files there.