The option to hide photos on an iPhone is a useful one, whether it’s for keeping peering eyes away or just as an extra album you want to stay separate from all the rest.
The Photos app has undergone a slight upgrade with the release of iOS 16. Now, what was originally a cut-and-dry process involves Face ID or a passcode as an extra layer of security for your hidden folder. It’s not complicated, but new iPhone owners may have no idea that a hidden folder even exists, much less how to access it.
For those who pay the extra money for additional iCloud storage, don’t worry, if you save your photos in your hidden folder, those photos also go into a hidden folder on your iCloud storage. Whether you access it from your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or PC, your photos are secure.
With that being said, let’s dive into the simple process!
Step #1: Go to the Photos App
The Photos app, for those new to iOS devices, is a colorful circle of overlapping ovals and fairly simple to recognize if you’re familiar with Google’s own photo app.
When you tap on the Photos app for the first time, you’ll receive a little intro screen before you’re free to browse. The option to hide photos on iPhone is readily apparent since the Hidden Folder feature is on by default.
If you already have pictures in there, the first screen shows a compilation of all your pictures, but you’ll go to the Albums tab at the very bottom. If you have no pictures yet, you’ll start things off on the Albums screen anyway.
Step #2: Select the Album You Want
If you take pictures on your iPhone all the time, you’ll have an album labeled Recents, which basically holds all the pictures you’ve taken from the most recent to the earliest date.
Your iPhone will automatically create a few albums on its own, associating them with your method of taking the picture, such as screenshots, social media apps, or other camera apps.
All you want to do here is select the album that holds the picture(s) you want to hide.
Step #3: Select Your Photo(s)
To hide photos on your iPhone, you can either move them one at a time or select a large group of photos to transfer all at once.
To select a single photo, tap the Select button at the top, right-hand corner of the screen. Now, select the photo you want to transfer to the hidden folder. If you want to hide a lot of photos on your iPhone at once, simply tap more than one.
If you have many photos you want to transfer, press and hold the top left photo in the group and slide your finger down and diagonally across, to the right, very slowly. This will blaze through all the pics below the starting point, automatically selecting all of them. Keep in mind that it highlights really quickly, so you’ll want to move slowly as previously noted!
Step #4: Select Your Hidden Folder
Once you press the Select button, the three-dot, horizontal button drops from the top of the screen to the bottom, right-hand corner.
With your selected photos highlighted, press the three dots at the bottom. The pop-up menu contains the word Hide. Select it and confirm by tapping the Hide Photo option when it shows up on the screen.
How to Unhide Photos on iPhone
Once you hide photos on your iPhone, you don’t have to keep them there forever. If an errant photo is in the hidden folder, it’s a simple reversal to retrieve it and place it in the folder of your choice.
Below are the easy steps to unhide a photo.
Step #1: Open Your Albums
The Hidden folder remains in your albums, and it’s all the way at the bottom of the screen.
Scroll down to it and select it. You’ll notice that it has a lock symbol next to it, which is a recent feature. It means the album requires a Face ID or passcode to advance.
Step #2: Select the Hidden Tab Under Utilities
You don’t have to use your Face ID if you know your passcode. Instead, bypass it and enter your passcode or turn off Face ID requirements in Settings.
Step #3: Select Your Photos
From here, you do the same as you did when hiding the photos originally. Either select a single photo to transfer back to a regular folder or select multiple photos.
Step #4: Unhide Photos on iPhone
Select the three horizontal dots at the top of the screen. In the dropdown menu, select Unhide. The photo will return to its original folder.
While the Photo App on iOS devices isn’t the most robust and editing-friendly photo app in the world, it’s still helpful for arranging your photos in their respective folders and keeping things nice and organized.
Remember to keep your iOS devices updated, so you can take advantage of the new security layer Apple is offering.
Before iOS 16, the Hidden Folder displayed the number of photos within the folder, and it was much easier to access. Now, the number of photos is hidden, and it requires a Face ID or passcode to access it.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Framesira/Shutterstock.com.