How to Lock a File or Folder on iPhone

Nicholas Russell
By Nicholas Russell 7 Min Read
7 Min Read

Hey there, it’s Devansh here! Do you ever worry about people snooping through your iPhone? You’re not alone! As someone who’s super into cyber security, I’ve done a deep dive into how you can keep your files and folders on your iPhone away from nosy folks.

In this fun guide, I’m going to share some cool tricks with you. We’ll explore how to use the Files app or even other apps like Folder Lock to secure your stuff. Also, did you know you can hide your photos and videos in the Photos app? Yup, we’ll cover that too!

So, if you often hand over your iPhone to friends or colleagues but get a bit anxious about them seeing certain files, you’re in the right place. Stick with me, and let’s make your iPhone as secure as a secret diary! 📱🔒

Two Ways to Lock Files and Folders on iPhone

Okay, iPhone users! Ready to turn your phone into Fort Knox for your files and photos? There are two main ways to do this on your iPhone: using the iPhone’s built-in features or getting help from some cool third-party apps. Let’s break it down:

Native Feature to Lock Files

Locking PDFs in the Files App

If you’ve got iOS 16 or newer, you can lock PDF files directly in the Files app. It’s super easy:

    • Open the Files app.
    • Find the PDF you want to protect.
    • Tap on the arrow next to the file’s name and choose Lock PDF.
    • You’ll get to set a password. Once done, this file will have a little lock icon. To open it, just enter the password you set.

Hiding Photos and Videos

Hiding stuff in the Photos app is a breeze:

  • Open the Photos app.
  • Select the photos or videos you want to hide.
  • Tap the More button (looks like a circle with three dots).
  • Choose Hide, then Hide Photo.
    1. To find these again, go to Albums, then the Hidden folder under Utilities.
    2. These hidden treasures won’t show up in your main library or other albums. Plus, if you’re on iOS 16, you’ll need your passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID to see them.

Apps to Lock Files, Photos, and Music

Apps like MaxVault, Keepsafe, and Folder Lock

  • Apple thinks of iPhones as super personal gadgets, so they don’t have a ton of built-in options for extra file security. That’s where apps like MaxVault, Keepsafe, and Folder Lock come in handy. These apps can secure all sorts of files – photos, videos, documents, audio files, and even your notes. You’ll need a passcode to open anything you lock in these apps.

Cloud Apps with Secure Folders

  • Some cloud storage apps offer special secure folders. Take Microsoft OneDrive, for example. It has a feature called Personal Vault. It’s like a safety deposit box for your files, using identity verification to keep them safe.

So there you go! Whether you’re using your iPhone’s own tricks or getting a little help from other apps, keeping your files and photos safe is just a few taps away.


And that’s a wrap! By now, you should feel like a pro when it comes to safeguarding your files and photos on your iPhone. Remember, your iPhone is more than just a phone – it’s a personal vault for your digital treasures. Whether you’re using the native Files and Photos apps or opting for cool third-party apps like MaxVault, Keepsafe, or Folder Lock, you’ve got the power to keep your private stuff private.

Don’t forget, these methods aren’t just for top-secret files. They’re perfect for anything you want to keep just for you, from surprise party plans to personal notes. So go ahead, give these tips a try and enjoy that peace of mind, knowing your digital world is secure.

Thanks for sticking with me through this journey into iPhone security. Here’s to keeping our digital lives safe and sound! 🎉🔒📱


Can I lock any type of file in the Files app on my iPhone?

Currently, the Files app in iOS 16 and above specifically allows you to lock PDF files. For other types of files, you might want to consider using third-party apps.

How do I hide photos and videos on my iPhone?

Easy! Just open the Photos app, select the photos or videos you want to hide, tap the More button (circle with three dots), and choose Hide, then Hide Photo. You can access these again under the Hidden folder in Albums.

Are the hidden photos and videos in my iPhone completely secure?

They’re hidden from your main library and albums, but if you have iOS 16, you’ll need a passcode, Touch ID, or Face ID to access them, adding an extra layer of security.

What are some good third-party apps for locking files on my iPhone?

MaxVault, Keepsafe, and Folder Lock are great options. They let you secure various file types and are protected by a passcode.

Can I use cloud storage apps for extra security?

Yes! Apps like Microsoft OneDrive offer features like Personal Vault, which adds an additional layer of security with identity verification.

Is it possible to lock apps and notes on my iPhone?

While the article focuses on files, photos, and videos, some third-party apps also allow you to lock individual apps and notes. It’s worth checking out apps specifically designed for this purpose.

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