How To: Passcode lock your photos, videos and messages in iOS

iPhone Lock

With every single major tech company out there touting the importance of security in the mobile markets, one would naturally assume that our phones and tablets offer multiple ways of protecting users against threats, both online and real-world ones. If someone gets their hands on your iPhone, for example, they can instantly gain access to your photos, videos, messages and everything else you have stored in your device. Furthermore, prying friends and family may want to look a bit deeper into that folder of pictures and the results can be disastrous. Thankfully, there are a few ways to protect sensitive items with a password including a few dedicated apps.

Using an app

Though you cannot actually use an app to lock your Camera Roll or your iMessages per se, you can always use a digital locker and store every important item inside it. Digital lockers work by allowing you to add whatever you want into them and then protecting everything with a password. The items you place in the lockers will not be destroyed so you will also have to delete the original files manually but it is a worthy process. Now, most apps of this type are concerned with multimedia files such as pictures and videos. Some also allow for document archiving but these features vary from app to app. As far as I know, these three are the best of their kind on iOS:

  1. Folder Lock


    Folder Lock

    This app supports the widest range of formats including documents, pictures, video, audio and archives. It can save your digital wallet cards, allow you to keep secret contact groups, write secure messages and add a variety of protected information such as your ID, passport details, business information and more. Though I would not really suggest storing such info on your phone, there are few better ways to do it.

  2. Best Secret Folder


    Best Secret Folder

    An app that is mostly concerned with preventing your friends and family by looking at your photos and videos, Best Secret Folder places a huge emphasis catching the would-be intruders along with preventing them to enter in the first place. After four failed password attempts, the app will automatically snap a photo of the intruder and then send you an email along with other information such as the date, time and location.

  3. Lock My Folder


    Lock My Folder

    One of the most elegant apps of its kind, Lock My Folder has a fantastic UI that offers the same experience as the default gallery. The app looks great and supports a ton of functions for your multimedia files like adding photos and videos directly to its locker instead of placing them in your iOS library and adding information to your files. One of the most interesting features also allows you to set two different passwords so you can still share some things with friends while keeping everything else locked away.

Lock your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to a specific app

Guided Access Toggle

Guided Access is one of the best iOS features for sharing your phone with others. While the utility is mostly used to prevent kids from doing things they are not supposed to in iOS, it can also be used to lock your screen into a specific album or a specific text message/thread so that you can protect everything else. Guided Access can be enabled in the Accessibility section of the Settings and it works by triple-pressing your Home button and then drawing an “allowed” area while blocking out everything else. Pressing the home button three times again will let you leave the app but only once you have entered your passcode. For more information on how to set it up, check out our guide here.