Google Photos’ Locked Folder can now keep your sensitive images safe on iOS

Google is expanding the reach of its Locked Folder tool on the Google Photos app so it will soon be available on iOS and web. This means that if you decide to switch from an Android device to an iPhone, you can still access your secure files without issue.

It doesn’t appear like there’s any major difference between the three versions. All three types of users can store their content in a Locked Folder then back it up so it can be accessed across multiple devices. According to Google in the official announcement that you’ll be saving your files on “one of the world’s most advanced security infrastructures.”

When it first launched, Locked Folder was exclusive to Google Photos on Android. It provided users a “passcode-protected space” for images or videos, ensuring that they won’t appear on your “photo grid or other apps.” 

The problem was the Locked Folders feature wasn't available outside of Android smartphones, as we just covered. So if an iPhone owner wanted to hide particularly sensitive media, they were out of luck. Those images could end up on other connected apps where they're displayed in full view. 

With this update, you can rest easy knowing that moving forward, any embarrassing snapshots of you at that Christmas party will remain hidden on your iPhone.

See more

In addition to the expansion, the company is also simplifying the settings page on Google Photos to make finding and adjusting privacy controls easier. The menu will no longer have everything messily displayed on a single screen. Instead, individual tabs will be compartmentalized into larger sections for a much cleaner look. The Privacy tab, for example, will have all of the sharing tools where you can decide which of your friends has access to your image folders.


Keep an eye out for the update patch when it arrives. Google states the new layout for the settings page is now available on Google Photos for Android and iOS. Also, Locked Folder support begins rolling out to iOS users today. 

It’s unknown when Locked Folder will make its way to Google Photos on web browsers. We didn’t see anything on our personal account. However, it is worth mentioning there are instructions for setting up Locked Folders for desktop via the official Google Photos Help website. This could mean the browser update will be launching soon – although we don’t know when. We reached out to Google for more information about when we can expect the final patch. This story will be updated at a later time.

If you’re looking for alternatives, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best photo storage and sharing sites for 2023


TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More

Chrome is making it easier to remember passwords and sensitive information

Google is developing a feature within the Chrome password manager that not only allows you to manually save passwords, but also add any useful notes that you would otherwise need to save elsewhere.

This was discovered by Reddit user u/Leopeva64-2 who notes that the feature is currently live within Chrome Canary version 101, the version of the Chrome browser used for beta testing new features before they get released onto the public build.

Manually adding passwords will give you better control over the saved information currently stored in the Google Chrome password manager, preventing you from having to visit every website and load your details in to be saved. This should also make it easier to clean up errors and situations where multiple passwords are saved with no other sign-in information, such as a username or email address.

The Google Chrome password manager with a beta 'add notes' feature

(Image credit: u/Leopeva-2)

It's unlikely you would need to save any password hints in the notes space, as you can simply unhide your password by selecting the eye icon next to it. But this could be useful for saving the answers to security questions, or even the date you signed up and last used the service, if you like to keep your open accounts to a minimum.

Concern was also raised on the same Reddit thread regarding encryption, though it's likely that anything saved within the notes field will be protected along with the actual passwords themselves.

Given most other password management services also encrypt all the information saved alongside the actual passwords, it would be unusual for Google to overlook this, but we won't know for sure until the feature is released to the general public.

As Neowin mentions in its own report, this is a feature that could also roll out to the Microsoft Edge web browser, given it's also based on Chromium. But it's early days for that, and we can't find anything similar to this feature currently being tested within the Microsoft Edge Insider channels.

It has a niche use, but its implementation could allow you to save small nuggets of useful information that are specific to each website you visit, such as payment information or the expiry date on your cards. Given this feature is currently being trialed, there's a chance it might never make it into the public version of the Chrome browser, which would be a real shame.

Analysis: What's the risk?

Any discussion about saving your passwords or private information online is going to cause some concern, but Chrome already has a lot of features that could put your mind at ease. For one, the Chrome password manager can prompt you if a password is weak or appeared in a data breach online.

To check your passwords, users just need to click on the key icon that appears under your profile. or you can manually type 'chrome://settings/passwords' in your address bar. This will also tell you if any of your passwords need to be updated because they've been compromised, though you'll still need to visit every site that the password/email address combination was used on to change them.

If anything, this outlines the importance of having individual passwords for every account you open – and with all of the websites and applications available to us, that can be daunting without a password manager. 

Still, if you're worried about saving any private information to your browser, you'll either need to use a more dedicated service such as LastPass, or simply do things the old-fashioned way and either memorize or jot down your information on paper.

TechRadar – All the latest technology news

Read More