If you want to hide some of the files on your Android phone, there are a couple of easy methods to make this happen.
While you probably have some level of protection on your phone such as a screen lock and PIN code, there are probably some files (documents, images, videos, etc.) on your Android device that may be particularly sensitive. Naturally, you want to make these files difficult for someone to get a hold of. You can do that by hiding the files so that only you’re the only person that knows how to find them.
This isn’t only a feature for hiding important documents, it’s also a good way to stop friends or family accidentally seeing some photos that are a bit more private.
You will only need to be using a file manager, and that’s all – you don’t need a third-party app to hide files. There are a wide variety of file managers for Android available to use, such as ES File Explorer, Astro File Manager or File Expert. You can find some options with a quick search in the Google Play Store. We will be using ES File Explorer in this example.
To hide files, you need to start by opening your file manager app.
Method 1: Creating a hidden folder
With this method, you need to create a new folder and put all the files that you want to hide in that folder. It doesn’t matter what type of file – it could be photos, documents, videos or whatever.
Open up your file manager so you can see all of the folders currently on your phone. Click on New to create a new folder.
See your folders in ES File Explorer
You can name the folder anything you want, as long as you put a dot in front. For example, if you want to call the folder Folder1, you should use the name. Folder1. The dot is what causes the folder and the files in it to become hidden.
Create a new folder in ES File Explorer
This is because Android is based on Linux, and both operating systems are set up to hide any file that begins with a dot.
Once you have created the hidden folder, move any files you want to hide into it. Doing this should also stop the files from appearing elsewhere in your phone, such as in your phone’s gallery.
If you want the folder and its files to show up again, you have to go into the file manager’s settings and then find Display settings. In that menu, tick the box next to Show hidden files and folders. This will be the only way to see files or folders you have hidden in this way on your phone.
Show hidden folders in ES File Explorer’s display settings
Method 2: Hiding files with .nomedia
With this method, you can hide the files in an existing folder. Simply open up the folder containing the files you’d like to hide. Once inside, create a new file by tapping on New. You will need to name the new file .nomedia and then save it. This will hide all the pictures and videos in that folder and stop apps from interacting with them.
Please note, your hidden folder or file will be visible on a computer. The dot naming convention for hidden files is not universal.
In addition, it’s probably best to keep any really sensitive documents or other files somewhere other than on your phone, where they are less likely to fall into the wrong hands.