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How to enable Secure Folder on Android

A Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, representing an article on how to enable secure folder on Android
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Enabling Secure Folder on Android devices is the perfect (and an incredibly simple) way for security-conscious users to encrypt important files on their phone. 

Although your prized new Android flagship is among of the best phones on the market, sadly, it can still fall prey to malicious software attacks. With Samsung's Secure Folder, which uses the company's Knox security system, you have an extra layer of protection. 

What's more, back in the physical realm, if someone were to pick up your phone while unlocked and they fancied a poke around, having Secure Folder enabled would block them from seeing whatever is stored within it. This includes apps, folders, files and photos — so virtually anything on your phone you'd want to keep secure.

In this article we'll show you how to enable the built-in Secure Folder on your Samsung device. 

If you're on a Google device, there's a similar built-in function called Safe folder. While Safe folder can house files and folders, you unfortunately can't store apps within it. Regardless, Safe folder is still a useful security feature, so we'll cover that here too.

How to enable Secure Folder on Android

How to enable Secure Folder on Samsung devices

1. Go to Settings, then tap Biometrics and security. Scroll down to Secure Folder. You'll need to sign in with your Samsung or Google account and Secure Folder will then be set up.

(Image credit: Future)

2. To set or change the lock settings for your Secure Folder, go to the Biometrics and security menu and tap on Secure Folder. This will now bring up the options and settings for Secure Folder. Select Lock type and then choose how you'd like to unlock your Secure Folder. 

(Image credit: Future)

3. To ensure your Secure Folder can't be accessed by someone picking up your phone while unlocked, you'll need to set the folder to lock immediately after you leave an app located within it. Otherwise, your folder can still be accessed for a time after you've put your unlocked phone down. From the Secure Folder settings menu, tap Auto lock Secure Folder and then select Each time I leave an app.

(Image credit: Future)

How to enable Safe folder on Google devices

1. Go to your apps and select the Files app.

(Image credit: Future)

2. Scroll down and tap Safe folder. Choose how you want to access the Safe folder, either using a PIN or Pattern. Set and confirm the PIN or Pattern

(Image credit: Future)

3. To store an item in the Safe folder, open Files, find the file and tap the three dots icon, then select Move to Safe folder.

(Image credit: Future)

Now you know a really useful way to keep your phone secure, why not check out other ways to increase your privacy and security?

We have guides on how to reset an Android phone, how to disable location tracking on Android, how to disable location tracking on iPhone and how to remove your contact details from Google Search. Plus, check out how to block spam texts on Android. We also have a super useful guide to the hidden Samsung features that will change how you use your phone.

Peter Wolinski
How-to Editor

Peter is the How To Editor at Tom's Guide. As a writer, he covers topics including tech, photography, gaming, hardware, motoring and food & drink. Outside of work, he can usually be found telling everyone about his greyhounds, obsessively detailing his car, squeezing as many FPS as possible out of PC games, and perfecting his espresso shots.