Protecting files

How to password protect files with Safe folder on Android

Files by Google app has a feature to protect your sensitive files using a password on your Android device, and in this guide, you'll learn how to use the feature.

Android Google Files

The Files app by Google includes a feature known as Safe folder designed specifically to protect certain files from prying eyes using a password on your Android device. The feature is similar to Personal Vault available for OneDrive, but the difference is that Safe folder in Files protects files locally stored on the device (not files in the cloud), you can add as many files as you want, and it doesn’t use multi-factor authentication.

Although the Safe folder feature is not as secure as Personal Vault, it adds an extra layer of security to encrypt and hide sensitive files from anyone who may gain access to your phone and apps.

The feature is now widely available, and it should be an option on most Android phones, including those from Samsung, OnePlus, and even Surface Duo.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to protect your most valuable files on Android using the Safe folder app.

How to set up Safe folder on Android

The Safe folder is a feature available in the Files app, which means that you need to install it before you can use it.

Install Files app

To install the Files app on your Android device, use these steps:

  1. Open Google Play.

  2. Search for Files by Google.

  3. Click the Install button.

Once you complete the steps, you can proceed to configure the Safe folder feature.

Set up Safe folder

To set up Safe folder on Android, use these steps:

  1. Open Files app.

  2. Under the “Collections” section, click the Lock button.

  3. Create a 4 digit PIN.

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Confirm the PIN.

  6. Click the Next button.

  7. Click the Got it button.

After you complete the steps, you can start adding files to the protected area.

When using this feature, make sure to remember the passcode as you won’t be able to access your files if you forget it.

Change Safe folder PIN

To change the PIN of the Safe folder, use these steps:

  1. Open Files app.

  2. Click the menu button on the top-left corner.

  3. Click the Settings option.

  4. Under the “Browse” section, click the Safe folder option.

  5. Click the Change PIN option.

  6. Confirm the current PIN.

  7. Click the Next button.

  8. Create the new 4 digit PIN.

  9. Click the Next button.

  10. Confirm the new PIN.

  11. Click the Next button.

  12. Click the Got it button.

Once you complete the steps, you can access your files with the new passcode.

How to add files to Safe folder on Android

To move files into the Safe folder area, use these steps:

  1. Open Files app.

  2. Click the Browse button at the bottom of the page.

  3. Locate the files you want to move to the Safe folder.

  4. Click the context menu (three-dotted) button.

  5. Select the Move to Safe folder option.

  6. Confirm your 4 digit PIN.

  7. Click the Next button.

Once you complete the steps, you may need to repeat the instructions to protect additional files.

How to view protected files in Safe folder on Android

To access your files stored in the Safe folder, use these steps:

  1. Open Files app.

  2. Under the “Collections” section, click the Lock button.

  3. Confirm the PIN.

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Select and open the file you want to view.

After you complete the steps, you can open files with their corresponding applications.

How to remove files from Safe folder on Android

To remove a files from the password protected folder, use these steps:

  1. Open Files app.

  2. Under the “Collections” section, click the Lock button.

  3. Confirm the PIN.

  4. Click the Next button.

  5. Click the context menu (three-dotted) button.

  6. Select the Move out to Safe folder option.

Once you complete the steps, you may need to repeat the instructions to move out additional files. Also, make sure not to close the app while moving out files. Otherwise, the move will be terminated, and the file will stay in the protected folder.