iOS 16/17 Photos Lock Feature Helps Protect Your Privacy

iOS 16/17 photos lock feature can lock hidden and recently deleted photos. Read this guide to see how to lock photos in iOS 16/17 to protect your privacy.


By Lena / Updated on January 15, 2024

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Can iOS /1617 lock photos?

Photos taken with the camera or pictures saved from the Internet will be stored in the Recents album. If you do not want certain images to appear in your library, you can choose to hide or temporarily delete them. Pictures that are hidden by you will be moved to the Hidden album, and deleted photos will be moved to the Recently Deleted album. In this way, they will disappear from the Recents album.

iOS 16 Lock Photos

However, the Hidden and Recently Deleted albums are exposed in the Photos app, and anyone with access to your unlocked phone can check those hidden and deleted photos. In addition, the hidden pictures will show up in the image picker of third-party apps.

Fortunately, In iOS 16/17, Apple finally lets you lock your Hidden and Recently Deleted albums and ensure they won’t be seen without your Face ID or Touch ID. Keep reading to learn more about this iOS 16/17 lock photos feature.

iOS 16/17 photos lock feature

In previous versions, putting a photo into the Hidden album or Recently Deleted album only means that it cannot be seen in the main photo library. Anyone with access to your Photos app will have a chance to see these two albums and view the photos inside, whether they are unintentional or intentional.

Now, things have changed. iOS 16/17 photos lock feature automatically locks the Hidden album and Recently Delete album. These two albums require Face ID or Touch ID to gain access. No one can open these two albums except you.

iOS 16 Photos Lock Feature

This ensures that the photos you have deleted or photos you have marked as hidden will not be seen by others. Even if someone else gets your unlocked phone, they can't open these albums without further authentication.

How to lock photos on iPhone in iOS 16/17

After updating to iOS 16/17, you do not have to do anything, and the Hidden and Recently Deleted albums will be locked by default. If you have updated to iOS 16/17 but find that two albums are not locked, you can go to the Settings app to enable this feature.

1. Make sure you have set the Face ID or Touch ID, otherwise, you cannot lock photos in iOS 16/17.

2. Go to Settings app > Tap Photos.

3. Toggle on Use Face ID or Use Touch ID.

Enable Photos Lock iOS 16

To better protect your privacy, you can turn off Show Hidden Album. In this way, the Hidden album will not appear in the Photos app.

4. After that, you will see a lock icon on the Hidden and Recently Deleted albums.

5. When you tap the album, it will ask for Face ID or Touch ID to unlock it. If biometric authentication fails, a prompt to enter a password will appear.

Use Face ID to Unlock Album

Bonus: How to backup important photos on iPhone

iOS 16/17 photos lock feature makes hidden and deleted photos more private. However, these locked-up photos may also be accidentally seen by others. In addition, the deleted photos will be completely deleted after 30 days.

For better preservation of your important photos, you can choose to transfer photos from iPhone to computer, USB flash drive or external hard drive. After that, you can delete photos from your phone and you don't have to worry about people seeing your photos. It also helps you free up storage space.

FoneTool, one professional iOS data management tool, can help you easily transfer iPhone photos computer. You can preview every photo on iPhone and filter the unneeded ones. It will help you transfer full resolution photos from iPhone to PC. In this way, you can check the photos or edit them with other tools. Below are the detailed steps.

Step 1. Download, install and run  FoneTool > Plug in iPhone.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7
Secure Download

Step 2. Choose Phone Transfer and go to iPhone to PC.

iPhone to PC

Step 3. Click the plus icon > Choose Photos > Select the photos you want to transfer to PC. You can choose to transfer photo albums from iPhone to PC.

Choose Photos

Step 4. Click Start Transfer > Select a storage path and adjust other settings > Finally, click Transfer.


If necessary, you can convert HEIC to JPG/PNG with HEIC Converter of FoneTool.

HEIC Converter

Final words

That’s all about iOS 16/17 photos lock. iOS 16 automatically locks Hidden and Recently Deleted albums with Face ID or Touch ID. No one can see the photos in these two albums except you. In addition, you have the option to hide the Hidden album.

iOS 16/17 is a massive release with new features. Another useful feature is Duplicate Detection. You can go to the Duplicates album to delete duplicate photos and videos to free up space. This iOS 16/17 find duplicate photos guide has more details.

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.