How-To

How To Use the Safe Folder in the Files by Google App

Safe Folder is a new feature in the Files By Google Android app. It allows you to keep your files secure, away from prying eyes, and free up space. Let’s see how you can set it up and use it.

Files by Google

You can download Files by Google in the Google Play store here. Why would you, you ask? Well, because it’s a file manager with a twist. Aside from managing files, it allows for file sharing, backup to Google Drive, or sharing files offline, (the latter without using data).

Files by Google main

It’s also useful when you want to free up space on your Android device. Even better, you don’t need to do anything other than access it from time to time. It will provide very pertinent space-saving suggestions, which you can go through with or ignore. All in all, Files by Google is quite a useful tool, which I can’t recommend enough.

Now that we’re past the introductory stage, let’s see how the new Safe Folder feature works in Files by Google.

Safe Folder

NOTE: One very important thing to note is that this feature is only available on Android 8.0 and later. Older versions don’t support it.

Also good to know is that the folder is secured with a PIN code, which you shouldn’t forget. Forgetting it will mean losing access to your files.

Start by opening the app and scrolling all the way down. You will find a Browse button there. Tap it.

Files by Google browse

Once you’ve opened that section, scroll down again. You will see the Safe folder under Collections. Tap it to begin setting it up.

Files by Google Safe Folder

Now, remember when, earlier in this article, I said that you should think long and hard about a PIN you can easily remember? This is the point where that will prove useful.

You will next be asked to set up a four-digit PIN and then confirm it. With the risk of repeating myself, make sure you know what it is. Otherwise, you will lose access to the files in the folder. If you need to, you can save the code in your LastPass Vault, for safekeeping.

Once the PIN is set (for obvious reasons, Android doesn’t allow screenshots of this step), you’re all set and you can use the Safe folder.

Using the Safe folder

Moving a file to the folder couldn’t be easier. Select the file or files you want and tap the three dots at the top right side of the screen. You will have a new Move to Safe folder option. Tap it and the file will be moved after you confirm the PIN code.

Files by Google Safe Folder move

Accessing files that you’ve protected this way is just as easy. You just tap Safe folder, as you did when you’ve set it up. After you confirm the PIN, you are free to browse your protected files. Thumbnails will be shown for images, but screenshots are not permitted, not even when the image is viewed in full-screen mode.

I personally think that Google has done a very good job here. The feature offers an accessible way of hiding sensitive files from those that shouldn’t see it. If you have children and they play on your phone, I’m sure you’ll be thankful for it.

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