Android Phones today keep adding new features to protect users’ data. Almost all phones now have a fingerprint sensor in addition to the traditional password option. Higher-end phones also have many other advanced features such as fingerprint sensors embedded on the screen, face scanners, and a host of other encryption options.
Despite all these new features, Android phones are not necessarily always safe. People might hand over their phones to other people for any reason. But once they unlock the phone and put it in other people’s hands, any curious mind has access to all the data they want to see. They can go through your messages, see your photos and videos, and even skim through all your files and documents.
Data on Android is only safe for as long as the users keep their phones locked. But otherwise, they are in completely open folders for anyone who wants to see them. Many files and other data might be confidential, and thus, it is important to protect your phones. However, most people do not know how to password protect any files and folders on their Android phones. Fortunately, there are many ways on Android phones that users can use to encrypt whatever data they want.
Best Android Apps to Password Protect Files And Folders
The Google play store has many apps that people can use to protect the data on their phones. This article will tell you how to password protect any files and folders in your Android Phone. The following are the best and safest apps on the Google Play Stores to do:
1. File Locker
The answer is in the name of the app itself. File Locker is arguably the best option for users to protect their phones without worrying about breaches. File Locker is extremely convenient and easy to use. The first step is to download the app from the Play Store. Once you download and open the app, you will see a screen as below asking users to set a pin.
Then the app will ask for a recovery email in case the user forgets the pin.
The app will have a plus sign at the top where users need to click add a new file or folder. All the user now has to do is go click on the file or folder they want to lock.
Once they click, the app will ask for confirmation to lock the file or folder. Tap on the “Lock” Option. This is all the user needs to do to encrypt any file or folder on their Android phone. After this, anyone who wants to see the file will have to put in the password to do so.
2. Folder Lock
Folder Lock is a great option for users who do not mind spending just $4 or just a little under Rs. 300 to get solid encryption on their files and folders. Most of the best features are available after buying the premium service. It is not the most beautiful app, but its features are amazing.
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Users will get access to a private cloud service, lock unlimited files, and even a unique feature like the panic button. If a user thinks that someone is trying to glance at a peek at their data, they can press the panic button to switch to another application quickly. The first thing that people need to do is simply download the Folder Lock app from the Google Play Store. Once they download and open the app, the app will ask the user to set a password first and foremost.
Then they will see the many files that they can lock using the app. They need to simply click on whichever file or folder they want to lock and add it to Folder Lock.
If a user wants to undo the encryption on a file, they select those files in the app and tap on “Unhide.” This is all that users need to know about using the Folder Lock app on Android phones.
3. Smart Hide Calculator
Smart Hide Calculator is one of the more cool apps that allow users to encrypt any file and folder they want. At first glance, it is simply a fully functioning calculator app on one’s phone. But it is secretly a way to password protect any files and folders on Android phones.
The first step for users is to download the Smart Hide Calculator from the Google Play Store. Smart Hide Calculator will ask users to set a password to access the vault once they download and open the app. Users will have to type in the password twice to confirm it.
After they set the password, they will see a screen that looks like just a normal calculator. People can conduct their normal calculations on this page. But if they want to access the hidden files, they need to simply input the password and press the “=” sign. It will open the vault.
After entering the vault, users will see options that allow them to hide, unhide, or even freeze apps. Click on “Hide Apps,” and a pop-up will open. Select the apps you want to hide and tap on “Ok.” This is how to password protect any files and folders on Android phones using the Smart Hide calculator.
4. Gallery Vault
Gallery Vault is another one of the best options to encrypt files and folders on Android phones. It has features that allow users to lock their photos, videos, documents, and other files. Users can even hide the Gallery Vault icon altogether so that other people don’t know that the user is hiding some files.
The first step is for users is to go to the Google Play Store on their phones and download the Gallery Vault application. Once users download the application, Gallery Vault will request some permission before proceeding. It is important to grant all permissions for the app to work. Gallery Vault will then ask the user to set a Pin or Password, as in the image below.
After this, users will go to the main page of the app, where there will be an option to add files.
Simply click on this option, and you will see the different types of files that Gallery Vault can protect. Choose the category and select the files or folders you want to encrypt. The app will automatically encrypt the file.
After all the steps, Gallery Vault will start to protect any files and folders that users choose. They will have to input the Pin or Password whenever someone wants to see those files and folders.
The above apps are the best options to password protect any files and folders on an Android phone. But there are also some other options that users can consider if they are not happy with the above apps. The following are alternative options to encrypt data on an Android Phone:
5. File Safe
File Safe does not offer anything different from the other applications on this list. Users can hide and lock their files and folders using this rather simple application. It does not have the most beautiful interface as it kind of looks like the File Manager on Android phones. If someone wants to access files on file Safe, they have to input a Pin/Password to do so.
6. Folder Lock Advanced
Folder Lock Advanced is a higher premium version of the Folder Lock App. It adds features such as Gallery Lock, which allows users to lock all photos and videos in their gallery. Moreover, the app has great graphics and performs better than the Folder Lock. Users can even protect their wallet cards using this app. The only drawback is that this app is a premium service and will only suit those who have highly confidential information on their phones.
This application is not exactly as broad as the other applications on this list. It is because it only allows users to hide and protect photos and videos from their gallery. The app does not support encryption on any other file type. This is an app only for people who just want to hide their gallery but do not have other important data on their phones.
8. App Lock
App Lock does not necessarily encrypt particular files and folders on an application. Instead, as the name suggests, it locks entire apps such as Whatsapp, Gallery, Instagram, Gmail, etc. It can be slightly inconvenient for users who only want to protect some files.
9. Secure Folder
The secure folder is arguably the safest and best option on this list in terms of the security it offers. The problem is that it is only available on Samsung Smartphones. Samsung developed this application to offer additional security for people who own Samsung phones. It has the highest security of all the apps on this list, and people who have Samsung phones do not even need to consider downloading other apps as long as Secure Folder is there.
10. Private Zone
Private Zone is much like all the other applications on this list. People have to put in a password to access hidden data, and users can hide many things such as photos, videos, and important documents. The big plus for this application is that it looks very good. The graphics and overall look of Private Zone is amazing.
11. File Locker
As the name suggests, File Locker offers users the option to easily make a private space on their phones for important files and folders. It can even lock and hide things such as contacts and audio recording in addition to the normal photos, videos, and files.
12. Norton App Lock
Norton is one of the world leaders in cybersecurity. Norton Anti-Virus is one of the best anti-virus programs for computers. Due to its high quality, Norton App Lock is an amazing premium option for users. It is very easy to secure files and folders using this app, but the only drawback is that people have to pay full access to the app’s features.
13. Keep Safe
Keep Safe is also a premium service that charges $5 per month after a 30-day free trial for users. The app has a very good interface and is highly convenient and easy to use. As with other apps, users need to input the pin to access files but Keep Safe also offers backup codes on the users’ email if they forget their pin.
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All of the above options will serve the need for basic protection for files and folders on an Android Phone. If someone has highly sensitive data on their phone, it is best to go with premium services such as Folder Lock, Norton App Lock, or Keep Safe. These will provide additional high security. For most people, however, the other apps are perfect options to password protect any files and folders on their Android phones.
Pete is a Senior staff writer at TechCult. Pete loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has a decade of experience writing how-tos, features, and technology guides on the internet.