Sometimes you just want to keep prying eyes away from your stuff. We understand. There are a variety of ways to do it too. Applocks provide a quick, if somewhat ineffective, means of privacy. There are also special vault apps that store files and hide files from other apps. Of course, there are also OEM solutions as well. Whatever you choose to go with should keep out snoopy roommates or kids. However, a tech-savvy individual can bypass these without too much effort or a little Google Searching. Additionally, a bug or a forgotten password means losing quite a bit of data. It’s not the end of the world, but more of a heads up that these aren’t infinitely secure apps and they do have problems. These really only provide short-term privacy benefits. In any case, here are the best gallery vault apps for Android!
The best gallery vault apps for Android
Price: Free / $2.99
1Gallery is one of the newer gallery vault apps on the list. It’s a mix of a regular gallery along with a gallery vault function. You can view your images, GIFs, and videos as you normally would or lock them behind a vault and view them there. The vault includes full encryption for every file along with a couple of different ways to access the vault (PIN, pattern, fingerprint). Additionally, it works with RAW, SVG, and even panoramic images. Some other features of this one include a super basic photo and video editor, a few different themes to choose from, and a relatively low price tag. It’s a good entrant into the category.
See also: The best photo editor apps for Android
Price: Free / Up to $14.99
Gallery Vault is kind of the default, popular option in this space. It lets you hide photos and videos as usual, but it also supports other file types as well. You can also hide photos on your micro SD card, use the integrated privacy browser, GIF supoport, and it even supports fake passwords and failed login alerts. The free version is absolutely riddled with ads so we only recommend that as a trial version for the premium version. If you need something free, there are better options available. However, the premium version of this is honestly not half bad if you can stomach the steep price tag.
Price: Free / $1.99
Hide Something is one of the cleanest gallery vault apps we’ve seen. It also works well enough as a vault app. You can share files directly from third party apps to this in order to hide them. Additionally, it features Google Drive support for hidden backups. That’s kind of neat, actually. Some other features include GIF support, a fake vault mode, fingerprint support, and more. It also doesn’t show up in the recent apps menu. It’s cheap, it looks good, and it has the more common features. The one caveat is that it doesn’t encrypt your files. Thus, a more tech savvy person with a file browser can still access your files. Great for your kids, not great for nosy and tech savvy thieves.
See also: The best gallery apps for Android
Price: Free / $6.99
LOCKED is a fashionable and functional gallery vault app. This app hides itself as an actually functional calculator in your app drawer. In order to open it, you have to open the calculator and then use the menu button to access your stuff. The app also includes a privacy browser, a note taking mode that works as a diary function, and even a fake vault in case you want another level of redundancy. The pro version is a bit expensive and there are some horror stories about losing photos just like most gallery vault apps, but the positive reviews greatly outnumber the negative ones.
Price: Free / Up to $3.99
LockMyPix is another decent gallery vault app. It has a lot of desirable features, including complete offline support, a fake login, AES encryption, fingerprint scanner support, and SD card support. You can even open a fake vault if you want to. That is potentially useful if someone is forcing you to open the app for them. We found the occasional report of backups not functioning all that well. Otherwise, this app actually seems like a solid pick. We’re not too thrilled with its Google Play page having a different name as the app’s real name, but that about sums up the negative thoughts we have about this one. You can also use the premium version of this for free if you use Google Play Pass.
Price: Free / $2.99 per month / $54.99 once
PhotoGuard is an excellent app in this space. It locks your photos with either a pattern, PIN, or fingerprint lock and utilizes AEX-256 bit encryption. It functions like most gallery vaults. You add your photos and videos to it and the app hides those photos and videos from all the other apps on your phone. This one also includes break-in alerts for when people try to break into your vault and a cloud storage option for $2.99 per month or $54.99 once. It’s a reasonably decent option and it feels like one of the more mature options as well.
Price: Free / Up to $11.99
Sgallery is another encrypted photo gallery vault app. This one uses AES encryption to hide your files from the rest of your apps and other people. Some other functionality includes a privacy browser, an app lock function, and you can set it to quickly close if you shake your phone. This one also hides in a calculator app so there is a level of obfuscation here. The developer has a couple of different gallery vault apps as well in case you want to try a different one.
Price: Free / Up to $4.99
SpSoft AppLock is another popular and dependable applock. It has all of the usual features, including a function to record intruders, fingerprint support, a fake lock, support for 31 languages, and more. This one also includes support for different passwords for each app it locks and it has remote lock functionality as well. That gives it an extra step above most other applocks. We found the occasional report of a bug, but most people seem to like this one a lot. It’s also relatively inexpensive.
OEM locking features
OEMs add a lot of extra features to their devices over stock Android. Occasionally, that includes an app lock or a privacy vault of some sort. Samsung’s Secure Folder feature (in the security and lock screen settings) is an excellent example. These apps have an advantage over third party apps because they are system-level. They can’t be uninstalled, they’re built right into the OEM version of Android, and that all makes it much harder to crack than an uninstallable app. If a lock screen isn’t enough, we definitely recommend looking at OEM specific locking features before going with a third party app. It’s usually the better option overall with fewer problems.
Or just use a really good lock screen
Here’s the thing, folks. If people are in your phone, your security can only be so good. We really only recommend applocks and vault apps to people with kids because thieves can get around them with enough time. A good lock screen with a good pattern/PIN/fingerprint lock will do more to protect your device than any app on this list. If you’re worried about extra protection in case of theft, we actually recommend Find My Phone apps that can remotely wipe your device like Google’s option. Set up a good lock screen and we have a list of Find My Phone apps just below!
If we missed any great gallery vault apps for Android, tell us about them in the comments! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!
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