Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra back in hand 2
David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung Secure Folder is an encrypted space on your smartphone to store files, images, videos, and apps for your eyes only. The service keeps all your sensitive files private, giving you peace of mind that other people won’t see these things while using your device.

Originally launched as part of Samsung Knox, Samsung Secure Folder comes pre-installed on many of Samsung’s modern smartphones. You can also find the app on the Play Store, compatible with any Samsung device running Android 7.0 Nougat or higher.

How to set up Samsung Secure Folder

Before you do anything else, you’ll need a Samsung account to set up and use Samsung Secure Folder. If you don’t already have one, you can create it here for free.

If you own a newer Samsung phone, Samsung Secure Folder should be pre-installed on your device. Open the app drawer, locate the app, and launch it. Then sign in with your Samsung account, choose the authentication method you want (fingerprint, PIN code, pattern), and you’re good to go.

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You may have to enable the service first by going to Settings > Lock screen and security > Secure Folder on some devices. Then sign in and choose the authentication method you want to use, and the Samsung Secure Folder icon will show up in the app drawer and on your home screen.

If the app doesn’t come pre-installed on your device, you’ll have to get it from the Play Store. Hit the button below, download Secure Folder, and then follow onscreen instructions to set it up. Remember, it’s only compatible with Samsung phones running Android Nougat or higher.

How to add files and apps to Samsung Secure Folder

There’s more than one way to add files to Samsung Secure Folder. The easiest way is within the app. It’s incredibly straightforward, and here are the steps you’ll need to master:

  1. Launch the Samsung Secure Folder app.
  2. Tap the Add files option on top of the screen.
  3. Choose whether you want to add images, videos, documents, or audio.
  4. Select the files you want to add to Samsung Secure Folder and tap Done.
  5. Select whether you want to copy or move the files.

The second option is to move data to Secure Folder from within Samsung’s native apps — My Files, Gallery, Voice Recorder, and Contacts. It’s another simple method, and it works a bit as if you were using the app itself. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Launch one of Samsung’s native apps — My Files, Gallery, Voice Recorder, or Contacts.
  2. Choose the files you want to move to Secure Folder.
  3. Tap the More option on top — the icon with three vertical dots.
  4. Select the “Move to Secure Folder” option.
  5. Log in to the app to finish the process.

There are also a few different ways to add apps to Samsung’s service. You can add them just like you would add other files or images, which takes only seconds. Don’t forget that you can duplicate apps on Samsung devices, allowing you to log into two separate profiles simultaneously. Here’s what to do if you want to secure your apps:

  1. Open the Samsung Secure Folder app.
  2. Select the Add apps option.
  3. Select the apps from the list (or find them via the search box).
  4. Tap Add, and you’re good to go.

Alternatively, you can download the app from the Play Store or Samsung’s Galaxy Apps directly into Secure Folder. You can also add in apps from the app launcher: press and hold an app and select the “Add to Secure Folder” option.

How to back up and restore Samsung Secure Folder data

The backup and restore feature comes in handy if you switch to a new phone. It lets you upload all the files located in Samsung Secure Folder to the cloud and then download them to a different device. If you have auto-backup turned on, the phone will back up Secure Folder every 24 hours — when it’s charging and connected to a Wi-Fi network.

If you don’t have auto-backup turned on, here are the steps you’ll need instead:

  1. Open the settings menu on your device.
  2. Choose the Backup and restore option.
  3. Select Back up Secure Folder data or Restore.
  4. Select the data you want to back up or restore (photos, apps, documents, etc.).
  5. Tap Back up now or Restore now to finish the process.

To delete a backup you’ve made, go to Settings > Backup and restore > Delete Secure Folder backup data, select the backup you want to get rid of, and tap Delete.

How to hide Samsung Secure Folder on your device and change the icon

For an added safety measure, you can hide the Samsung Secure Folder app on your device. All you have to do is sign into the app, open the settings via the menu icon (three vertical dots), and turn off the Show Secure Folder option. After that, the app will leave the app drawer and your home screen, but it will stay on the device. Alternatively, you can also hide the app by dragging down the quick panel and tapping the Secure Folder icon.

See also: The best Samsung phones: High-end, mid-range, and entry-level models

You can also customize the icon if you’re not happy with how it looks. Launch Samsung Secure Folder, tap the menu icon on top (three vertical dots), and select the “Customize icon” option. Then choose a new icon from the list and change the name of the app if you want. Keep in mind the new icon and name may not show up in the quick panel and the device’s settings, but you’ll see them in the app drawer and on your home screen.

At this point, we’ve covered just about all that Samsung Secure Folder can do. Hopefully, we’ve helped you secure your data because our phones are locked up like Fort Knox!