The secure folder is a useful feature on Samsung devices that allows you to keep apps and files out of sight. Here’s how to activate and use it.
How the secure folder works
Samsung’s secure folder is an application that allows you to hide part of your phone. It uses Samsung’s Knox security platform to create a new home screen protected by a password or the biometrics of your device. The apps and files you put in the folder are not accessible unless you unlock your secure folder.
You can add an existing application on your phone to your secure folder to create a copy of the application. This application will have none of your existing files, cache and connections, so it is essentially a new installation of the application. You can also add new apps from the Galaxy Store or Play Store to install them only in the secure folder.
Nor can the files in your secure folder be opened without authentication. These files will not appear in regular file browsers or in your Gallery application. Only applications that are already in the secure folder can access your hidden files.
Activation of the secure folder on your device
Before trying to activate the secure folder on your device, first check if your device is compatible. The feature works with Samsung Galaxy Knox compatible phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and higher. These phones are compatible with functionality:
- Galaxy S Series, from S6 to S10
- Galaxy Note Series, from Note 8 to Note 10
- Galaxy Fold
- Galaxy A Series, including the A20, A50, A70 and A90
- Galaxy Tab S Series, from S3
Before setting up your secure folder, you must first have a Samsung account. To follow Samsung instructions to create an account before continuing.
On newer Galaxy phones, such as the S10 and Note 10, the app will be preinstalled. Check your device application drawer to confirm if you installed it. If your phone does not have the Secure Folder application, you can download it from the Play store or the Galaxy Store.
On your phone, go to the Settings app and select Biometrics and security > Secure file. On some phones, the first menu may be “Lock screen and security” or simply “Security”.
It will prompt you to log into your Samsung account. If you haven’t created one yet, make one now. Otherwise, log into your account.
Wait for the device to create your secure folder. This process can take up to a minute. Then select a lock screen type for your secure folder. Depending on your device, you can choose a model, a PIN code or a password, and also activate your device’s integrated fingerprint biometrics.
Your secure folder will be available so you can use it like any other Android app on your device. Find the shortcut for the Secure Folder application on the home screen of your phone or in its application drawer.
Once your secure folder is activated, it is a good idea to consult the parameters. You can access the settings by pressing the three-dot button at the top right of the Secure Folder screen. From there, you can manage your secure apps and change the lock type, auto lock settings, account settings, and notifications. You can also customize the appearance and name of the secure folder icon in your application drawer.
Adding applications to the secure folder
You can add applications to your secure folder, ensuring that the secure version of the application cannot be launched without unlocking the folder. To do this, go to your secure folder and press the “Add applications” button. From there, you can either add an app already on your phone, or install a new app from the Google Play Store or the Samsung Galaxy Store.
Adding an app that is already on your phone basically creates another copy of the app on your device with its own cache and stored files. If you are duplicating an email application such as WhatsApp or Telegram, you can connect to another account in your secure folder. These applications keep their history and their cache even after leaving the secure folder.
This also applies to web browsing. For example, if you install Chrome in the secure folder, you can still keep history, connections, and bookmarks saved in the secure application, unlike Private browsing mode.
If you add an app from the Galaxy Store or the Play Store, it becomes available only in your secure folder. It will not create a copy of it in your main list of applications. This is useful for applications that you do not want to appear on the home page or when you scroll down your drawer.
Move files to the secure folder
In addition to the apps, you can also move some files from your phone to the secure folder. This can be done in two ways.
The first is to go My folders the app or Gallery app in your app drawer. Select the desired files and folders by long pressing. Then press the three-dot menu button at the top right and select “Move to secure folder”. You will be asked to verify your identity using your lock screen, and then they will be moved. To access these files, use the My files or Gallery application in the secure folder.
You can also access your secure folder and press the “Add files” button. From there you can select My Files or the Images, Video, Audio or Documents explorer. You can then choose one or more of the files and press “Done” at the bottom of the screen to move them to the secure folder.
Note that files downloaded to the secure folder, such as those in email applications or browsers, are only accessible through applications in the folder.
You can move your files out of your secure folder in the same way. Go to My files or the gallery in the secure folder, select the files and press “Exit secure folder”.