Protect your Android photos with Photok from prying eyes

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 3, 2021
Updated • Jan 4, 2021
Apps, Google Android

Photok is a free open source application for Google Android devices that provides you with options to store photos on the Android device in a protected environment to add another layer of protection.

Android devices can be protected through various means, but once the device is unlocked, most features become available immediately. If you don't want someone else to browse your photo gallery if they manage to unlock the device, then you may want to check out the free app Photok.

Tip: you may also want to consider encrypting the entire device using built-in encryption functionality. Check out our Android device encryption guide here.

Photok for Android

photok-protect photos images android

Photok is available on F-Droid, and you may download F-Droid, a free open source marketplace, to install it on the device. Just install F-Droid first, then open it and search for Photok using the app. Installation is straightforward. If you prefer to download the app directly, you can do that as well from the F-Droid website.

The first thing you need to do is set a password in Photok as it is used for protection. The password is required to access the storage even if the device is unlocked.

Once that is out of the way, you may start adding photos to Photok's protected storage space. A tap on the plus-icon in the interface displays two main options to do so: import from the Gallery app or from a backup.

A tap on Gallery displays all photos and images stored on the device. You can use search functionality to find photos or images, browse files by app, or use large files or this week filters.

If you want to select all photos, select the hamburger menu icon in the upper right corner and then "select all"; this will import all images listed by the Gallery app to the protected storage. If you just want to import some, you need to make manual selections instead.

A single tap imports the selected image right away; use long-taps to select multiple images to import them all at once to Photok.

Images that you move to the protected storage space are no longer available in the Gallery or any other app with access to storage. You need to view them using Photok, and the app comes with a gallery app of its own to do that.

It displays all imported photos in its interface and you may tap on any to view the image in fullscreen. Functionality is limited in comparison to Android's main photo app as you don't get filter or search functionality in Photok.

You may export photos from the protected storage back to the gallery of the Android device in case you don't need them protected anymore.

As far as protection is concerned, the data is protected using AES-256 encryption.

Photok locks itself after 5 minutes of inactivity automatically by default. You can change the interval in the options, e.g. to immediately, 1 minute, or never. You find options to backup and restore data in the settings as well.

New photos that you capture or download are not moved automatically to the protected storage, and there is no option to make that happen. You need to move the photos to the protected storage manually each time.

Closing Words

Photok is an interested application for Android that adds protected photo storage to Android devices. You can move images and photos that you want to protect with another layer of security to the encrypted storage to protect these from prying eyes, e.g. at border crossings, when friends or family know your unlock password for the device, or if you hand over your device at times to others. It may also be useful if your device is stolen as it will protect the photos in the storage specifically.

The developer plans to add more features including fingerprint unlock and optional cloud backup to the app.

Now You: Do you use security apps on your mobile devices?

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  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

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