How to hide photos in Google Photos and Apple Photos

Archive and hide photos you don't want to see in your photos feed

If there are photos you do not want to see when you open Google Photos or Apple Photos, they can be hidden from view, but they are still there and can be accessed if you really need them.

There are many reasons why you might not want to see certain photos in your Photos library. You don’t want to see them, but you don’t want to delete them either. They may be important to you in some way, even though you don’t want them in your photos feed.

Here is an example, I take lots of screenshots on my computer and phone for this website and for articles elsewhere. I probably take more screenshots than real photos and they make my Photos feed look awful. There are a few photos, then a bunch of screenshots, a few more photos, then lots more screenshots.

Apple and Google Photos is an ugly mess to scroll through and not nice if you want to show your photos to friends or relatives. The solution is to hide all screenshots. I need to keep them, at least for a time, but I don’t want them cluttering up my Photos feed.

Another possibility is hiding photos of an ex-partner. You might not want to delete them, but on the other hand, you might not want to see them when scrolling through your photo library. They can be hidden.

Perhaps you run a club of some sort and have photos of members and events. You might not want them as part of your personal photo feed and hiding them is a good way to keep them, but not have to see them.

If you take photos for work purposes, you may not want to see them in your personal photos feed and hiding them is a solution. There are more uses for hidden photos and these are just a few obvious ones. It is an organizational feature and it is up to you how you use it.

Hide photos in Google Photos

  1. Go to the Google Photos website photos.google.com
  2. Select photos by moving the mouse over them and ticking the checkbox on each one or tick the whole day
  3. Go to the three dots menu in the top right corner and select Archive
  4. The photos are moved from the main Photos feed

The same process can be used on a phone in the Google Photos app. Long press on a photo to select it and then select more photos. Tap the three dots in the corner and then press Archive.

Archiving photos in Google Photos in a web browser
Archive photos in Google Photos to hide them

Where do your photos disappear to? In Google Photos in a web browser, just select Archive in the sidebar and they are all displayed in date order just like the main Photos feed. In the phone app, tap Library in the bottom right corner and then press Archive.

Hide photos in Apple Photos

  1. Open the Photos app on the Apple Mac
  2. Select one or more photos in the usual way
  3. Ctrl+click one of the selected photos and select Hide Photos
  4. The photos are moved from the main Photos feed
Hide photos in the Photos app on the Apple Mac
Hide photos in Apple Photos

It is straightforward and easy to do for one or a hundred photos.

Hide photos on the iPhone

  1. Open the Photos app on the iPhone
  2. Tap Select in the top right corner
  3. Select one or more photos
  4. Tap the actions/share button in the bottom left corner
  5. Pull the menu up and press Hide

You might need to repeat this several times if there are lots of unwanted photos scattered throughout your Photos feed timeline going back months or years.

To view hidden photos on the Apple Mac, open the Photos app, go to the View menu and select Show Hidden Photo Album. Hidden then appears in the sidebar and can be selected to view the photos.

On the iPhone, go to Settings > Photos and turn on the switch next to Hidden Album. You can then select Albums at the bottom of the screen in the Photos app and tap Hidden to view the photos.

No security is used with hidden photos and anyone with access to your computer or phone could access them. Obviously, they would need to know your password or PIN to get into the device, but once in, they could easily view the hidden photos. Archiving in Google Photos and the Hidden album in Apple Photos are purely an organizational feature to put photos out of sight.

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About Roland Waddilove 402 Articles
Roland Waddilove is interested in technology: Computers, phones, gadgets, software and internet. Long ago he worked on computer magazines, but is now mostly a tech writer for the web.