How to Use the Samsung Secure Folder

An easy way to hide files and apps on Samsung

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Samsung Secure Folder is a high-end security option you can use to keep your most sensitive information safe from malicious attacks. It uses the Samsung My Knox security platform to encrypt a password protected folder ideal for storing important data. You can also add a passcode or biometric lock to keep your folder's contents safe from prying eyes. Here's how it works.

This guide applies to Samsung phones running Android 7.0 and higher.

Samsung Secure Folder Compatibility

Samsung Secure Folder comes standard on the company's latest flagship devices, including the Galaxy Note10, Note10+, S10e, S10, S10+, Fold, Note9, S9, S9+, Note8, S8, S8+, S7 Edge, S6 Edge+, S6 Edge, and S6.

Samsung users with other devices running Android 7.0 Nougat or later can also use Secure Folder after downloading the app from the Google Play Store or Samsung's Galaxy Store.

Why Use Samsung Secure Folder?

While anyone can use the Samsung Secure Folder, it's especially useful for those who want their private phone to double as a work phone. You can put any information in your Secure Folder you want separate from the rest of your phone. Once it's set up, all you need to do is input a passcode or use a biometric option to unlock and open it and access your necessary files and information.

Secure Folder may also be a good option for parents with young children. Parents can give the kids their smartphones to play games while preventing the children from accessing or using certain apps and features, or accidentally deleting important information.

How to Create a Samsung Secure Folder

Follow the below instructions to create a Secure Folder on your Samsung device:

  1. Open your phone's Settings app.

  2. Select Lock screen and security or Biometrics and security > Secure Folder.

  3. If you don't have a Samsung account, you need to create one. If you already have one, you need to sign in. Tap Sign in or Continue.

    Secure Folder, Agree, Password for Samsung account
  4. Once you're signed into your account, choose which lock method you want to use—Pattern, PIN, or Password—then tap Next.

    For extra security, make your Pattern, PIN, or Password different than the passcode you used to unlock the main section of your Samsung device.

  5. Follow the on-screen directions to set up whichever lock method you chose.

    To use a biometrics pass option, including fingerprints and iris scanners, you need to set a Pattern, PIN, or Password as a backup.

  6. Once your lock method is set up, a shortcut to the Secure Folder appears on your Home and Apps screen.

    Creating Secure Folder, Lock type, and folders on Samsung

How to Use Samsung Secure Folder

The Gallery, Calendar, Contacts, Email, Camera, Internet, Samsung Notes, and My Files apps are standard within Secure Folder. They're separate from the app versions in the main part of your Samsung device, so they should be empty and not connected to any accounts. You need to add content or connect apps, such as email, to the necessary accounts for them to work.

Any content you create within Secure Folder only exists in Secure Folder, but there are a couple of ways to manage your apps and files:

  • Adding apps/files: Tap Add apps or Add files to move content from the main part of your phone to the Secure Folder.
  • Editing apps: Tap Edit apps to hide or uninstall any apps from Secure Folder.
  • Exiting Secure Folder: Tap Lock or the back button to exit Secure Folder and return to the main part of the Samsung device.

How to Access Secure Folder's Settings

You should also get familiar with the Secure Folder settings, which you can access by tapping the three-dot icon at the top-right corner of the screen. From here, you can change your lock type, control your notifications, and set up accounts, among other functions.

How to Use Auto-Lock for Secure Folder

One useful setting is Auto-lock for Secure Folder, which lets you set the time it takes for your Secure Folder to lock. Afterwards, you'll have to enter a passcode to get back into the app. You can set the folder to lock immediately, when the screen turns off, after 5, 10, or 30 minutes, or when the phone restarts. For the most secure option, either set it to lock immediately or when the screens turns off.