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 Samsung users can employ to keep their most sensitive information safe. The feature uses the Samsung My Knox security platform to encrypt a password protected folder that's ideal for safely hosting important details. Read on to learn how to use Samsung Secure Folder.

Samsung Secure Folder Compatibility

Samsung Secure Folder comes standard on the latest flagship devices, including the Galaxy Note 10, Note 9 and Note 8, the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10e, the Galaxy S9 and S9+, the Galaxy S8 and S8+, the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and the Galaxy Galaxy S6 and S6+ and Edge.

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

Why Use Samsung Secure Folder

While anyone can use the Samsung Secure Folder, the feature is 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'd want separate from the rest of your phone. Once set up, all you need to do it input a passcode or use a biometric option to unlock and open Secure Folder to access your necessary files and information.

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

How to Find and Set up Samsung Secure Folder

  1. Users with Secure Folder standard on their Samsung Galaxy device should be able to find the app within the Samsung folder on their home screen or in their app drawer. If you can't find the Secure Folder, search for "Secure Folder" using the search bar in your app drawer tap the options available.

  2. Depending on your device, you may get access directly to the Secure Folder app or you may be directed to Secure Folder in the Biometrics and security settings on your device. Tap either the app or the settings option to open Secure Folder and begin set up.

  3. First, agree to the Terms and Conditions on your Samsung device.

    For some users, this may require the user to tap Next or Continue, depending on the model of your Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

  4. Sign in to your Samsung account. If you don't have a Samsung account you can register for one.

    Secure Folder, Agree, Password for Samsung account
  5. Wait for your device to create your Secure Folder.

  6. Choose a Secure Folder lock type for your device, which includes Pattern, PIN, or Password, then tap Next.

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

  7. After confirming your password you'll be taken to your Secure Folder. From here, you can customize the folder as you like.

    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. These apps are separate from the app versions in the main part of your Samsung device, so they'll be empty and not connected to any accounts. You'll have to add content or connect apps, such as email, to the necessary accounts for them to work.

Any content you create within Secure Folder will only exist in Secure Folder, but there are a couple 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.

Secure Folder Settings

You should also be familiar with the Secure Folder settings, which you can access once you tap 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.

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

Auto-lock for Secure Folder

A useful setting to be aware of is Auto-lock for Secure Folder, which lets you set the time it takes for your Secure Folder to lock, meaning 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.