Back in June, it was reported that Google was working on a new 'Safe Folder' feature for its Files app to allow users to hide their sensitive and private photos, media files, and documents. The feature was still in development then and there was no word from Google as to when it would start rolling out the feature. Fast forward a couple of months later and Google has officially announced that it is rolling out the Safe Folder feature to the Files app albeit in beta for now.
The company says that based on user research, it realized people needed a way to password protect documents stored on their phones so that they are not accidentally deleted or accessed by someone. This is where the new Safe Folder feature comes in which allows users to lock their files behind a 4-digit PIN-encrypted folder. The folder automatically locks itself as soon as you switch away from the Files app and you will be prompted to enter the PIN again when you go back to the app.
Google notes that the Safe Folder feature is rolling out in beta version of the Files app for now. The company will expand its availability over the following weeks. So if you want immediate access to the feature, you can install the beta version of the Files by Google app on your Android device.