One of the great things about Android is that you have access to all your files. Sometimes, however, you want it to be a little more difficult for someone else to find files on your device than it is for you. Perhaps there are documents with sensitive business information that you would rather not be exposed. Or maybe you don’t want your mother to borrow your phone only to find the embarrassing selfies you took post workout.

While there are a number of ways to ensure certain files, photos, videos, and so on are hidden from view, this one is by far the easiest. The method involves inserting a .nomedia file into a folder holding the files that you want hidden.

What this file basically does is tell the system not to scan what’s in the folder. Of course, using a file explorer app, you can simply navigate to the contents of the folder, but if you’re good at hiding folders in other folders, chances are someone else won’t find that folder. While I am doing this on my Mac with the Android File Transfer app, the process is the same on a PC.


  1. First up, move all the files you want hidden into one folder. Note, if the photos or files you want to hide have already been indexed by an app, you may want to move them to a new folder.file1
  2. Next, find any file you don’t need, or copy one, or create one, or whatever, and put that file into the folder. It’s easiest to do this on your computer. It doesn’t matter at all what file or what type of file this is. Let’s pretend that it’s currently called pcmech.jpg.file2
  3. Next up, rename that file, and the extension. Erase the name “pcmech.jpg” and rename it to “.nomedia”. You may have to do this step on the phone or tablet itself – Android File Explorer on a Mac won’t let me rename files.file5
  4. Don’t be alarmed if you can’t see the .nomedia file when you’re exploring the folder – that’s the point. The file isn’t there to be seen, but rather to tell the system not to look at whatever is in that folder.
  5. If you want those files to be seen again, you’ll need to create a new folder, and put the files from the old one into the new one, where they will live without a .nomedia file.

And that’s all there is to it – pretty easy huh? Now your muscle shots will remain only for you and your significant other’s eyes.