Google's Android file manager receives PIN-protected folders

Files from Google backs up content in an encrypted folder if desired. Access is only possible with a previously stored PIN. The function is limited to files – apps cannot be protected against unauthorized access.

Google has his Android-File manager files updated. The update brings a new security function. Users are now able to store particularly confidential content in an encrypted folder.

Google files (Image: Google)The secure folder is intended to appeal to users who regularly share their smartphone with other people. For example, files unsuitable for children or simply content that should be accidentally deleted can be hidden in the secure folder.

The secure folder is accessed via the “Search” tab in the Files app. When used for the first time, a numeric code must be set to protect the folder. Afterwards, files can be selected by tapping and holding, for example, and then moved to the safe folder via the menu or the downward arrow. Several files can also be protected at the same time.

However, according to Google, apps cannot be moved to the secure folder. In addition, the function is limited to devices with Android 8.0 or newer. The contents of the safe folder also no longer appear in the search results. Third-party applications also have no access to files stored there.

If the Files app is no longer in the foreground, the secure folder is automatically blocked according to Google. If the app is then brought back to the foreground, the PIN must be entered again.

A similar function was offered Samsung already in the days of the Galaxy S7 in its own file manager. It later gave way to the separate area, also known as a secure folder, protected by Samsung Knox, in which apps can also be installed.

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