How to Lock Photos on Mac with Password Different Ways

2019-09-18 23:21:47 / Posted by Jose Henline to OS X Follow @ Jose

This guide mainly talks about how to lock Photos on Mac, be it an iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air. I always transfer photos from iPhone to Mac for storage or backup. As a result, a large number of photos end up in the Photos app on my Mac. Among them, there are personal and family photos that I’d like to keep private.

It makes perfect sense that we don’t want others to view our photos without permission. The best solution is to password protect Photos app on Mac. Is there a way to lock Mac apps like Photos without locking the screen? Yes! Just read on to find out how to lock photos on Mac.

The Best Way to Lock Photos on Mac

You can easily lock Photos on Mac using AppCrypt, one of the best and most popular app lockers for Mac.

How to Lock Photos on Mac in 2 Easy Steps

Step 1. Install Photo Locker App

Download and install AppCrypt. Upon first launch, you will be asked to set a password which will be used to lock and unlock apps on Mac. Select the option I have read and I understand this warning. Click Submit.

set password to lock Photos

A window will pop up telling you that the app will lock four system apps by default. Click OK.

Step 2. Set the App to Lock Photos on Mac

To lock Photos on Mac, in the toolbar, click Add App and add Photos. You can find a list of the locked app in the left column. Once locked, Photos won’t be opened by anyone who doesn’t know the password. To unlock locked Photos, just select Photos and click Remove App.

set the app to lock photos on mac

If someone who doesn’t know the correct password tries to open the locked Photos app using a wrong password, it will keep record of all failed attempts with date, time and capture photos.

keep record of attempts to open locked Photos on Mac

Pro Tip

Once a Mac app, say, Photos, is added to the lock list, AppCrypt will, by default, always keep it locked unless you remove the lock. You can also set this Mac app locker to lock or unlock during certain periods. To customize, you can click the gear (Menu) icon in the upper left corner and select Preferences > Schedule.

feature to lock apps during certain hours

This app is lightweight, user-friendly and 100% safe to use. It will not modify any Mac system or application files. It supports OS X 10.10 Yosemite and above, including macOS 10.15 Catalina.

Other Ways to Block Access to Photos on Mac

Approximately 90,000 photos and 9,000 videos were leaked in the form of a massive 13.6 GB file that was then posted on, a site created exclusively to host the cache of personal photos. ― From ATTN
On August 31, 2014, a collection of almost 500 private pictures of various celebrities, mostly women, and with many containing nudity, were posted on the image board 4chan, and later disseminated by other users on websites and social networks such as Imgur and Reddit. ― From Wikipedia

Photo leakage events like these raise concerns about privacy leaks. Many people choose to store photos on computer instead of cloud storage platforms. Is it really safe to store photos on Mac? That may not be. Everyone around you can see your photos when using your Mac. So it is imperative to lock your Photos app to keep your Mac photos from prying eyes. When you lock the Photos app, no one can view your photos. There are other ways to lock or limit access to Photos on your Mac.

#1 How to Lock Photos on Mac with Parental Controls

What is the best app to password protect photos on Mac? I have a MacBook Pro and I need to make sure all my photos on Photos are locked or they cannot be viewed. Thus I may feel relieved to lend my Mac to others. Will somebody tell me how to lock these photos or the Photos app with password on Mac to set access restrictions? Do I need look for a photo locker app? ― From a Mac user

Here is another way on how to lock Photos on Mac, without third-party software. Parental Controls is a feature built into Mac and can be used to prevent specified user accounts from accessing apps or inappropriate content on Internet. It is able to manage, monitor, control the time the users spend on the Mac, the websites they visit, the apps they access and the people they chat with. You can use it to lock Photos by setting access restrictions.

Step 1. Click Apple menu > System Preferences > Parental Controls. Click the lock icon lock icon to unlock it. Enter with your administrator name and password.

Step 2. Select a user and click Enable Parental Controls. If there is no user in the list, then click Add + button. Fill in the name, account and password information to create a new user.

Step 3. After you select a user, click Apps of the tabs along the top. Check Limit Applications. Choose the app you want the user to access. Make sure to unselect Photos in order to put lock on Photos.

Step 4. Click unlock icon button to prevent further changes. This can help improve Mac security and privacy.

lock Photos on Mac using Parental Controls

#2 Use Photo Vault for Mac

Photo vault apps can also be helpful. MacFort is one of them. It is able to password application data on Mac. For example, once you use it to password protect photos on Mac, it won’t be possible to properly access photos in your library anymore until you remove the lock.

Here’s another situation. There are still other photos on your hard drive, which are not in your Photos library. How to lock them up? MacFort can also help. The app can lock any individual folders or files you want to keep private. You can move your photos in one folder and then lock the folder.

Step 1. Get this photo vault app installed on your Mac. Launch it.

Step 2. Create a vault. Give it a name and set a master password. Click Create. Please do remember the password.

create a photo vault

Step 3. From the toolbar, click the Add button. Add your Photos or iPhone library or a folder you want to encrypt and click OK. Don't open your Photo app during the encryption process.

add Photos library

The progress bar will inform you of the progress to lock Photos on Mac. To access the locked vault, you will be required to enter the correct password.

On a side note, it’s also possible to password protect your photo folder on Mac using the built-in app Disk Utility, which also works with external hard drive. But this method will involve drive or volume erasing and formatting.

How to Hide Photos on Mac

You can also keep photos private on Mac by hiding them in Photos app. It’s a feature built into Photos.

Step 1. Open Photos on Mac.

Step 2. Select one or more photos that you want to hide from others. Control click and select Hide Photos.

The hidden photos will only be found in the Hidden album. You can choose to show or hide the Hidden album in Photos by going to the View menu at the top of your screen.

how to hide Photos on mac

This method doesn’t lock photo album on MacBook, iMac, etc. Also, it can’t password protect Photos or stop others from opening the app, but it is useful sometimes. For example, it allows you to show someone your photo collection without letting him or her see certain photos.

To protect privacy, some Mac users create a second library for Photos on external hard drive, and some users choose to lock the Photos folder. However, the former will make it less easy to organize photos, and the latter may cause file version conflict if there is any file modification. The safest and easiest way is to lock Photos app on your Mac.


Above are the common ways on how to lock Photos on Mac. With Mac Parental Controls, when you lend your Mac to others, you have to change your user account. If you are working or learning with the administrator account and leave your Mac for a while, it’s possible for others to open Photos and view all your photos and videos. But don’t worry. App lockers like AppCrypt can lock your Photos app no matter which user account you are using.

Most Popular Downloads

ContactsMate for Mac

The best contact management software for Mac that keeps all your contacts organized, synced, and up-to-date!

Learn More

DVD Burner for Mac

Create DVD from popular video formats including AVI, MP4, MOV, FLV, MKV, WMV, etc. for playing on any DVD player.

Learn More

Hot Articles

  • How to Block YouTube on Mac: 4 Proven Methods

    How do I block YouTube on my Mac? How do I temporarily block YouTube channels for free or is there a way to block YouTube app on Mac? Lots of users try to block YouTube videos on Mac, but they don’t know how to.This article will introduce you how to block YouTube website, YouTube app, YouTube channels and YouTube video ads on Mac.

  • How to Password Protect Mac Mail (10.15 Catalina Supported)

    While setting a separate user account for each(or all) of your family members, friends can go a long way towards improving the security of your Mac, it is meaningless for shared family Mac, someone may wants to read through your mail or tamper with your ongoing game. To keep your Apple Mail — even other apps on your Mac — private from the eyes of other users you may want to password protect Mac mail app.

  • 3 Best App Lockers for Mac to Block Apps (Catalina Supported)

    Which one is the best app blocker for Mac users to block their apps? There is no doubt that Cisdem AppCrypt is the best one.

8 Comments Leave a Reply

  • Corey Craft

    Installed program a few days ago. Does a better job than using extensions or at least just as well. Thanks, great post! <3. Now I know how to lock photos on mac!!

    2 years ago REPLY
  • kronkxz

    I love Cisdem AppCrypt. It makes everything much faster and easier. Hope to develop more features in future.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • kimmy

    Really amazing app. Gave me exactly what I wanted. :)

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Ra God Bz

    I was going to consider buy the AppCrypt but then I noticed that it's so easy for anybody to just close eject the Appcrypt and then they can by pass typing a password. That's a flaw or am I missing something here

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Rosa Reyes

    Dear Ra God Bz,The only one reason why ejecting AppCrypt without password is that you have removed one of the four system applications which include Activity Monitor, System Preferences, Console and Terminal from the block list.

    3 years ago REPLY
  • Kerr

    I noticed that AppCrypt has been updated to v3.0, it is wonderful. I bought this app before, so i can update the app to the new version without any cost. Thanks.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Kerwin

    I have many apps that i want to lock. I tried appcrypt, it really worked, i am going to buy one lifetime license.

    4 years ago REPLY
  • Sparkle

    I have some private photos in my Mac, i really hate someone seeing my photos,but my brother always does so. AppCrypt pulls me out of the dilemma. Thanks.

    4 years ago REPLY