How to Lock Photos on Mac with Password in Easy Ways

2020-06-15 04:38:15 / Posted by Jose Henline to OS X Follow @ Jose

How to lock Photos on Mac? How to lock Photos on MacBook? How to password protect Photos on Mac? These are some of the common questions asked by Mac users. There might be some personal photos that you don’t want people (at least some people) to see. In such as case, it’s a good idea to lock Photos on Mac, which is an effective way to hide private photos and protect privacy.

Method 1. How to lock Photos on Mac in 2 easy steps

Applies to: macOS 10.10 or later

To easily and reliably lock Photos app on iMac, MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, you can use Cisdem AppCrypt.

AppCrypt main features:

  • Password protect any app on Mac, be it built-in or third-party
  • Let you lock apps during certain hours with the Schedule feature
  • Provide a report of failed attempts to open locked apps with date, time and photo
  • Block websites on Chrome and Safari
  • Offer two modes to block websites: Blacklist and Whitelist
  • Support macOS 10.10 or later, including Catalina

Free Download

Step 1. Download and install AppCrypt on your Mac. Launch it. Set a password as you are asked to do so. Submit your password.

set a password to lock Photos

A window will pop up telling you that four system apps will be locked by default. Click OK.

Step 2. Click AppCrypt's icon in the menu bar at the top of your screen and select Open Main Window. In the main window, click Add App, which will bring up a Finder dialog box. To lock Photos on Mac, from the Application folder, select Photos and click Add. Alternatively, you can directly drag the Photos app to the left sidebar.

lock Photos on Mac

Photos is password locked by this Mac app locker. Now let’s try to open it. Click Photos, and it won’t open. To be able to launch it, one needs to submit the correct password.

photos asking for password

Action Result
Enter correct password Photos successfully opens.
Enter incorrect password

Photos refuses to open.

AppCrypt records the attempt with date, time and a photo of the person who tries to break in.

The photo on the screenshot below is blurred to protect privacy. To delete a record, control-click a record and click the Delete button that shows up.

Photos locked by password on Mac

Here’s how to unlock Photos on Mac. If you don’t want to password protect Photos any more, you can easily unlock it. In the main window, select Photos on the left sidebar and click Remove App in the toolbar.


Click the icon icon in the top right corner of the main window and choose Preferences. Under General, there are a few settings. It's recommended to enable the option Launch at system startup. If Capture photo with failed attempt is disabled, this Mac app locker won't take a picture of the person who tries to access your locked Photos app.

general settings

For those who use AppCrypt for the purpose of parental control, the Schedule feature can be useful. Just specify the time of the day and day of the week based on your need.

schedule feature

AppCrypt is an easy-to-use, versatile app to lock apps and block websites on Mac. It can help protect privacy and block digital distractions.

Free Download

Method 2. How to lock Photos on Mac with Parental Controls

Applies to: macOS 10.14 or earlier

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

Method 3. How to lock Photos on Mac with Screen Time

Applies to: macOS 10.15 or later

Previously only available on iOS, Screen Time finally came to macOS with the release of macOS Catalina. You can also use this built-in feature to block access to Photos on Mac.

Step 1. Open Screen Time in System Preferences or Spotlight. If it is not yet enabled on your Mac. Go to Options and turn it on.

Step 2. Select the box before Use Screen Time Passcode and set a passcode. It will be used to lock your Photos.

set a passcode to protect Photos

Step 3. On the left sidebar, choose App Limits. Click Turn On in the top right corner to enable App Limits.

turn on App Limits

Step 4. In the bottom left corner of the App Limits screen, click the plus icon. Add Photos to create limit. Enable the option Block at end of limit. Set the time limit to the minimum value, which is 1 minute. Once you finish setting, click Done.

Now open your Photos app for 1 minute. And a message will show up letting you know that the limit is reached. The Photos app is now locked. If anyone wants to access it, he or she will need to enter the passcode. This method is not convenient. You will need to open Photos for 1 minute on a daily basis to trigger the blocking. If not, other people are able to access Photos on your Mac for 1 minute without having to enter the passcode.

Method 4. How to lock Photos on Mac using Photo Vault for Mac

Applies to: macOS 10.5 or later

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.


Can you lock Photos on Mac? Yes! 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

Duplicate Finder for Mac

Find and remove duplicate files like MP3, Songs, Images, Photos, etc. that waste valuable space on your hard disks.

Learn More

ContactsMate for Mac

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

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.

  • Top 3 Mac App Lockers to Effectively Lock Apps on Your Mac

    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

    4 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.

    4 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