How to Lock Photos on Mac with Password in Easy Ways

2020-12-15 21:56:00 / Posted by Jose Henline to Utility Follow @ Jose

How to lock photos on Mac? How to password protect photos on Mac? If you are asking such questions, then you are in the right place.

Chances are good that you have some photos on your Mac that you don’t want other people to see. If others have access to your computer, they can access and view your photos, which is something you want to avoid. This article will show you how to lock photos on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMac, etc. Blocking or hiding private photos can help you better protect your privacy.

In this article, we will look at 4 methods.

Method 1. How to lock Photos on Mac easily with AppCrypt

Applies to: macOS 10.10 or later

You can effortlessly and effectively lock the Photos app using Cisdem AppCrypt, the best app locker and website blocker on Mac.

  1. Download AppCrypt and install it.
  2. When you open the app for the first time, you will be asked to set a password.set a password
  3. In the top menu bar, click the app's icon and choose Open Main main window
  4. In the main window, click the Add App icon in the toolbar.Add App icon
  5. To lock Photos or iPhoto on Mac, select the app and click Add.lock Photos app on Mac

In Step 5, you can also select other apps that you want to protect with password.

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 enter the correct password.

password needed to access photos

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

Photos refuses to open.

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

The picture 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.


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.

Here's a tip. Click the settings icon settings 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

Method 2. How to use Screen Time to lock Photos on Mac

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.

  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.
  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
  3. On the left sidebar, choose App Limits. Click Turn On in the top right corner to enable App Limits.turn on App Limits
  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.set a limit

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 3. How to put password on Photos on Mac with Disk Utility

Applies to: macOS 10.3 or later

Included with macOS, Disk Utility can be used to do disk-related tasks. It can help you lock Photos on Mac by locking the Photos app or the Photos library.

  1. On your Mac, go to Finder and find your Photos library in the Pictures folder.
  2. Create a folder in the Pictures folder and move your library into the folder.Pictures folder
  3. Open Disk Utility. In the top menu bar, select File > New Image > Image from Folder.Image from Folder
  4. Select the folder that you have just created. Click Choose.
  5. You can set a filename and destination location as you like.
  6. Click the Encryption dropdown menu and choose 128-bit AES encryption (recommended). Set a password.Encryption dropdown menu
  7. Click the Image Format menu and choose read/write or a different option based on your need.
  8. Click Save.

Disk Utility will start creating a DMG file. It could take a while. When the process is done, go to the destination location. Delete the folder (including the Photos library in the folder) you've created.

Now if you try to open the Photos app, the app won't open, providing you with a message. If you have multiple libraries for Photos app and want to password protect all of them, you can add all of them to the folder in Step 2.


Here's how to remove the encryption and access your Photos app/library again. Double-click the DMG file in the destination location. Enter password and click OK. In Finder's left sidebar, select the DMG file under the Devices section, move the library in it to your Mac's Pictures folder. Now your Photos app can work properly.

enter password

If you want to directly lock the Photos app, you can go to the Applications folder on your computer, create a folder and then use Disk Utility to create a DMG file with password. The process is very similar.

Note that the method is not that straightforward. It takes time and effort each time you apply or remove encryption. It also involves file deletion. Use caution with this method!

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 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.

  1. Get this photo vault app installed on your Mac. Launch it.
  2. Create a vault. Give it a name and set a master password. Click Create. Please do remember the password.create a photo vault
  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 put a password on Photos. To access the locked vault, you will be required to enter the correct password.

With this method, there could be file version conflict if there is any file modification.

Bonus tip: 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.

  1. Open Photos on Mac.
  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.

This method doesn’t lock photo album on a Mac. 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.


Above are the common ways on how to lock Photos on Mac. If you work or learn on your Mac and leave your computer 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 and the built-in solution Screen Time can help effectively protect your photos and privacy.

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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!!

    3 years ago REPLY
  • kronkxz

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

    4 years ago REPLY
  • kimmy

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

    4 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

    5 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.

    5 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.

    5 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.

    5 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.

    5 years ago REPLY