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Your Google Drive files are now even more secure (most of them, anyway)

Google Drive
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Google has just added a new security option to the Google Drive app for iOS and iPadOS. The new Privacy Screen feature lets iPhone and iPad secure their files using the Face ID and Touch ID options offered by their devices.

With Privacy Screen enabled, access to the files stored in your cloud account will only be possible by unlocking with your face or fingerprint. Google says that it is a way to "protect your sensitive files from prying eyes", but it's not perfect.

When you configure the Privacy Screen feature, Google warns that it "may not protect" certain things. This includes notification, certain Siri functionality, files shared with the Files app, and photos shared with the Photos app. However, it does add an extra layer of protection, which is to be welcomed.

There aren't many options to configure for Privacy Screen, but your can choose how quickly the lock kicks in. The most secure – and possibly most annoying option – is to have the lock activated as soon as you switch to another app.

Lock it up

However, it's possible to delay the lock by 10 seconds, a minute, or 10 minutes to allow you slightly more flexibility. This will make life rather less annoying if you find that you are constantly switching between apps, and you will be able to choose the setting that best suits you.

To take advantage of the Privacy Screen secure feature, you need to be running at least version 4.2020.18204 of Google Drive on your iPhone or iPad. You should check for updates to get this version, or grab it directly from the App Store.

Via The Verge

Sofia Wyciślik-Wilson

Sofia is a tech journalist who's been writing about software, hardware and the web for nearly 20 years – but still looks as youthful as ever! After years writing for magazines, her life moved online and remains fuelled by technology, music and nature.


Having written for websites and magazine since 2000, producing a wide range of reviews, guides, tutorials, brochures, newsletters and more, she continues to write for diverse audiences, from computing newbies to advanced users and business clients. Always willing to try something new, she loves sharing new discoveries with others.


Sofia lives and breathes Windows, Android, iOS, macOS and just about anything with a power button, but her particular areas of interest include security, tweaking and privacy.