Hiding certain photos in iPhoto.
August 4, 2007 8:03 AM   Subscribe

iPhoto help: A friend is coming to use my computer when I'm not here. I have photos on the computer which another friend of ours does not want anyone to see. Is there a way to password protect existing photos or albums or easily hide them so I can get them back easily? I searched and it seems no is the answer but I'm hoping MeFites know a workaround. I'm on iPhoto 5.
posted by dobbs to Computers & Internet (16 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am reading this thread with interest -- I have photos that I can't put in iPhoto because they are part of a research study and can't be shown willy nilly. But I really wish I could have the ease of browsing / emailing / blogging that iPhoto's got...
posted by zpousman at 8:07 AM on August 4, 2007

I don't know what to use on a Mac, but for Windows users who might have a similar question, I'll throw this in: you can use free TrueCrypt software to hide all the files in a certain directory. Once encrypted, they are invisible until you run TrueCrypt again and enter a password. Then that directory will appear as, say, your "E" drive.

There must be a Mac alternative somewhere.
posted by Tubes at 8:11 AM on August 4, 2007

Create a new user account for your friend to use.
posted by misterbrandt at 8:14 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I would just create a guest user account on the system for your friend. But if they need access to other things in your user account and it's easier not to do that you can use these steps to hide the images in question:

You can remove the images from iPhoto and create a secure disk image to store them in instead. In the /applications/utilities folder on your system disk you'll find an application called disk utility. Create new disk image, choose a size larger than you think you need, choose encryption and under format create a 'sparse disk image'. This step is key because it ensures that the disk image only takes up as much space as the contents.

After you create and mount that image, you can drag the images directly from iPhoto into the image and then close the image. When you re-open you'll need to put in the password you setup when you created the image. Now you can delete the pictures from iPhoto.
posted by rollo tomassi at 8:16 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

There's, if anything, too many options on how to do this.

1) You could set up a separate account for your (computer-borrowing) friend and not give them the password to your main account. However, there are lots of ways that, if said friend really wanted to snoop, they still could.

2) There's a feature of OSX called FileVault that will encrypt your entire home folder. You turn it on in the Security preference pane. This is a little extreme, but, if your friend doesn't know your account password, they won't be able to see anything in your home directory. You'll need to do this in tandem with creating a new account for it to work.

3) You can use Disk Utility to create an encrypted disk image (via File menu > New > Disk Image from Folder and then selecting your Pictures folder, and choosing AES under the encryption menu). Be careful, since if you forget the image password, you'll lose the pictures for good, and you will need to throw out the originals for this to work

4) Get a small external drive, maybe even a thumb drive if you don't need too much space, and copy them to that. Then take it with you when you go.
posted by boaz at 8:24 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Thirding the separate user account. By far the easiest way to everyone out of each-other's business.
If there are items of yours that the new user will need, just temporarily move them in to the Users>Shared folder.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:43 AM on August 4, 2007

How about making a second iPhoto set that resides in a password protected Disk image? Holding down the option key while starting iPhoto will let you make a new library.
posted by KimG at 9:01 AM on August 4, 2007

Er. Password protected zip file? You probably don't need massive security options, if you trust your friend enough to use your computer anyway, just something to keep the pictures out of the way, right?
posted by anaelith at 10:29 AM on August 4, 2007

You could use iPhoto Library Manager or iPhoto Buddy to keep a separate iPhoto library with your private photos. iPhoto Buddy has password protection.
posted by clearlydemon at 10:59 AM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Nthing the extra account. All of my machines have a guest account for, well, guests to use.
posted by hattifattener at 11:21 AM on August 4, 2007

Guest account or just export the photos in question to a folder somewhere deep in your hard drive, then delete from iPhoto.
posted by Bud Dickman at 12:01 PM on August 4, 2007

Four things you MUST do
1. A good password on your account
2. New account for friend, do not make them an administrator.
3. Open the security control panel and turn off auto log in.
4. Set up a good Master Password
A couple of Optional things
1. Turn on FileVault
2. Hide your Boot Cds
3. require an Admin password to change settings (see 4 above)
posted by Gungho at 1:30 PM on August 4, 2007

If you have any information that needs extra protection, I recommend creating a user account to store it. Turn on FileVault encryption and fast user switching. Then, you can keep your normal account devoid of any potentially embarrassing stuff.
posted by sindark at 4:37 PM on August 4, 2007

iphotobuddy is the answer. Hide the icon for the program in some obscure folder deep on the hard drive. no one will ever know that there are options to the original iphoto library...
posted by HuronBob at 6:39 PM on August 4, 2007

Can you go the other way? Instead of setting up an account for your friend to use I would set up another account for you to keep your sensitive photos in that area of iPhoto. I do have to admit that iPhotoBuddy sounds pretty nifty too but I have never used it.
posted by bkeene12 at 7:57 PM on August 4, 2007

For what it's worth, the newest version of iPhoto has a feature that lets your selectively hide certain photos in your collection.
posted by runningdogofcapitalism at 6:48 PM on August 22, 2007

« Older Splitting ions in the ether   |   S3 Standby mode...Wake On LAN...Energy Savings..... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.