BlackBerry 101: Hiding (and Unhiding) pictures

Searching for a picture
By Joseph Holder on 23 Apr 2011 01:57 pm EDT

[ youtube link for mobile viewing ]

Man: Is your uh, is your wife interested in... photography, ay? 'Photographs, ay', he asked him knowlingly.
Squire: Photography?
Man: Snap snap, grin grin, wink wink, nudge nudge, say no more?
Squire: Holiday snaps, eh?
Man: They could be, they could be taken on holiday. Candid, you know, CANDID photography?
Squire: No, no I'm afraid we don't have a camera.
Man: Oh. (leeringly) Still, mooooooh, ay? Mwoohohohohoo, ay? Hohohohohoho, ay?

This classic Monty Python sketch, "Nudge, Nudge," demonstrates exactly the kind of picture you might want to hide on your BlackBerry. Obviously it's not the only reason for hiding a picture on your device; it's just the first thing that comes to mind when talking about it.

Hiding a picture is easy. From your Pictures, find the picture you want to hide. Press the menu key and select properties. Aside from useful information such as file size and dimensions, you'll also see a check box that says Hidden. Checking that box will instantly hide your picture.

It's the un-hiding part that's a little difficult - as it should be. If you hid a picture, you obviously don't want people to find it. Let's just hope you remember the file name and where the picture is when it comes time to unhide it.

A Word of Caution 

In previous BlackBerry OS's, it was possible to select Show All from the menu and your missing picture would appear - sometimes to immediate horror and embarrassment. Nowadays, it's not that simple.  The important thing to do is either store your picture in a folder you can easily find later or give your picture a distict name.  It can be terribly annoying to sift through hundreds of pictures all named IMG20110414569 or something.  The point is, you're going to have to remember some things about your image if you ever want to see it again.

Find that Photo 

While in your Media tab or folder (the screen that has Pictures, Video, Ringtones... on it), press the menu key and select Explore. When the Explorer opens, press the menu key again and select Show All. If you fail to do this, you won't have much luck finding your hidden file. If you know the name of the picture, you can type it to search for it. Otherwise, you'll need to brave the file system to find your picture. You're searching for a greyed-out file, meaning the text will appear grey instead of black.

Some possible folders to look in. 

  • Device -> home -> user -> pictures
  • Media Card -> BlackBerry -> pictures
  • Media Card -> BlackBerry -> camera

Unhide it! 

Unhide a picture 

Once you've found your greyed-out, hidden picture, you'll need to edit its properties. Select the picture, press the menu key, and then choose Properties. Uncheck the box next to Hidden. Your picture will be returned to its rightful place in your Pictures folder.

More to find...

BlackBerry 101 - Camera and Video for OS5
Using your camera on BlackBerry OS 6
BlackBerry First Steps: Mass Storage Mode - Using your BlackBerry as a portable flash drive

And finally, did we miss something? Is there a BlackBerry 101 that we haven't written yet? Send an email to blackberry101(at) If we write an article based on your suggestion, we'll be sure to let everybody know. Today's article comes courtesy of a comment by taiwawam.

Reader comments

BlackBerry 101: Hiding (and Unhiding) pictures


beware,if u back up your blkbry to your computer, your hidden pics will become unhidden on your computer! i learned the hard way lol

Yes you can
You just can't do it from the videos option in the media folder
You have to go to the Files option and then navigate to the videos folder, then select the video you want to hide and go to the properties of it and now the "Hidden" option is there and you can check it

To unhide its the same as to unhide a video

GREAT! thanks man a lot. I don't know why they don't have the "Hidden" option when viewing the video's properties inside the videos folder. I guess they forgot to! lol

Thanks again :)

When i get my 9860,i kind of hope it doesn't have "show all",it should be a hide feature for every type of Media

This is nice and all, but why not just make unhiding a password feature? That way I can hide anything I want and it's just entering the password to unhide all. This would be an excellent feature for RIM to add for both the BB and PB.

You can do the whole folder with File Manager Pro. That's a pay app.. but you can also probably do it if you plug the BB into the computer, right click on the folder, and view the properties.