How to Rescue Your Photos From the My Secret Folder iPhone App

Updated on January 13, 2018
Bill Yovino profile image

Bill has been an information systems professional for more than twenty years. He enjoys writing about cooking and local history.

My Secret Folder's Crowdfunding Page
My Secret Folder's Crowdfunding Page

Crowdfunding to Fix a Software Problem?

If you have upgraded your iPhone or iPad to iOS 11, the My Secret Folder app will no longer work and you can't retrieve your files via the app. This article will show you how to recover those files using other means.

Red Knight Interactive, the creators of the app, have started a crowdfunding page to raise money to fix the problem. I'm sure their intentions are pure, but skeptics might see it differently. Here is a quote from the page.

"This is a frustrating and heartbreaking end for the My Secret Folder application, as the company no longer has the time, money and resources to develop an update for the application that will support Apple’s new 64-bit only iOS 11.

If you have content in My Secret Folder and you are about to upgrade to iOS 11 or already have upgraded like many of you have, perhaps you will purchase a new iPhone 8 or iPhone X over the coming months etc, we recommend that you contribute to this new crowdfund so we can fund the app update and transfer your content out of either My Secret Folder or My Secret Folder Classic before you lose it forever!"

How To Rescue Your Files For Free

Don't despair. There is a way to recover your files from the My Secret Folder app without waiting for Red Knight to reach their crowdfunding goal. The methods shown below are for PC but will work on Mac with some modifications that are probably obvious to Mac users.

What you will need:

  1. A PC or Mac that has iTunes installed.
  2. Your iPhone or iPad that has My Secret Folder containing your files.
  3. iExplorer software for PC or Mac as appropriate (Free Download)


Getting Started - Connect Your Device to the Computer

Going forward I will refer to iPhones but these instructions are the same for iPads.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer via the USB cable.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Click on the device icon as circled in the screenshot below.

Click on the device icon
Click on the device icon

Make a Backup of Your iPhone

(See photo below)

Make sure "This Computer" is checked and "Encrypt iPhone backup" is NOT checked.

Click the "Back Up Now" button and wait for it to complete. It can take several minutes depending on the size of the backup and the speed of your computer.

Backup the device
Backup the device

Extract the My Secret Folder Files From the Backup

If you haven't already installed iExplorer on your computer, do so before proceeding. The link for the free download is above.

  1. Launch iExplorer on your computer.
  2. Click on "Continue in Demo Mode"
  3. Find the device name in the list on the left side.
  4. Expand the choices by clicking on the arrow to the left of the device name.
  5. Click on "Backup" to see if this is the most recent backup.

Find the most recent backup of your device
Find the most recent backup of your device

Find the My Secret Folder App

When you have found the most recent backup,

  1. Expand Backup
  2. Expand Backup Explorer.
  3. Click on "App"
  4. Scroll down to find "com.red.msf".
  5. Double-click "com.red.msf".

Note: If you have the "Lite" version of My Secret Folder, look for "com.red.msflite". If you have an older version, try looking for "com.brightai.SecretFolder".


Double-click "Library" To See The Files

Click "Export" and Choose to Export Everything or Just Selected Files

Choose a Location to Save the Files

Your Files Have Been Rescued

I've noticed that video files are saved with their proper file extensions but on my PC, the photos are saved without an extension. Renaming them and adding ".png" did the trick for me. If that doesn't work, try ".jpg". Some applications will open an image file even if it has the wrong extension, some won't. If you still can't view them and have a Windows-based PC, try downloading the freeware program Irfanview, which can work with many types of image files. It will open the file and rename it with the correct extension.

I've installed the "Lock Photos Secret Photo Vault" app by Mo Wellin from the App Store as a replacement for My Secret Folder. The free version works well but it plays a commercial each time you open it. After a few times I decided to spring for the $2.99 for the upgrade which has no commercials. I chose this app because of the reviews but there are other similar apps available.

© 2017 Bill Yovino

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    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      2 months ago

      Muhammad - Try looking in other folders for the videos. You may just be seeing the thumbnails.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Adnan khan 

      2 months ago

      sir i did it i rescue my photos by the above given method thanks , but the problem is in videos file which are showing less than 1MB and didn,t open in my computer. plz help

    • profile image

      Muhammad Adnan khan 

      2 months ago

      yes sir i did it , the method u have given above work good i rescue my photos but the videos file are not opening showing error and also videos size are showing less than 1Mb.. so what to do now,.thanks

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      2 months ago

      Muhammad - If you have an iTunes backup of your iPhone (or iPad) on your computer you should be able to recover your files.

    • profile image

      Muhammad Adnan khan 

      2 months ago

      sir i really need help , i update an app(vault lock) now it need payment to open i just want to transfer my data pleaseee help

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      2 months ago

      Design88 - Which app is that?

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      2 months ago

      Jian-zz. Did you do a backup to your computer in iTunes?

    • profile image

      jian-zz@hotmail.com 

      2 months ago

      My Device wont show up when I open iExplore :(

    • profile image

      design88 

      2 months ago

      i did everything and not encrypted. the folder is empty. i have the calculator+ app. the name is sc.free in iexplorer please help

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      3 months ago

      Hi Brady. Are you sure the backup was not encrypted? Are you able to open the SecretFolder.sqlite folder?

    • profile image

      Brady 

      3 months ago

      Thanks Bill, I had ‘MyFolder’ by Red Knights. I followed the instructions but when I expand the ‘Library’ folder I get a file ‘SecretFolder.sqlite’ of 61kB size.

      I have a ‘Documents’ folder which appears to be empty and a ‘Preferences’ folder with a small file in? Is there still a chance I can recover?

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      Mac. And yes it’s a normal laptop. Never had any issues viewing any files before. It’s obviously something to do with my secret folder. Damn app. Luckily it’s just nudes, so I’ll survive without them. Probably for the best anyway.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Garrett - Mac or PC? Are you able to view .png files on your computer?

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      Right. So I did everything correctly. It was fairly easy. And so were your instructions. As I mentioned, everything other folder works. I found the correct my secret folder folder and it shows all of my images and photos... they just aren’t visible. They show blank pages that say cached images as if they didn’t load properly. And again, there is no export button so I can’t even download them to see if they’ll show up properly or not.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      No, it should create another backup. You can check the date in iExplorer.

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      Initially it was set to encrypt, but I backed it up again afterwards without encryption. That should overwrite the initial backup right?

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Garrett- I haven't come across this issue before. Are you sure that the backup was done with Encryption disabled?

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      No, never deleted. As I mentioned all my files are listed, but they just show blank pages not actual images. So obviously I’m in the right folder and they’re there, just not visible. Also how would I export them anyway? I see no option.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Garrett - Depending on which version of the app you have, the app's filename in the backup can be different. I would try looking at the others. You did the un-encrypted backup to your computer in iTunes, right? I hope you didn't delete and re-install the app before backing it up - that would be unrecoverable.

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      Everything works except for the my secret folder section.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Garrett - Have you tried the other folders? (Library, Documents)

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      Not in the app folder itself. All “blank page” icons all titled as cached images.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Garrett - Do you see any thumbnails in the iExplorer? (Like above)

    • profile image

      Garrett 

      4 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      I tried your method and it did work... kinda. All of my files show, but they all display blank pages. They say cached photos/videos, but don't actually show photos or videos. I tried the app update as well, but it still shows the stupid "developer needs to update this app to work with ios11" message. Any other tips? I also noticed that there was no export option for me either.

    • profile image

      migsgreen 

      4 months ago

      Thanks bill

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @migsgreen - The instructions are shown above under "Make a backup of your iPhone".

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Shadd - Don't restore your phone. Use the procedures show above to extract the files from the backup.

    • profile image

      Shadd 

      4 months ago

      I have the backup from maybe 3 months ago. Will that revert my phone to the state it was at the time of the backup?

    • profile image

      migsgreen 

      4 months ago

      Thank you Bill.

      Embarassing I know, but I am so not tech savy.

      How do I do an un-encrypted back up of my iPhone?

      Thanks again

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Shadd

      I think that is a known bug of the new app. If you still have your unencrypted backup on your computer you're okay. Check with the app developer's website: http://www.redknightapps.com/

      Do you still have the unencrypted backup?

    • profile image

      Shadd 

      4 months ago

      I was able to recover everything and everything was fine for a few months. I just got a new phone today and now when I go to the app it doesn’t recognize my password. Help!!

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @migsgreen - I think it depends on which version of the MySecretFolder app you have. Readers have told me that they were successful with notes but I've not been able to do it. Have you tried upgrading the app? They have a new version that should recover your files. Make sure to do an un-encrypted backup of your iPhone to your computer before trying to update the app.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Abdul salam - You will need to find an un-encrypted backup of your phone in order to rescue the files.

    • profile image

      migsgreen 

      4 months ago

      hello, can you extract "notes" from mysecretfolder also?

    • profile image

      Abdul salam 

      4 months ago

      unfortunately I have lost the rv app as I format my I phone. Can i have back the app with all the data..

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @magnet43 - Are you sure you're expanding the correct application?

      Contact me through the author contact link above. I'll try to help. Provide as much information/screenshots as you can.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      4 months ago

      @Jerome - If you haven't deleted the old app on your iPhone, you can perform a backup to your computer and then follow the instructions above. If you mean that this is a new phone and your files are on the iPad, backup the iPad to your computer, rescue the files as shown above and then copy them to the iPhone,

    • profile image

      magnet43 

      4 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      Ive followed all the instructions you provided (on mac) till i get to the section where you mention library. when i click on library, it expands again and shows preferences and cookies which are expandable too. I looked through to no avail and it truthfuly id frustrating when i know i am close. could you elaborate on what to do to access the files using the programe you provided. Many thanks in advance.

    • profile image

      Jerome 

      5 months ago

      Hey there,

      What can I do if my phone is iOS 11 and my back up isn’t on the device it is on iCloud backup?

      I have an iPad with the older software but it won’t let me restore the iPhone back up to the iPad.

      Any ideas?

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      5 months ago

      I'm glad it helped, Roberto. Thanks for the feedback!

    • profile image

      Roberto Oviedo 

      5 months ago

      Very helpful!!

      I tried it with othert apps and worked as well.

      Excellent!!!

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      6 months ago

      @Hajar - Wenn Sie ein iTunes-Backup auf Ihrem Computer haben, können Sie die Dateien retten.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      6 months ago

      @JJ People have told me that they were able to rescue notes but I wasn't able to get it to work. Red Knight has come out with an update for the app. You may want to try that.

    • profile image

      JJ 

      6 months ago

      Hi Bill,

      Do you know if this works to recover the "notes" files? I can't seem to find the files as I had important notes written down. The pictures worked fine though.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      7 months ago

      @Nick Ryan. Glad it worked, thanks for the update!

    • profile image

      Nick Ryan 

      7 months ago

      Worked a treat.

      Thanks Bill

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      7 months ago

      Nick - Yes, it will work with My Disk App. It will show up in the backup as com.galaxystudio.privatediskfree

    • profile image

      Nick Ryan 

      7 months ago

      Will this solution work with the My Disk App (multi coloured umbrella on yellow background icon)

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      8 months ago

      @Michael Green - I saw that. Some people with older versions of the app will still need to use this method. I would be reluctant to trust them going forward, so I suggest you find another app to store your files. As long as you have the space, there is no harm in keeping two sets of them.

    • profile image

      Michael Green 

      8 months ago

      They’ve updated the app so it is compatible with the new iOS!!

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      8 months ago

      JEP, I'm not familiar with Secure Vault but I'm guessing this might still work for you. You backup your entire iPhone or iPad in iTunes, not just the app.

    • profile image

      JEP 

      8 months ago

      None of these worked for me. My app is called Secure Vault but maybe was an earlier iteration. I could find the folder (on a mac) but there are no files. I went into itunes and there doesnt seem to be a way for me to make the backup select that app as a backup. I can see there are about 7gigs in the app, but I dont think I can figure out how to get it to back up that actual content of the app.

    • profile image

      Larry 

      9 months ago

      I found them in the com.brightai folder. Thank you Bill and Donna. You guys are great!

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      9 months ago

      @Donna. Thanks for that information. I'll add it to the article.

    • profile image

      Donna 

      9 months ago

      You're awesome. I found if you can't find com.red.msf fold (I couldn't) BUT it WAS under com.brightai.SecretFolder

      Thank you so much!

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      9 months ago

      @Larry. Do you have the "Light" version of My Secret Folder? If so, look for "com.red.msflite" in your backup.

    • profile image

      larry 

      9 months ago

      i dont see the com.red.msf folder :/

    • profile image

      marshall 

      9 months ago

      You are amazing!! Thank you so so much!!

    • profile image

      The Dave 

      9 months ago

      You're a living legend. They will write stories and sing songs of your heroism.

    • profile image

      thanks 

      9 months ago

      this is brilliant !! thanks a lot

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      9 months ago

      @VF. So glad that it helped you. Thanks for the kind words!

    • profile image

      VF. 

      9 months ago

      Bill Yovino,

      You are the best, I was able to retrieve all my stuff, and it didn’t work as first then I rename all the pictures with .png. Now I have all my stuff.

      Thank you sir thank you thank you you are amazing

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      9 months ago

      Thanks, Bobby. I'm glad it workded for you and appreciate the feedback

    • profile image

      Bobby 

      9 months ago

      Bill,

      Thanks!!!! these directions are spot on.

    • profile image

      Seb 

      10 months ago

      Thanks Bill, not the end of the world if unrecoverable!

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      10 months ago

      Hi Seb, I added a note and tried retrieving it but have had no success. I'll keep searching.

    • Bill Yovino profile imageAUTHOR

      Bill Yovino 

      10 months ago

      Hi Seb. The version of the app on my iPad2 is v1.2. I'm not sure if that was from Red Knight or the previous owner. I didn't have any text files on it but I'll add some and see if I can rescue them. Check back here in a couple of days.

    • Seb Rodrigues profile image

      Seb Rodrigues 

      10 months ago

      Hi Bill! I have the original app by BrightAI, so the Red Knight update won't help me apparently. I've recovered the cached photos from this method, but not the text files - do you have any idea how I could recover those?

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