Help DeskPrivacy and Security › How do I set gallery, page, and folder privacy settings?

How do I set gallery, page, and folder privacy settings?

Updated: 01/12/2015

SmugMug gives you three privacy options that you can apply to any Gallery, Page, or Folder on your site:    
  • Everyone (Public)

  • Anyone with the Link (Unlisted)

  • Only Me (Private)

Additionally, you can password-protect any public or unlisted Gallery/Page/Folder.

You can find the Privacy settings in your Organizer. Highlight the gallery you want, and then click the Settings button.

In the dialog box that opens, you'll find the Security and Privacy tab on the left.

Everyone (Public): Available to the Public

Galleries accessible by Everyone are visible to everyone who might visit your site. This setting means your site and galleries are also visible to search engines, and the galleries will show up within your own site's navigation. Use this setting to increase your discoverability!

Tip: Want your galleries to be public but still kept out of search engines like Google? Check your Site Visibility settings.

Anyone with the Link (Unlisted): Hidden from the Public

Galleries accessible by Anyone with the Link aren't visible on your SmugMug homepage and aren't crawled by search engines. The only way someone can view them is if you (the site owner) give them a direct link. When you do that, it'll look something like this:

The random scramble of numbers and letters at the end of that link is the "key" that's required to open the unlisted gallery. Without it, we'll just redirect them to the closest public location: subcategory, category, or your homepage.

Similar to an unlisted phone number, there's a VERY small (one in more-than-a-million) chance someone could just type in the right digits and stumble across your gallery. So you can use additional security options described below for more protection.

As the logged-in owner, you'll always know whether or not your gallery's accessible by Anyone with the Link because we show the status at the top of the page. For example, this gallery is for Anyone with the Link:

We'll also show the privacy status of Folders, Galleries, and Pages any time you're looking at a thumbnail around your site or when you're in the sitewide Organizer:

Passworded: Locked with a Secret Password

Password-protected galleries require visitors to enter a password to see the photos inside. These galleries don't display any social-sharing options.

You can mix and match your passworded galleries with other security options. For example, you can make your gallery accessible by Everyone + passworded or even accessible by Anyone with the Link + passworded. If you choose the former, the gallery won't show up in SmugMug's search and Google will know the gallery exists, but it can't look inside. 

Important note about passwords: SmugMug does NOT store your gallery passwords in any way that could be leaked (we use an industrial-grade one-way hash), so we recommend that you fill in the "Password Reminder" field to help jog your memory if you think you—or your client—might forget. For your extremely important photos that you never want shared, we highly suggest you don't use password reminders at all. Here are great tips on how to create strong passwords.

You're covered: When our systems detect several incorrect attempts at entering a gallery password, we'll notify you by email about what's going on. The email will tell you which gallery it is and provide additional details about the location and time that these passwords were being entered.

We'll only show a generic "lock" icon as the gallery thumbnail to protect your content, but you can choose a featured photo to select a different image to represent the gallery on your site.

Tip: You can secure your entire SmugMug site with a password, too.

Only Me (Private): Seen Only by You

Galleries/Pages/Folders accessible by Only Me are completely private. They can ONLY be seen, found, and browsed by the logged-in owner of the site. We don't recommend you use this setting if you plan to share the gallery with anyone. 


Q: I want a Folder to be Unlisted but a Gallery in it to be Public. Possible?
A: Unfortunately not possible. Galleries can't have less private settings than the folders they live within. You'll need to change the Folder's privacy setting to match, or you can create a new Public Folder and move your gallery into it.

Q: I have an Unlisted Folder with Unlisted Galleries inside it, but when I send friends a link to the Folder, they can't see any of the galleries. What's going on?
A: "Unlisted" means your visitors will need the direct link to each folder, gallery, or page using this privacy setting. Visitors won't be able to see the galleries because unlisted galleries cannot be seen without a direct gallery link.

Q: I want to set one password for a folder of galleries.
A: Use a Folder Password! While in the Organizer, select a folder in the left-hand drawer and click the Settings button shown at the top of this article. The dialog window should say "Folder Settings" now, and you can adjust the Security & Privacy settings just like you would for a gallery.

Q: Why doesn't my password-protected gallery require a password anymore?
A: For convenience, SmugMug remembers that you're authorized to visit a gallery once you've correctly entered the password. You can revisit the gallery, provided you do so on the same computer, for 24 hours without having to enter it again. Anyone who visits the gallery for the first time, however, will be asked for the password.

Q: How can I share multiple unlisted or passworded galleries from different folders at once?
A: Sharegroups

Q: Ack! I forgot a gallery's password!
A: You won't be able to see a password as a logged-in site owner, but you can reset a gallery's password by following the steps above for setting a password.