The article will enlighten you on how to hide files. Most operating systems do not consider it necessary to show all files to their users, at least for the sake of their safety. In Windows, you can also hide not only files, but also folders, or even entire disks.
This trick is used regularly by advanced users. If initially, the function was a system one to protect service files from accidental deletion, now confidentiality is ensured in this way: it is often necessary to hide certain information from other users.
Suppose you want to manage how to hide files or folders, or even drives, in Windows 10, or see them. What if one of the default tools doesn’t work? Let’s look at all how you can hide or find a hidden file, folder or drive on your computer.
How to make a file or folder hidden in Windows
Using the Explorer menu
Open Windows Explorer and select all the files and folders you want to hide. Click the Hide Selected Items button to hide them.
Icons for hidden files will become dimmer.
Using the Folder Options menu
This method worked in Windows 8.1 and previous versions of the operating system. Open File Explorer, but this time right-click on any folder where you want to hide files and folders.
We need the “Properties” parameter.
On the General tab, you will find the Hidden attribute. Activate it to hide the selected folder with files in it.
Repeat the same process and uncheck this box to show the hidden file folders you selected earlier.
How to hide (show) a hidden folder or file in Windows
Using the Explorer menu
Open “Explorer”. On the View tab, you can find the Hidden Items checkbox. Activate this box and you will be able to see all hidden files and folders inside the directory you are in.
This menu was added in the Windows 10 version of the program. Previously, you had to go to folder properties to permit to display files and folders hidden in them. When you are finished working with the desired directory, simply uncheck the box and the hidden elements will disappear again.
Using the Control Panel
If for some reason the above method is not suitable for you, there is another way. Press the Win + S keys to open the search menu, search for “Control Panel” and open it.
In the search box already “Control Panel”, find “Explorer”.
You will see the item “Explorer Options”.
On the “View” tab, activate the necessary option “Show hidden files, folders and drives” or “Do not show hidden files, folders and drives”. Click Apply and OK.
It is important to understand that this is a universal setting, meaning the ability to show or hide hidden files, folders, and drives everywhere, and not just in the folder that you are viewing. If you want to perform certain actions on a specific folder, then follow the first method given. Using the registry
We do not recommend using this option until you have tried the others. It is worth resorting to working with the registry if other options do not work. To find and open the registry editor, press the key combination Win + R to open the Run window, then enter the regedit command and press Enter to launch the application.
Now go to the specified registry branch:
Double-click the Hidden option in the right pane of the window and set the value to 1 to show hidden files, folders, and drives, or 2 to hide them.
How to securely hide a specific file or folder so that it cannot be seen using the usual (above) methods
Pay attention to this unusual trick. Hiding a file or folder using the command below from a terminal window will hide the object more securely. This means that no user will be able to view a hidden file or folder, even if the corresponding attribute is changed from the folder options. This gives you an extra layer of security because anyone with access to your computer can view files and folders using their properties and attributes feature.
Write down the path to the file you want to hide first. You can copy it from Explorer’s search bar.
Now run the CMD (Command Prompt) application with administrator privileges
and enter the command:
Note: this method does not support Cyrillic characters, which means that the file or folder must have a name consisting of Latin letters or numbers without spaces.
Be sure to change the username to the name from your computer and the rest of the path up to filename.png to the path to the file you want with its correct extension.
The +s attribute will tell the operating system that this is a system file that needs to be protected, and the +h attribute will tell the file to be hidden forever.
You can use the same command to hide a folder. And to display the file or folder again, use the minus sign ( -s -h ).
We suggest that you first practice on a temporary file because you do not want to lose access to an important file/folder.
How to hide the entire drive in Windows
You can hide the entire drive using the Registry Editor. This cannot be done in the control panel or the folder options menu.
Open the registry editor and navigate to the specified registry branch:
Click on the space on the right and select New → DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name the setting NoDrives, save it, and then double-click it to edit it.
In the Calculation system section, select the Decimal option. And as Value, enter the number of the disk that you want to hide. How to find the disk number, you ask, because it is usually represented as a letter of the alphabet, C or D?
This can be done quite easily in regards to how to hide files. Letter A is 1, B is 2, C is 4, D is 8, and so on. Each letter has twice the number of the previous letter. It is easy to guess that the E drive will correspond to the number 16. Such a number must be entered as the value of the specified registry parameter.
But what if you want to how to hide files several different drives? Just add up their numbers and enter the resulting number. For example, if you want to hide drives A and D, then add 1 to 8. The NoDrives setting should be 9. Don’t forget to save the registry value and restart your computer.
To display the drive(s) again, simply delete the NoDrives entry you created above.
Several third-party applications on the market will help you easily manage, how to hide files, or show files, folders, and drives on your Windows 10 computer. These applications have several additional features that we will discuss.
The first program is Secret Disk, which creates a hidden yet password-protected virtual drive on your computer to store and how to hide files and confidential folders. The basic version of the application is free, and for most users, its functionality is enough.
The second application is My Lockbox, it adds its icon to the desktop. Using the icon, you can quickly manage how to hide files or display files and folders anywhere. The program works with keyboard shortcuts. The free version can block any one folder with an unlimited number of subdirectories and files inside.
Other apps can help on how to hide files, folders, and drives in Windows 10, but these should be enough to keep you organized. There are several ways to hide information in this operating system, it all depends on what files or folders you are trying to hide and how. You can choose one of the methods we have proposed, but you should first make sure that you clearly understand all the difficulties that you may encounter.