Published 07 Aug 2018

How to Hide Your Files or Folders on Windows the Right Way

Aryan
Updated 4 months ago

There could be important files on your computer that you might want to protect from other users of the same computer. There are many ways to hide a file or a folder on a pc and It is not a new thing and neither a difficult one.

So here's how to do it

  • Right click on a file or folder you want to hide
  • Click on the properties option
  • Look for a checkbox named hidden and select it
  • Click the apply button
  • A box pops-up asking (incase it's a folder ) if you want to change the properties of all the contents within or just the current folder
  • Choose the folder only because there's no meaning in modifying properties of every item within
  • Click OK and exit

You now have successfully hidden your file or a folder.

As you can see above there are problems with this technique.

  1. You can reveal the hidden files by simply opening View Menu > Select Hidden items checkbox. Anyone who knows this trick can easily reveal the hidden files.
  2. Your hidden folder is still accessbile via path if you type the folder location in the address bar. Application programs that last used the contents within the hidden folder can still access it.

Hide it so no one can see it

Here is what you should do to make it totally invisible even when the option to display Hidden Items is checked.

  1. Go to the location where you important item is.
  2. With the Shift key pressed. Right click in the blank area
  3. Choose the option to Open Command Window Here
  4. Now type the following command replacing 'filename' with your file or folder's name

attrib filename +h +s

The attrib command is used to change the attribute of file. The +h switch is used for hiding the file the same way as we hide it using the properties dialog. The +s switch is important one, it marks the file as important system file. Thus hiding the file even when hidden items are enabled to be displayed.

Now if you wan to restore it back just use this command below. This time we are using -h -s switch that simply reverses the switch used earlier.

attrib filename -h -s

Note: Your files are still accessible if you type the location in the address bar and programs can still acces it

Hide it so no one can access it

After hiding your item with the attrib filename +h +s command. You can now use another command to prevent access to this file. Here's the command

cacls /e /c /d everyone

What it does basically is that it denies 'everyone' from accessing the file, you can either use your user name instead. That will disallow the current user from accessing the item or its contents.

If you want to restore the permissions back use this one.

cacls /e /c /g everyone:f

What does this all mean?

When you use the first two methods above to hide your files. They will still be accessible to programs or users who know the path to the file. The third and the last method makes sure your files are inaccessible to programs or other users.

Well, the above mentioned ways are just simple tricks to hide your files properly so that no one can see it or access it. It does not guarantee security in any way. If you want to protect your files consider using an encryption program.

Meet the author

Aryan K

writer

Just started blogging