It seems like people just can’t get enough guides on how to create hidden folders or locked folders in Windows. I’ve already written two tutorials on how to hide a folder, one using a very simple built-in Windows function, and the other using some Windows scripting. In the last article, I also mentioned a free program that you can use called Folder Hide to completely remove a folder from view. Finally, I wrote about hiding the entire drive letter in Windows as well.
But there is also ANOTHER way to hide files and folders, which is similar to the first post I mentioned above, but a little more secure. This effectively involves using the command line and a built-in Windows function to change certain attributes of a file or folder. After changing the attributes, the files will not be visible to the system.
The reason I like this method is because it doesn’t use third party software that people might notice, and it is not as simplistic as the first method I wrote about where you just change the properties of a file or folder to hidden and all, you can easily unhide folders by setting the Windows Explorer option to Show hidden files and folders.
Here’s how to create a fairly secure hidden folder on Windows for free:
1. Go to Start, Run and type CMD to open a command prompt
2. Now navigate to the parent folder for the folder you want to hide. If you want to hide the file, go to the folder where the file is located. For example, I want to hide a file in C: Test, so I enter the following:
CD C: Test
3. Now enter the following command, replacing filename with the name of the file you want to hide.
attrib filename + s + h
And it’s all! Your file or folder is now completely hidden! It won’t show up in My Computer, it won’t show up when viewed through the command line, and won’t even show up if you select Show all hidden files and folders.
If you want to unhide a folder, just follow the same steps, expect now to run this command:
attrib filename -s -h
You can use this command for both files and folders. In our example, if I wanted to hide C: Test, I would go up to C: and then type:
attrib Test + s + h.
So, you will notice that I said above that this procedure is “safe enough” and the reason is that you can still unhide hidden files or folders in a very simple way. When we change the file / folder attributes in the above method, we are actually just making it a hidden protected system file. To show protected system files, all you have to do is go to the Folder Options, View tab and uncheck Hide protected system files.
Now, if you were to navigate to this directory using a hidden file or folder, you will see it listed with a gray icon. As mentioned earlier, these are all very simplistic ways to hide data in Windows, but they can come in handy in short-term situations or for hiding content from children, etc. People also rarely can hide system-protected files, whereas many people turn on the Show hidden files and folders “in Windows.
So now you have four different ways to hide a file, folder or drive in Windows! If you have any questions, please leave a comment. Enjoy!