How to Create Hidden files and folders on Windows 10
If you share a PC with friends and co-workers, then you know that some of them might try accessing your private files. And If they really want to access your files and folders, it will be easy unless you put in some security. However, you can’t just simply name them “Secret” and “Secret.txt”; it will still not stop them from accessing it. So if you’re worried that they will still access your files, there are some things you can do to increase your security and we’ll talk about it.
You don’t have to be an IT professional or a Computer Scientist to protect your files and folders on Windows 10. In fact, even if you’re on Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, you should aim to secure your files from prying eyes. And the quickest and easiest way to do that is to create hidden files and folders. But if you want to go the extra mile, you can make them invisible.
So how do you create these hidden items? It’s pretty simple and here are the two ways that you can do the job:
- Hide files and folders using File Explorer
- Hide files and folders using Command Prompt
I’ll be walking you through on how to do it.
Hide Files and Folders using File Explorer
This is the method that I think most people are familiar with. The process never changed from Windows XP up to know. It’s just that the UI has changed. If you were able to do it in previous Windows iterations, just simply do what you did before and your files and folders will be hidden.
Still, here’s a walkthrough on how you can hide your files and folders in Windows using File Explorer.
- Open File Explorer
- Locate the files and folders that you wish to hide. I’ll be hiding the two “secret” items here
- Right click the item that you want to hide and click on Properties
- The properties window should show, make sure that Hidden is ticked on
- Click on OK
- The folder should be gone!
- For files, the process would be the same.
- You’ve successfully hidden your files and folders!
This method is great if you want to hide just one or two items at a time.
But what do you need to do once you want to access the files that you hid? How do you access hidden files and folders?
Unhiding Files and Folders using File Explorer
Doing the process in reverse will unhide the files and folders. We need to have access to the files and folders first. After that, we’ll be able to right-click on it and select the properties.
- Open File Explorer
- Navigate to the directory where you hid your files
- Click on View then put a check mark on Hidden Items
- Your hidden files should appear
- Right click the item you want to unhide
- Click on Properties
- Untick the Hidden option and click on OK
- The file should now reappear in the directory.
It’s pretty simple to do in Windows 10 and in older Windows versions, it’s quite the same as well. What we also did in the process is one of the ways to access your hidden files and folders.
Accessing Hidden Files and Folders
When it’s time for you to access your hidden files and folders, there are actually two ways that you can go about it. You can either view them through file explorer, or you can manually type the file path.
- Accessing through File Explorer
When we tried unhiding files, you saw that you can simply click on View then click on Hidden files. When trying to access your files, just simply do that process and you’ll be able to see your files.
If you’re on Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, the process should be similar. However, for Windows XP, you need to click on View to see the settings that you want to change. It’s not really too hard, you just need to explore a bit.
- Manual File Path
Typing the File Path manually would require a little bit of memorization for you. Just simply memorize the directory and file name and paste it into the File Explorer address bar.
For example, the hidden folder that I have in the picture is at directory, C:UsersUsernameDesktopHidden ThingsSecret
While the text file that I have in the picture is at directory, C:UsersUsernameDesktopHidden ThingsSecret.txt
Hide Files and Folders using Command Prompt
If you want to look like a hacker while hiding your files, then you should take advantage of the command prompt.
- Open the Start Menu
- Search for CMD or Command Prompt
- Navigate to the folder that contains the file that you want to hide by typing in the following command
cd C:UsersUsernameDesktopHidden Things
- Once you’ve navigated there, simply type in the command
attrib +h FileName
- You’ve successfully hidden that file or folder!
If you want to hide all items inside a specific folder, just simply navigate to the folder and type in the command:
attrib +h /s /d
The command prompt looks daunting but it’s actually a word-based version of the file explorer if you think about it. So how do we go about doing the reverse process? Here’s how.
Unhiding Files and Folders using Command Prompt
When unhiding files and folders, just simply do the reverse of what we did.
- Navigate to the folder you wish to unhide using the cd command
- Instead of typing +h FileName, type this instead’
attrib -h FileName
- Your file or folder has been succesfully unhidden!
And that’s how you can use the command prompt to hide your files and folders on Windows and how to unhide them as well.
There are several methods to both hide and unhide your file and folders in Windows. You just have to find which one you’re most comfortable with. And with just a few clicks on your mouse or a few taps on your keyboard, that’s how you can create hidden files and folders in Windows.
Did this article help you? Do let me know in the comments!