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Everyone has certain files that s/he would rather keep private, especially guys. One of the ways to do that is to make such files hidden and bury them deep in the system files. The problem with such approach is that it’s not really conveninet if you need to access those files on a regular basis. So if you’re interested in something more conveninet, here are two simple ways to keep “important” files invisible and only a click a way.

1. Make the Folder Invisible (not hidden)

This works both on Windows XP and Vista, not sure about other Win versions. What this will do is make selected folder invisble, not hidden. The folder will be only visible when you try to highlight it (see below). If you want to make sure that no one discovers it by chance then also move it to the corner of the screen.

Make Windows Folder Invisible

How to Create Invisible Folder ?

    1. Create a new folder.

    2. Rename: Highlight the folder and Click ‘F2’ button. Hold the ‘Alt’ key and type in 0160 (you won’t see those 0160 numbers while typing them). Press Enter. Note, you have to use the numpad to enter these numbers.

    3. Change icon: Righ click the folder >> Properties >> Customize >> Change the icon >> Select the blank one >> Ok.

    Change Folder Icon

    4. Done.

2. Hide Folders/Files in Images

This trick has been around for a while and there are plenty of tutorials out there. One of the better ones is the one created by Jimmy Ruska, check it out below.

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In case you can’t stream the video see step-by-step instructions below.

    1. First compress the file using your favorite compression program.

    2. Move the archive (some-archive.zip) and the image you want to use to for hiding the files (some-image.jpg) to the folder of your choice.

    3. Open Windows command prompt: ‘ Start >> Run >> cmd ‘

    4. Navigate to the folder from step 2. If you are not familiar with the command line commands, then use ‘cd ..’ to go one level upwards and ‘cd folder_name‘ to go one level down. This should be enough to get you to the right folder.

    5. Once there, enter the following command:

    COPY /B some-image.jpg + some-archive.zip new-image.jpg

    Where the new-image.jpg is the name of the final image that will hold your files.

    6. Confirm that everything went smoothly by opening newly created image file using your favorite archive program.

    7. Done.

Do you know of any other ways to hide files? Let us know in comments.

  1. laffman
    December 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Ha ha -- this is one of the funniest threads I've seen on the net --- "Aibek" gives a "helpful hint" about how to hide important files. A bunch of people try it, then they write that they hid the files, and now can't get them back? i.e. "I’m unable to unhide the folder" -- and no one has an answer... thanks to this helpful hint, the precious file you were trying to hide is now gone. You could have just deleted the file and saved yourself the trouble... well, you didn't really want all that porn anyway, right? LOL

    • Aibek
      December 12, 2009 at 6:55 pm

      While writing the article i didn't try deleting the folder. Only afterwards a few people complained that it's not deleting using regular steps. If you go through comments above some of the folks figured out how to do it using archive programs.

  2. Ashish
    December 10, 2009 at 11:49 am

    IMBA stuff man. Too Cool.
    Frankly I wasn't expecting much when I Googled for "Simple ways to hide files". But this blew me off.

    But still if you are paranoid over "What-IF-Someone-Clicks-Accidentally" scenario, you can have an empty folder inside an empty folder. So that even if somebody clicks on it(by chance) and comes inside, he wouldn't see anything and retrieve from there.
    And then you can also pin the outer invisible folder in Windows 7 task bar. That looks totally innocuous.

    For guys who can't do it on Laptops(for the lack of Numpad), do it on Desktop first and copy the folder to your laptop :P

  3. Question
    October 10, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Nevermind! Found out I could use the "Open with 7zip" function to open it, thanks anyway!

    • Aibek
      December 12, 2009 at 6:54 pm

      Glad you figured it out

  4. Question
    October 10, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Sorry for the stupid question, but after I use the second method, I get a succesful 1 file(s) copied from my command prompt, but I am unable to retrive the files from the JPG because the "Extract Here" icon doesn't show up (I'm using 7 zip). All help appreciated!

  5. Woody
    May 2, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Haha, just thought I'd be the one to mention it, but if anyone looks at the URL for this page, it happens to be slightly different than the title of the article. Nice Touch! LOL

    -Woody

    • Aibek
      December 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm

      yep, that was a hidden hint!

  6. chintan shah
    April 15, 2009 at 9:38 am

    There is one more technique which will not hide the folders, but it will convert them into control panel. any one who tries to access the folder is redirected to control panel.

    1. Create a folder in a drive for easy access, e.g. C:. (Name it something related to the Control Panel, e.g. Users.)

    2. Create a new file in Notepad and copy and paste the following into it:

    ren Users Users.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}

    3. Replace “Users” with the name of the folder you created and save the file as loc.bat.

    (You should now be able to see your folder and the loc.bat file, with the loc.bat in the same directory as the folder Not in it.)

    4. Now, right-click and create another text file. Copy and Paste the following into it:

    ren Users.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D} Users
    (Make sure to replace the word “Users” with the name of your folder.)

    5. Save it as key.bat.

    6. Now you should see the loc.bat and the key.bat files in the same directory as the folder you created.

    7. Now, all you need to do is double-click on the loc.bat file and the folder should have an icon that looks like the control panel. If you click on the folder it should redirect you to the Control Panel and thus you have locked the folder.

    8. Of course, to unlock it, simply double-click on the key.bat file and the folder should turn back into the folder you first created.

    • Aibek
      April 22, 2009 at 1:21 am

      Neaaat!

  7. Cliff
    April 11, 2009 at 9:52 am

    Like some others, i was able to preform the trick but i'm unable to undo what i have done. Can someone resolve this issue ?

  8. Not Telling U
    February 23, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Use InviziVault its awesome
    also to make it very hidden if your an admin of windows vista
    make a folder here C:\Windows\Winsafe Installer\Regtapi_32\
    put some other folders in \Winsafe installer\ like:
    data,Drivers,Index,Main Installer,com32,fron_32,marvin_32,resdata,setup,and ShellNew your welcome!!!

  9. Diego
    January 29, 2009 at 3:27 am

    i did this but now i cant seem to rename the file or even delete it... whats wrong?
    does anyone knows how to delete the file?

  10. kp
    June 23, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    hey bro how can i recover data from invisible and hidden folder and data both…..
    search bhi nahi ho paa raha hey…..
    any trick or tools for recover for that type of data
    pls help me serious trouble problem……..helppppppp

  11. Robert Paulson
    May 30, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Try using InviziVault (you can find it anywhere with google). Very easy to use, and it's not obviously running like other encryption software. You even need a secret keystroke to launch it.
    Super easy.. Super hidden. best $20 I ever spent.

  12. Russell
    April 21, 2008 at 2:16 pm

    I did the invisible folder but I cant delete it now. How do i delete it?

  13. Sherri
    April 11, 2008 at 5:29 am

    I played around with stegan programs in the past, but that copy /b cmd thing is easier. But 7z won't give the option to extract it when I right click on the new image, however it does work if I open 7z, then open the new image from within 7z.

    As far as the hidden folder trick, it shows up first in win explorer's list (when I sort by name);it leaves a noticeable gap. So if I needed to use this trick, I'd have to bury it deep down in a seldom accessed sub-folder.

    But they're both handy to know, thanks.

  14. Shrihari
    April 10, 2008 at 2:16 am

    Okay, these tricks work great.. But, isn't a simpler way possible ?
    1) Compress the folder or files into a zip file..
    2) Then, rename something.zip to something.jpg or something else.

    Isn't this simpler ? Or how does this differ from the above mentioned ways

    • Aibek
      April 10, 2008 at 5:40 am

      In your case if someone clicks on that something.jpg the file won't open. In our case the person sees an actual image.

  15. Ben
    April 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Funny title. Useful blog. Noice!

  16. Renee
    April 9, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    Way to perfectly utilize a strike-through in the title! haha

  17. amgooda
    April 9, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    wooow soo cool and helpful.. thanks!

  18. niminwedam
    April 9, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Everything is working well for me.
    But I have a problem with the first method
    ... I'm unable to unhide the folder.
    In fact, I can't rename it normally.
    I tried to delete it but nothing happens

    What about it for you ?

    • niminwedam
      April 9, 2008 at 4:50 pm

      Edit :
      My problem is on Vista.
      I tried on my server (2003 server) and it's working.

      • Aibek
        April 9, 2008 at 7:38 pm

        Shit, I have the same problem as well. :?

    • Maladict
      April 10, 2008 at 12:33 am

      Had same problem, solution I came up with was adding it to an archive with winrar and telling winrar to delete the files after archiving. Probably some issue with windows not being able to delete the file due to the lack of name.

      • Diego
        January 29, 2009 at 3:25 am

        I have the same problem. can you please tell me exactly how you did the winrar thing...
        ?
        thanks in advace:D

    • cristiano
      November 24, 2009 at 1:58 pm

      it is very helpfull guys. for begginers just try it.

  19. Victor V.
    April 9, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    I set them as system files + hidden files.
    attrib +s +H (path to file or folder)
    to show them again,
    attrib -s -h (path to file or folder)

    be advised that you must have "Hide system files" or something like that in Folder Properties checked.

  20. Jamie
    April 9, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    Truecrypt works best because it encrypts the data, mounts as a virtual hard drive, is platform-independent, and can use any file extension you'd like. Simply drop your files into a Truecrypt container and give it an extension of .mp3, .avi, or something else. (Just don't use .bak or .tmp or anything that might get auto-deleted).

  21. bob
    April 9, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Can my "favorite archive program" be Windows' built in support? I tried renaming the secretcow.jpg file to secretcow.zip and extracting it, but Windows complained. Is it possible to do without 7zip or other program like that?

    • Aibek
      April 9, 2008 at 7:33 pm

      You need some kind of archive manage for that. It can be winrar, winzip, 7zip ... whatever.

      If you want to check whether the final image includes the files then you need to launch archive manager and drag'n drop the image file on top of it.

  22. Mark O'Neill
    April 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    I just encrypt the files using Truecrypt and I tuck the encrypted folder away in an obscure "Program Files" folder. If anyone sees it, they assume it's part of a software installation and they leave it alone. But the folder is actually encrypted with all my sensitive files inside.

    • Aibek
      April 9, 2008 at 7:28 pm

      That sounds fine as well.

  23. Jackson
    April 9, 2008 at 5:39 pm

    For Mac users, there is this cool little widget that does the exact same trick.

    It's called Abacadabra, from

  24. Sarah
    April 9, 2008 at 7:43 am

    Hi I have a problem with the first one : 1. Make the Folder Invisible (not hidden)
    I can't type anything when holding down the alt key, so all I can do is rename the folder to 0106 and I don't think that's the way to do it (since it's not working :D)

    • Aibek
      April 9, 2008 at 8:39 am

      I should have mentioned it earler, you won't actually see those 0160 numbers while typing them. Just makes sure to hold the Alt key and type in 0160. Press enter and you should have your folder.

    • fi&th
      April 9, 2008 at 1:44 pm

      num lock ON?

    • Tammy
      April 15, 2008 at 4:52 am

      It appears that I am having the same issue as you. Did you fix your issue, and if so can you please explain it to me. I am on a laptop with Windows Vista.

  25. Brainiac
    April 9, 2008 at 5:08 am

    I realy like the invisible folder trick. Nice one ;)

    • Joel
      April 9, 2008 at 2:20 pm

      This hiding a file or folder reminds me of the option I had earlier tried...Its a bit different way of hiding it....you can check it here at Lock and Hide

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