3 Quick & Easy Ways To Hide A Folder In Windows 7

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hide folders windows 7 Privacy is hard to come by these days. Whether you are sharing a computer or are generally suspicious of peers who occasionally have access to your computer, you may have the desire to store sensitive information or private files in a safe place. This article provides a summary of three quick and easy ways to hide folders in Windows 7.

Note that none of these solutions will effectively hide your data from knowledgeable users. For truly sensitive and confidential data, I recommend more advanced solutions, which not only hide or luck, but also encrypt your data. For pointers, please see the additional resources section below.

1. Hide Folders

Windows offers an easy way to quickly hide folders from unsuspecting eyes. This method requires that Windows does not show hidden files and folders. So to begin with, you have to check this setting:

  • Open Windows Explorer (open any folder) and go to > Tools > Folder options…
  • Within Folder Options switch to the > View tab.
  • Under > Files and Folders find the option > Hidden files and folders and select > Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives.
  • Click > OK and proceed to hiding a folder.

hide folders windows 7

To hide a folder do the following:

  • Right-click the folder you want to hide and select > Properties.
  • In the > General tab check the option > Hidden.
  • Go to > Advanced change archive and index attributes.
  • Click > OK to save your changes.

hide folders

Once you wish to access your folder, go through folder options to temporarily make hidden folders visible. Obviously, this is a little inconvenient. To take a shortcut and hide or unhide several folders at once, you can use the tool Free Hide Folder. It can hide and unhide selected folders, given the folder options are set to not show hidden files and folders.

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hide folders

Although access to this tool is protected by a password, it does reveal that there are hidden folders somewhere and advanced users will find them with ease.

2. Make Folders Invisible

This method will make your folder invisible and not hidden. On the one hand you won’t have to go through folder options to unhide your folder, on the other someone may discover your invisible folder by accident. To make an invisible folder, you have to do two things: first remove the folder name and second make the folder icon transparent. To hide the folder name…

  • …select the questionable folder and click F2.
  • Then hold the > ALT key while typing the numbers > 0160 using the number pad.
  • Hit > Enter and the folder name should be gone.

Next, you need to make the folder icon invisible:

  • Right-click your folder and select > Properties.
  • Switch to the > Customize tab and click the > Change Icon… button.
  • Several blank icons can be found in the default Windows 7 icon collection. Find one, select it and click > OK.

hide folders

If the invisible folder sits on your desktop, make sure it’s along the edge of the screen and towards the right side. This will decrease the chance of it being found by chance. Note that anyone can still access the folder, given they find it. For example clicking [CTRL] + [A] will select and highlight all files and folders, including invisible ones.

windows 7 hidden folders

This method was also described in Aibek’s article 2 Ways to Hide “Important” Files and Folders in Windows.

3. Hide Folders With My Lockbox

My Lockbox is a utility to lock and hide folders. When you first launch the tool, you need to create a password. Next, you can assign a Lockbox folder. In the free version, the amount of folders is limited to one, although you can change the folder anytime. When you launch My Lockbox, you can lock (hide) and unlock (unhide) your Lockbox folder. Unlike Free Folder Hide, My Lockbox will also hide your folder when the folder options are set to show hidden files, folders, and drives.

windows 7 hidden folders

In the advanced view, you can access additional options, for example to set trusted applications allowed to access your folder or to create hotkeys.

hide folders windows 7

We have previously reviewed My Lockbox here: How To Lock Windows Folders With MyLockbox.

Additional Resources

Saikat has introduced you to How to Hide Folders Using 7 Free Apps, including TrueCrypt, a tool that not only lets you hide, but also encrypt your files and folders. Another tool we have reviewed in more detail is Easy File Locker. For more advanced solutions, have a look at this article: How to Lock Or Hide A Folder, A File Or A Drive On The Computer.

How do you store sensitive data from prying eyes? Would you recommend to store files in a secret online location?

3D Illustration of Gray Folder Via Shutterstock

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Comments (25)
  • Srinivas N

    I use Mylock box for hiding things..But with default settings those folders cant be protected under Safe Mode

  • AP

    I Haven’t tried other ones but I prefer MyLockbox because its easy to use.

  • Iker Adil

    Try using folder security personal :-) its great :-) and it works for me

  • Achraf52

    Can I hide a folder that contain more folders with the software, does this prevent virus from exploiting them .

    • Iker Adil

      folder security personal does protect your files from virus till you keep your files locked :-) but if you unlock your files then the virus may spread to those folders too :-) so be careful and use an up-to-date antivirus software like kaspersky internet security

    • Achraf52

      So thanks for your information .

    • Iker Adil

      yur welcome :-)

  • Dave

    A utility like TrueCrypt is really the only viable way to accomplish something like this. It won’t necessarily “hide” it, but it would guarantee that unauthorized users don’t gain access.
    The real problem with any of the methods here are that all your “tracks” make it too easy for someone to either deliberately or accidentally stumble onto your “hidden” folder.
    For example, “Recent Documents” shows everything you’ve recently opened, regardless of where it is stored. Opening the “Run” dialog box shows a history of what you’ve manually run. Opening many applications offers a “Recent Files” option when you go to open a new file. The list goes on …
    TrueCrypt (or a similar tool) can be set to where your private data is always secure – no matter what anyone might do – intentional or not.

    Just wanted to throw my 2¢ worth in …

    • Tina

      Dave,

      TrueCrypt definitely is one of the safest and best options to lock and encrypt a folder and we have reviewed it before. I also pointed out the shortcomings of the presented solutions in the second paragraph of the article and highlighted TrueCrypt under additional resources.

    • Iker Adil

      encryption is a slow process :-) I hate encrypting softwares

    • Tina

      Good point. So it’s out of the scope of this article because it’s not quick and you can argue whether or not it’s easy. Nevertheless, it’s a much safer option.

    • Iker Adil

      once I encrypted my whole hdd and after I installed a new os I could not acess my hdd, :-) so it maybe safe and great but it still has downfalls

    • Tina

      Sorry, cannot respond to your other comment, so have to leave my remark here.

      Well, isn’t that great, encrypting is that safe! ;)

    • Iker Adil

      i suppose so.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.