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

Zipped Folder   3 Quick & Easy Ways To Hide A Folder In 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.

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

My Lockbox Advanced View   3 Quick & Easy Ways To Hide A Folder In 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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23 Comments -

Kaggy

To make it more hidden run as administrator in the command prompt.
navigate to the path
attrib +S +H

this will make it hidden even when you show hidden files, it’ll only show up when you show system hidden as well.

Nobody

I was going to suggest “My Lockbox,” but you beat me to it. Boo.

jagpreet kamboj

Can a possible two OS installed One drive of HDD , when HDD partition are three both partition are 100 GB , it is possible .

Tina

I’m afraid I don’t understand how your question relates to this article.

Also, I’m not quite sure I understand what you are asking. Do you want to install two operating systems in parallel (dual boot) on one HDD with two (or three?) partitions that both have a size of 100 GB?

If that is what you are asking, then the answer is ‘yes it is possible‘. For a better explanation of how it can be done, please submit your question at MakeUseOf Answers.

Aksgan

This is a way to create a ;locker in which you can store sensitive folders whithout the help of any software:
Go to ‘run’ and type ‘cmd’ and paste the following:
cls
@ECHO OFF
title Folder Locker
if EXIST “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” goto UNLOCK
if NOT EXIST Locker goto MDLOCKER
:CONFIRM
echo Are you sure u want to Lock the folder(Y/N)
set/p “cho=>”
if %cho%==Y goto LOCK
if %cho%==y goto LOCK
if %cho%==n goto END
if %cho%==N goto END
echo Invalid choice.
goto CONFIRM
:LOCK
ren Locker “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”
attrib +h +s “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”
echo Folder locked
goto End
:UNLOCK
echo Enter password to Unlock folder
set/p “pass=>”
if NOT %pass%==YOUR PASSWORD HERE goto FAIL
attrib -h -s “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}”
ren “Control Panel.{21EC2020-3AEA-1069-A2DD-08002B30309D}” Locker
echo Folder Unlocked successfully
goto End
:FAIL
echo Invalid password
goto end
:MDLOCKER
md Locker
echo Locker created successfully
goto End
:End

* Change the “YOUR PASSWORD HERE” with your password.
Save it as batch file ( with extension .bat ) For eg. Locker.bat
Now you will see a batch file. Double click it to create a folder locker ( A new folder named Locker would be formed at the same location )
Double click the batch ( As created above ) file to lock the folder namely Locker.

Tina

Thanks Aksgan.

AP

Thanks for providing an exhaustive material.

Peter

TrueCrypt. It’s the only way, and you can open the files in Linux too.

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.

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 :-)

Iker Adil

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

AP

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

Srinivas N

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