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Mac OS X comes with a powerful drive encryption tool known as FileVault, but if you’d like to hide and encrypt your private files from plain sight, an app like Hider 2 ($19.99) makes it easy.

If your Mac is shared or openly available to other people, it’s not a good idea to leave all documents exposed for prying eyes. If your MacBook is stolen, there are undoubtedly files you would rather an intruder did not access.

Hide and encrypt the lot with Hider 2.

Hider 2

Hider 2 is the name given to the completely overhauled and redesigned MacPaw application MacHider, which we reviewed Keep Your Secret Files Out Of Sight With MacHider [Mac OS X] Keep Your Secret Files Out Of Sight With MacHider [Mac OS X] If you're using Mac OS X, you don't even need specialised third-party security software to keep your precious data out of nefarious hands. Coupled with a strong user account password, the FileVault option in the... Read More  last year. The new version has a cleaner modern design that buries the files it hides so they can’t be detected by Spotlight, Terminal, or other file detection software. Unlike the previous version, Hider 2 can now hide and encrypt entire folders instead of individually selected files.

Hider 2 user interface

Hider 2 encrypts items added to it using a 256-bit AES algorithm. It moves the selected files to a secure vault, created by Hider 2, on your local or external drive. A copy of your hidden files remain in those vaults during the hidden and visible state of the files, so there’s no chance of losing the data.


You can actually leave files on your desktop, hide them with Hider, and those files will appear back on the desktop when unhidden. Hider 2 will also hide your confidential data in cloud servers like Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox The Unofficial Guide To Dropbox There's more to Dropbox than you might think: you can use it for file sharing, backing up your data, syncing files between computers and even remotely control your computer. Read More , and it makes those files undetectable on any of your other devices with Dropbox installed. However, Hider 2 does not provide network protection and anonymity over the internet. It is strictly focused is on securing your local files.


To encrypt and hide files and folders, you can either use the keyboard shortcut Command+O or click on the + button at the bottom of the user interface and add items from the Finder. You can also easily drag items directly into the local vault.

You can also create notes inside the application, and you can attach image files and PDFs to a note. You can right-click on items to reveal their original locations prior to hiding, and also to unhide or remove items from the list.

Hider 2 info

If your Hider vault starts to get stuffed with lots of files and folders, content can easily be sorted by size, name, visibility state, date last used, etc..


Hider 2 includes several useful settings for locking Hider after a specified amount to time and automatically hiding files upon quitting the application. Selected files can also be hidden and the application can be locked using keyboard shortcuts which you can assign and customise here.

Hider 3

Hiding Files, Made Easy

Hider is accessible from the menu bar if you need to hide and unhide files on a regular basis. In addition, Hider supports Mavericks tags, useful if you file and sort files using the tagging management system. I was a satisfied user of the original MacHider, but Hider 2 is more attractive and secure than the previous version – both of which makes the overhauled upgrade worth buying.

Note: a few other similar encryption solutions for the Mac include TrueCrypt (check out our free PDF guide, Lock Down: Secure Your Files with TrueCrypt to find out what that security application has to offer) and the multi-platform oneSafe for Mac (reviewed here Safeguard Files and Login Information With oneSafe for Mac and iOS Safeguard Files and Login Information With oneSafe for Mac and iOS For the last few years I have not used a traditional wallet to carry around my bank cards, business cards, and paper notes. My iPhone and a stylish credit card case are now my paperless... Read More ). We’ve also taken a look at file hiding tool Obscurity Obscurity: A New Way To Hide Files On Your Mac Obscurity: A New Way To Hide Files On Your Mac Read More in the past.

Download: Hider 2 ($19.99)

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  1. nemesit
    April 17, 2014 at 9:31 am

    just add a “.” in front of your files and for encryption do it with disk utility or pgp. This app is as useless as it gets.

    • Philip Strichkov
      April 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

      Adding "." in before the file isn't really secure. It's really easy to reveal them, such run "defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE" in terminal and you will see all those "hidden" files.

    • nemesit
      April 17, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      @Philip Strichkov but adding the "." is exactly what this app does ;-p so you can save a lot of money xD

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 17, 2014 at 11:01 pm

      I wrote the developer to see if would address this concern. Thanks for raising it.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 18, 2014 at 5:31 pm

      This is the comment I got back from MacPaw developers:

      Thank you for contacting MacPaw Customer Support.

      The reader in his comment refers to the older Hider 1. That's a fact, the app was hiding files from Finder by shamelessly renaming the files and adding a dot at the beginning of the filename. That was fast but not quite effective for hiding files on external drives, for example.

      Hider 2 is nothing like the older Hider though, but the reader does not seem to care about this :).

  2. Wadie_banditos
    April 16, 2014 at 7:04 pm

    very good

    • Bakari Chavanu
      April 16, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Thanks. Glad you found this article useful.