Easy & Quick Ways To Hide A File Or Folder In All Windows Systems

Sometimes, the best way to keep sensitive information concealed from prying eyes is to hide it in the open. We’ll show you easy ways to hide folders in Windows 7, 10, and 11.

Disclaimer: None of these solutions will effectively hide your data from experienced users. For truly sensitive and confidential data, we recommend encrypting files and folders or storing them on a password-protected USB drive.

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 let’s make sure that’s the case.

  1. Open File Explorer (any folder) and navigate to Folder Options. Windows 10: View > Options > Change folder and search options Windows 11: See more > Options
  2. Within Folder Options switch to the View tab.
  3. Under Files and Folders find the option Hidden files and folders and select Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives.
  4. Click OK.

Once Windows is set to conceal hidden files and folders, you can go ahead and hide a folder.

  1. Right-click the folder you want to hide and select Properties.
  2. In the General tab, check the option called Hidden.
  3. Then click the Advanced button to change Archive and Index attributes; you might want to block indexing of the folder contents.
  4. Optional: Under Advanced Attributes, check the Encrypt contents to secure data option.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

When you need to access your hidden 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.

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

When you make your folder invisible, rather than hiding them, you won’t have to go through folder options to unhide your folder. On the downside, someone may discover your invisible folder by accident.

To make an invisible folder, you have to do two things: remove the folder name and make the folder icon transparent.

To clear the folder name in Windows 7:

  1. Select the folder and press F2.
  2. Then hold the ALT key while typing the numbers 0160 using the number pad.
  3. Hit Enter and the folder name should be gone.

The above method doesn’t seem to work in Windows 10 or 11.

To remove the folder name in Windows 10 or 11:

  1. Select a desktop folder and press F2 (to rename it).
  2. Then right-click the existing name and choose Insert Unicode control character.
  3. From the list, select NADS.
  4. Finally, click any empty spot on the desktop.

To make the folder icon invisible:

  1. Right-click your folder and select Properties.
  2. Switch to the Customize tab and click the Change Icon… button.
  3. You can find several blank icons in the default Windows icon collection. Select one, click OK, then click Apply in the Properties window. This might require a couple of tries until you succeed.

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.

3. Hide a Drive in Windows

Hiding an entire drive is probably the best option if you want to avoid accidental discovery.

  1. Press the Windows key, type Disk Management, and hit Enter.
  2. Right-click the drive you’d like to hide and select Change Drive Letter and Paths…
  3. Select the drive letter and click Remove.
  4. A warning will pop up, click Yes.

When you now head into File Explorer > This PC, you won’t be able to locate the drive under Devices and drives.

If you’d like to make the drive visible again, follow the steps above up until step 3, then, in the Change Drive Letter and Paths window, click Add… to re-assign a drive letter.3 Quick & Easy Ways to Hide a Folder in Windows 7

4. Use the Command Prompt to Hide Files and Folders

If you’re comfortable using the command prompt, this may be the best method for you. It’s definitely the most effective one, short of using encryption or a third-party tool.

  1. Press Windows + R to launch the Run menu.
  2. Enter cmd and hit Enter.
  3. Navigate to your target folder or file using the CD and DIR commands.
  4. To hide a file or folder, use the following command:
attrib +h "replace this with target file or directory name"
  1. To show a hidden file or folder, type this command:
attrib -h "replace this with target file or directory name"

After using the command in step 4, check for your file or folder using the File Explorer; you won’t be able to find the hidden item. Even when you go back to the command prompt and run the DIR command, it should have disappeared from the list. Yet, when you run the command in step 5, it’ll magically reappear.

5. Hide Folders With My Lockbox

My Lockbox is a third-party 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, you’re limited to one hidden folder, 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.

In the My Lockbox Control Panel, you can access additional options, for example, to set trusted applications allowed to access your folder or to create hotkeys.

Happy learning!