Most operating systems do not consider it necessary to show all files to their users, for the sake of their safety, at least. In Windows, you can also hide not only files, but also folders, and even entire disks. This trick is regularly used by advanced users. If initially the function was a systemic one to protect service files from accidental deletion, now this way confidentiality is ensured: often you need to hide certain information from other users.
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Suppose that you want to hide some files or folders, or even drives, or see them in Windows 10. What if one of the default tools doesn’t work? Let’s take a look at all the ways in which you can hide or find a hidden file, folder and drive on your computer.
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How to make a file or folder hidden in Windows
Using the “Explorer” menu
Open up “Conductor” Windows and select all files and folders you want to hide. Click on the button Hide Selected Itemsto hide them.
The icons for hidden files will become dimmer.
To return to the previous mode of displaying these elements, use the same button again.
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Using the Folder Options menu
This method worked in Windows 8.1 and earlier versions of the operating system. Open up “Conductor”but this time right click on any folder where you want to hide files and folders.
We need a parameter “Properties”…
In the tab “General” you will find the attribute “Hidden”… Activate it to hide the selected folder with files in it.
Repeat the same process and uncheck this box to show the hidden file folders you previously selected.
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How to hide (show) a hidden folder or file in Windows
Using the “Explorer” menu
Open up “Conductor”… In the tab “View” you can find the checkbox “Hidden items”… Activate this box and you will be able to see all hidden files and folders inside the directory you are in.
This menu was added in the version of the program for Windows 10. Previously, you had to go to the properties of folders to give permission to display hidden files and folders. When you finish working with the desired catalog, simply uncheck the box and the hidden elements will disappear again.
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Using the Control Panel
If for some reason the above method doesn’t work for you, there is another way. Press the keys Win + Sto open the search menu, search for “Control Panel” and open it.
In the search box already “Control panels” find “Conductor”…
You will see the item “Explorer Options”…
In the tab “View” activate the required option Show hidden files, folders and drives or “Do not show hidden files, folders and drives”… Click on Apply and OK…
It is important to understand that this is a universal setting, meaning the ability to show or hide hidden files, folders and drives everywhere, and not just in the folder that you are viewing. If you want to perform specific actions on a specific folder, then follow the first method.
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Using the registry
We do not recommend using this option until you try the others. It is worth resorting to working with the registry if other options do not work. In order to find and open the registry editor, press the key combination Win + Rto open the window “Run”, then enter the command regedit and press “Enter” to run the application.
Now navigate to the specified registry key:
Computer HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer Advanced
Double click on the parameter Hidden in the right window pane and set the value 1to show hidden files, folders and drives, or 2to hide them.
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How to reliably hide a specific file or folder so that they cannot be seen using the usual (above) methods
Pay attention to this unusual trick. Hiding a file or folder using the command below from a terminal window will more reliably hide the object. This means that no user will be able to view the hidden file or folder even if the corresponding attribute is changed from the folder options. This provides you with an extra layer of security because anyone with access to your computer can view files and folders using their properties and attributes function.
Make a note of the path to the file you want to hide in the first place. You can copy it from the explorer search bar.
Now run the CMD application (command line) with administrator rights
and enter a command like this:
attrib C:Users<имя пользователя>PicturesDownloadsfilename.png +s +h
In our case, we got the command:
attrib C:UsersYablykDocumentsSecret +s +h
Note: This method does not support Cyrillic characters, which means that the file or folder must have a name consisting of Latin letters or numbers without spaces.
Be sure to change the username to the name from your computer and the further part of the path up to filename.png to the path to the file you need with its correct extension.
Attribute + s will tell the operating system that this is a system file that needs to be protected, and + h will tell the file to be hidden forever.
You can use this same command to hide the folder. And to display the file or folder again, use the minus sign (-s -h).
attrib C:UsersYablykDocumentsSecret -s -h
We suggest that you first practice on a temporary file, because you obviously do not want to lose access to an important file / folder.
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How to hide an entire drive in Windows
You can hide the entire drive using Registry Editor. This cannot be done in the control panel or in the folder options menu.
Open Registry Editor and navigate to the specified registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Policies Explorer
Click on the blank space on the right and select Create → Parameter DWORD (32 bits)…
Give the parameter a name NoDrives, save it and then double-click it to edit it.
In chapter Calculus system select an option Decimal… And as The values enter the number of the disk you want to hide. How do you find the disk number, you ask, because it is usually represented in the form of an alphabet letter, C or D?
This can actually be done quite easily. Letter A corresponds to the number 1, Letter B to 2, C is equal to 4, D is equal to 8, and so on. Each letter has a doubled number of the previous letter. It is not hard to guess that drive E will correspond to the number 16. This number must be entered as the value of the specified registry parameter.
But what if you want to hide several different drives? Just add their numbers and enter the resulting number. For example, if you want to hide disks A and D, then add 1 to 8. Parameter NoDrives should be equal to 9. Do not forget to save the registry value and restart your computer.
To map the drive (s) again, simply delete the NoDrives entry you created above.
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Third Party Applications
There are a number of third-party applications on the market that can help you easily manage, hide or show files, folders and drives on your Windows 10 computer. These applications have a number of additional features that we will discuss.
The first program is Secret Disk, which creates a hidden and password-protected virtual disk on your computer to save confidential files and folders. The basic version of the application is free, and its functionality is sufficient for most users.
The second application is My Lockbox, which adds its own icon to the desktop. Using the icon, you can quickly hide or show files and folders anywhere. The program works with keyboard shortcuts. The free version can lock a single folder with an unlimited number of subdirectories and files inside.
There are other apps that can help you hide files, folders, and drives in Windows 10, but that should be enough to keep things organized. In this operating system, there are several ways to hide information, it all depends on which files or folders you are trying to hide and how. You can choose one of the methods we have proposed, just make sure that you clearly understand all the difficulties that you may face.