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How You Can Hide Files to Keep Your Privacy: 5 Easy Ways

Hidden files are files on a computer that don’t appear when listing or browsing. A standard file or folder with the “hidden” option is a hidden file or folder. Operating systems conceal these files by default, so you can use this approach to hide specific files if you share a system with someone else. By reading this guide, you will be able to know, How you can hide files to keep your privacy in 5 easy ways.

A hidden file is mainly utilized to prevent against unintentional deletion of crucial data. Hiding your folders and files is an innovative and simple way to improve your security if you have the essential information you wouldn’t want others to see. 

You might want to hide some folders and files if you share your computer with others to prevent snoopers from accessing your data. It’s crucial to understand that files can also be hidden with the assistance of software or other instructions. You need access to the application used to lock these files to view them. Additionally, files may contain access restrictions only the administrator can grant that permit or disallow users from seeing them. 

Top 5 easy ways to hide and unhide files 

How You Can Hide Files to Keep Your Privacy: 5 Easy Ways

Below listed and explained are the five most popular techniques to hide files on a computer. 

1. Using Windows file explorer.

Your files are accessible to anyone aware of how to show and hide hidden files in File Explorer. However, this can be ideal if you’re seeking to hide data from friends or relatives who are less tech-savvy than you. A “system file” is a different class of hidden files or folders in Windows. The ability to access system files and folders is a separate function. 

You may use the following method to hide a file or folder: 

  1. Find the file or folder you wish to hide by opening a Windows Explorer or File Explorer window.  
  2. Right-click and select Properties. 
  3. On the General tab of the Properties window, select the Hidden checkbox.  
  4. Your file or folder will be hidden once you click OK or Apply. 

The hidden file or folder can be unhidden by checking the Hidden objects checkbox under Show/hide on the View tab of the ribbon at the top of the File Explorer window. You can readily distinguish between hidden files and folders from those that are ordinarily visible since hidden files and folders have partially transparent icons. 

2. Use the Windows command line

  1. Click Windows key + R to display the Run dialog box. 
  2. Click OK after entering cmd in the Open field. 
  3. Enter the following command at the command prompt. 
  4. “C:\Users\Test\Test\Desktop\TestFolder\TestFile.txt +s +h” 
  5. The directory and file name for the file you want to hide should be substituted in place of the originals. 

The file attribute is marked as a system file with the +s option. 

The +h option hides the file attribute, so the user cannot see it. 

Use the attrib command once more to reveal a hidden file or folder, but this time simply swap out the “+” with “-” in front of the “s” and “h” attributes. 

3. Use Windows Disk Management Utility

Using Windows’ Disk Management tool, you may potentially make a disk completely invisible. This software displays all the internal and external drives attached to your computer. 

To hide the drive: 

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing the Windows key, and R. then click OK after typing diskmgmt.msc in the Open box. 
  2. Modify Drive Letter and Paths by right-clicking the drive you wish to conceal (in the top or bottom area). 
  3. Choose the drive letter, click Remove, and then click OK on the Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog box. 
  4. When you remove a drive letter, some programs may not run properly, according to a warning dialog box that appears. Clicking Yes will erase the drive letter if you’re confident you would like to hide the drive. 

The drive won’t be displayed or shown in Windows search results once File Explorer is closed and reopened. 

Enter the Disk Management tool once more to restore the drive’s visibility: 

  1. Launch the hidden drive’s Change Drive Letter and Paths dialog box.  
  2. Next, select Add. 
  3. Ensure the option to assign the following drive letter is chosen (it should be by default). 
  4. Choose the drive letter you want to assign from the dropdown list, then click OK. 

4. Using Linux file manager

Linux hides any files and directories that begin with a period. Simply rename a file or folder and add a period to the beginning of the name to make it invisible. Let’s take the scenario where you wished to conceal a “Template” folder as an example. You would change the name to “.Template” with a period in front. By default, file managers and other tools will obscure it. 

Select the “Show hidden” option in your preferred file manager to access hidden files and folders on Linux. 

5. Third-party software

All of the proposed techniques fall short of the level of security provided by concealing and password-protecting files and folders. Below are some recommended alternatives of third-party applications for installing and hiding files. 

  • My Lockbox 
  • FileFriend 
  • Wise Folder 
  • Secret Disk 
  • Easy File Locker 

Top 5 FAQs and answers related to How you can hide files to keep your privacy

hide files

Below are five frequently asked questions (FAQs) on why you should hide files, followed by appropriate answers. 

What exactly is a hidden file? 

When the hidden property is enabled on a file, it prevents users from seeing it when browsing or listing files. 

I attempted to unlock a file or folder, but an error message appeared. What can I do? 

Ensure no other process is using the desired file or folder. To help the software restore the files, you can also attempt to construct the directories manually. 

My hidden files and folders are not visible in the “Hide Files” section. What is the issue? 

The same Windows installation must be used. “Hide Files” cannot display and unlock the files/folders if Windows has been reinstalled or the Windows Registry has been cleared. If this isn’t your situation, you can try using Windows System Restore to return to an earlier installation point. 

I attempted to lock a file or folder, but an error warning appeared. What should I do? 

The Windows service or another application shouldn’t use the files or folders you want to lock. 

Can other computer users use Windows safe mode or the command line to access my hidden files? 

Most users cannot access the hidden files without extensive technical knowledge. 

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