There are times when you need to hide a folder (or folders) on a PC.
Interestingly enough, it's a lot harder to do than you'd think under Windows.
Obvious uses for hidden folders may come to mind immediately. But once you get past tucking your collection of Curious JPEGs for the Discriminating Connoisseur
safely out of sight, you might want to consider some other good uses for a hidden folder. You could store your financial or other personal information in a hidden folder. Or your password list. Or you accounting backups. Possibly even your supplemental collections of Curious JPEGs for the Discriminating Connoisseur
since you're a subscriber!
There are several commercial apps that will do this. Most of them are bundled into a suite with other security applications you may not need. There are also various hacks you can do to make something disappear from WinExplorer. But they all involve registry tweaking or other ill-advised maneuvers.
A company called Cleanersoft
) makes a nice little free utility called (appropriately enough) Free Hide Folder
that does exactly that. This is a true hide utility. Once hidden, folders cannot be found by Windows Explorer, nor are they visible from the command prompt. This is an important distinction, since many freeware file hiders only keep things invisible on the GUI level.
Free Hide Folder can optionally be set up to require a password in order to use it.
I created a folder (cleverly called) Secret Folders containing two subfolders. One I want to be visible, and the other I want to be invisible.
Here they are in Explorer and under the command prompt:
Now I add them to Free Hide Folder's control panel and click the button to hide the first file:
And voila! Now you see it - now you don't. It's securely hidden until I run Free Hide File and make it visible again:
I'm not sure if folders protected by this utility would remain hidden from every other file utility or tool. But I tried locating the hidden folder with Everything
, the Windows search function, NexusFile
, and a few other file managers. I'm happy to report it didn't show up in any of them.
The EULA states (rather charmingly IMHO) that Free Hide Folder is a 'FREEWARE product, for commercial and not commercial use."
Registration and donations are requested, but not obligatory, as explained by the above screen which appears when you first open the app.