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fully free software utilities for biz use - discussion

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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.

Sweet! :)

This application is a joke IMHO.

Hiding folders is done by using Windows environment mechanisms: folders are renamed to RECYCLER˙˙ and have attributes set to system and hidden. This way they are not visible in explorer (and cmd.exe) but their content can be easily seen in Total Commander. What is even worse: files are not even encrypted!

Of course, this application needs password but only for making it possible to uninstall. It's so called "security through obscurity".

This would be a nice tool if it could encrypt data but default installation doesn't do that.

P.S. Maybe there are more options for hiding but default installation shown what I wrote above. I assume that other tools rely on explorer functionality too much and get blinded. Try TC then :)


CrystalDiskInfo -
CrystalDiskMark - a disk benchmark software
CrystalCPUID - a CPU utility software
CrystalMark 2004R3 - a 32bit total benchmark software

Software License Information @

All of my softwares are freeware. A part of my software is distributed under The modified BSD license.

All of my softwares can be freely distributed.
--- End quote ---

Steven Avery:
Hi Folks,

Image utility section opens up with Imagine and Resize.  Rainlendar joins ToDoList and Task Coach in the ToDo, Reminder, Calendar section.

Crystal a nice find, should mosey in on a soon-update.  Sometimes a good one takes a while to make the list, which has its own dynamic of addition.



I use TrueCrypt and rename the file to something else, but there's also AxCrypt (  I'm not sure how well it works, but it's an option...


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