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How to hide a folder on Windows 10

Some folders on Windows 10 are hidden by default. These folders are hidden by the system so that users do not accidentally delete them or modify them. They’re easy to unhide and even the special system folders that are hidden can be shown by making a small change in the Folder options. If you’d like to hide a folder of your own, you can. It is exceptionally easy to do. Here’s how.

Hide a folder

Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder you want to hide. There are two ways of hiding a folder. You can go to the View tab and click the ‘Hide selected items’ button. This will hide the folder. Clicking this same button again will unhide. This works if you want to make the process quick, however, if you’re hiding the folder and also do not want any of the files in it to be indexed by Windows Search, you’re going to have to use the second method to hide a folder.

Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder you’d like to hide. Right-click it and select Properties from the context menu. On the Properties window, go to the General tab. Select ‘Hidden’ under Attributes and then click the Advanced button next to it. A second window will open. On this window, uncheck the ‘Allow files in this folder to have contents indexed in addition to file properties’ option. Click OK, and then Apply.

The folder will be hidden and its contents will not show up under Windows Search. Its size will still be counted towards disk usage so, if you’ve hidden a particularly large folder and someone does the maths, they will be able to figure out that there is substantial space that’s unaccounted for.

Once you’ve created a hidden folder, make sure you choose to hide hidden items. You can do this by unchecking the ‘Hidden items’ checkbox on the View tab in File Explorer.

Showing hidden files is really easy on Windows 10 so this isn’t going to offer you a lot of security. It’s a good way to keep files from being tampered with by accident but if you’re looking to lock people out of a folder, creating a password-protected archive file might be a better solution. If you create hidden folders, make sure you also have a system in place to remember that you created them, as well as a way to find them later. They can be unhidden easily but you will still need to know the location of a folder if you want to access it, hidden or not.

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