1. Hide Individual Files/Folders On Windows 10 Using the Command Line
A simple way to hide a file or folder is to change its attributes using the attrib command on the command line. Unsure about using the Windows 10 Command Prompt? Here are our top tips for getting started with the Command Prompt.
Let’s say you want to hide the Sample.mp4 file in the ToHide folder as shown below.
Open the Command Prompt by pressing Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box. Then, type cmd.exe in the Open box and click OK.
At the prompt, type the following command. Replace the path and file name with the path and file name for the file you want to hide.
attrib C:\Users\Lori\Documents\ToHide\Sample.mp4 +s +h
The +s and +h are the attributes you set for the file. The +s attribute is the System file attribute and indicates the file is for use by the operating system and is not normally displayed in a directory listing. The +h is the Hidden file attribute and indicates the file will not be displayed in a directory listing by default.
The attributes in the command are not case sensitive, so you can use either lowercase or uppercase.
When you open the folder in File Explorer that contains the hidden file or folder, it will not be visible. Even going to View > Show/hide and checking the Hidden items box will not show the hidden file or folder.
You can also hide a folder using the attrib command in the following way. Again, replace the path and the folder name with your own.
attrib C:\Users\Lori\Documents\ToHide\AnotherFolder +s +h
To unhide a file or folder, use the same attrib command, replacing the “+” with “–” in front of the “s” and “h” attributes.
attrib C:\Users\Lori\Documents\ToHide\Sample.mp4 -s -h
To learn more about the attrib command, type attrib /? at the command prompt and press Enter.
2. Hide Windows 10 Folders Using File Explorer
Using File Explorer to hide a folder is like using the attrib command described in the previous section, but it’s less secure. Anyone who knows about showing and hiding hidden files in File Explorer can access your files. But if you’re trying to hide data from other family members who are not as tech-savvy as you are, this can work just fine. Hiding files and folders isn’t the only trick the File Explorer has up its sleeve, either. Check out the best File Explorer tricks and tips to take control of your file management.
You can set the Hidden attribute for the selected files or folder in File Explorer. But, first, you need to make sure files and folders with the Hidden attribute do not show in File Explorer. To do this, go to View tab > Options and select Change folder and search options.
On the View tab, select Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives under Advanced settings and click OK.
To hide one or more files or folders, select the files or folders, right-click on them, and select Properties.
On the General tab on the Properties dialog box, check the Hidden box in the Attributes section. To prevent the files or folders from appearing in Windows search results, click Advanced.
Then, uncheck the boxes in the File attributes section of the Advanced Attributes dialog box and click OK.
To unhide the files or folder, go back to the Properties dialog box for the files or folders in question, and uncheck the Hidden box in the Attributes section.
3. Hide Entire Drives on Windows 10 Using the Registry Editor
This method hides an entire drive instead of just selected files or folders on the drive.
Note: This procedure involves changing the registry. Before you begin, I strongly suggest you back up your registry. You should also check out our tips for not accidentally messing up the Windows registry.
If you’re not comfortable using the Windows registry or are unsure as to what the Windows Registry even is, you can find another method for hiding an entire drive in the Hide Entire Drives Using the Disk Management Utility section below.
To begin, open the Registry Editor by pressing Windows key+R to open the Run dialog box. Then, type regedit in the Open box and click OK.
Navigate to the following key in the left pane.
Right-click on the Explorer key and go to New > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Name the new value NoDrives and then double-click on it.
On the Edit DWORD (32-bit) Value dialog box, select Decimal as the Base. Then, enter a number that corresponds to the drive or drives, you want to hide. To find out which number to use, see the table below the following image.
Find the letter for the drive you want to hide in the table below. Enter the number associated with that drive letter in the Value data box for the NoDrives value in the registry. In our example, I entered 64 to hide my G: drive.
If you want to hide more than one drive, add the numbers for all the drive letters you want to hide and enter the total in the Value data box.
After you restart your computer, you will not see the drive in File Explorer.
To show the drive again, go back into the Registry Editor and delete the NoDrives value under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer key and restart your computer again.