Hide Files and Folders In Windows 7

You can hide files and folders in Windows 7 so they are not easily viewable by snoops or family and friends. This is a great way to conceal notes, passwords and other things you do not want out in the open. This is a solution for the casual user. It will not stop an experienced user that knows they are looking for something. But it is a free option to protect documents of minimal importance.

Make A Folder Hidden In Windows

This technique works in most versions of Windows. The concept is to change the file or folder’s attributes to make it “hidden.” Unless Windows is configured to view hidden folders, the folder will essentially disappear. Microsoft uses this method to hide important system files they do not want the casual user to accidentally delete.

To do this, create a folder and name it whatever you want.

hidden folder attribute

Next, right-click the folder and tick the box for the Hidden attribute. Once you click OK, the folder and all of its contents will disappear. If it does not, this means Windows is configured to view hidden files, so you’ll need to turn off that ability.

Change View or Hide Folder Options

To change these options in Windows 7, open any folder and then click the drop down arrow beside the Organize button at the top of the Window. Next, select Folder and Search Options in the menu.

folder options to hide or show hidden files or folders in Windows

Then under the View tab, look for the Hidden files and folders option and toggle the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” or “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives” on or off, depending whether you want to reveal or hide your folders.

In Conclusion

Changing a folder’s attribute is an easy way to hide a folder, but it can be circumvented by someone who knows what they are doing and knows to look for a folder you have hidden. You can bury the folder you want to hide deeper into a directory to make it more difficult to locate. If you do that in addition to hiding the folder, it should give you some privacy.