How to hide files on Windows 11

Want to prevent files from being viewed? We’ll show you the ropes

Our Windows computers are great for accessing files and folders instantly, but it’s not always to our advantage. Sometimes, there are things on our PC that we don’t want to look at. Search tools like File Explorer can make any file visible with just a few characters, but interestingly, there are a number of settings you can make to hide certain files and folders. Here are our several ways to find the bytes stored in Windows 11.

How to hide files and folders in File Explorer

If you just need to hide one file or folder, and you don’t care about the person searching for the contents of the Windows taskbar (don’t worry, we’ll take care of this later), there is a very simple solution. right-click the option to hide Windows 11 files and folders in File Explorer.

  1. Open File Explorer from the Windows taskbar or Start menu. You can also launch the program with the Windows + E keyboard shortcut.
  2. Find the folder or file you want to hide, then right-click it.
  3. Click Properties, or use the keyboard shortcut Alt + Enter.
  4. Place a check in the Hidden box (below the dropdown), then click OK.
  5. You should see a pop-up that asks if you want to Apply updates to this folder only or Apply updates to this folder, subfolders, and files.
  6. When you’re done applying your changes, click OK.

How to view hidden files and folders

Just because your files and folders are hidden from view doesn’t mean File Explorer can’t find them. Here’s how to check all your hidden files with File Explorer:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click View at the top of the File Explorer window.
  3. Click Show (which is below the next drop that appears).
  4. Click Hidden Objects in the list of options that appear.
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How to prevent File Explorer from showing hidden files and folders

File Explorer can also be configured so that hidden files or folders are not visible when you search for them.

  1. Open File Explorer and run a search for any file or folder, or click the first one you see.
  2. Tap the three-dot button at the top of the screen.
  3. On the Folder Options menu, click View.
  4. Make sure that the option Do not show hidden files, folders, or drives is checked.

How to hide files and folders with the Settings menu

One of the easiest ways to find files and folders in Windows 11 is to type the file name or add it to the search box in the taskbar. Fortunately, you will be able to train your OS to stop looking at things you don’t want to be seen. Here’s how:

  1. Click the Settings app (located in the Start menu).
  2. Click Privacy and Security.
  3. Click Search Windows.
  4. On the next screen, go to Exclude Folders under the search menu, then click Exclude Folder.
  5. You should be taken to the Desktop Search menu. Find or search for the file or folder you want to hide from the search results, then click Select Folder.
  6. You’re done! Continue searching for the hidden file or folder to make sure it’s not found.

If you want to make these files or folders visible again, repeat the first three steps. Once you’re on the unlisted screen, click the three-dot icon next to your hidden file/folder, then click Delete.

How to use PowerShell to encrypt files and folders

Windows PowerShell is a Microsoft automation tool that allows you to write various commands to run your OS. Here’s how you can use this app to hide files and folders.

  1. Click the Start button
  2. Start the PowerShell search, then click Run as administrator.
  3. With PowerShell open, key in the following text and press Enter after each completed line:
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$FILE=Find-Item “path to folder” -Enable

$FILE.Attributes=”Hidden” $FILE=Find-Attributes ”C:Users/machine/images/dogs” -Force

The first of these two commands will tell your computer where to find the file or folder, and the words “path to the folder” should be replaced with the exact name of the folder and its location. The final command should look like this:

The second command (“hidden”) hides the folder.

You will also need to run the last command if you want to hide all the files stored in the selected folder.

Get-ChildItem -path “path to folder” -Recurse -Force | front {$_.attributes = “Hidden”}

How to hide files and folders through indexing

You can also change the operating system in Windows 11 to not show certain types of files. This can be very useful in situations where you don’t want your PC to return the result of additional file formats (such as MOVs, FLACs, PNGs, etc.).

  1. Enable Search Indexing options in the Windows taskbar.
  2. On the next screen, click Advanced.
  3. Go to the File Types tab and find the additional file type you want to hide.
  4. Remove the check from the check box and click OK.

How to hide an entire drive in Windows 11

Finally, you can use the Disk Management tool to hide any type of file and folder on the entire disk. This is a risky option, however, you should remember that programs and other devices will not work as they should if the necessary requirements are not available.

  1. Start the Disk Management search in the Windows taskbar.
  2. Hover over the drive you want to change and right click.
  3. Click Change Drive Letter and Options.
  4. Select the drive you want to hide and click Remove.
  5. Click Yes on the Windows warning that appears.
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How to hide files and folders

Not all files and folders have to be invisible forever. When you’re ready to unhide media on your Windows machine, here’s how to do it:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click View.
  3. Click Show, then click Hidden Items.
  4. Right-click the file or folder you want to unhide, then click Properties.
  5. Click General (located at the top of the Properties menu).
  6. Remove the Hidden password.
  7. Click OK.

You will be asked if you want to apply these changes to the folder, its subfolders, and all the files within it. Make your choice, then click OK.

Stay away from Windows products

As you can see, hiding files and folders in Windows 11 is a simple process that only takes a minute or two to start. If you want this to appear again, changing this is as easy as creating it in the first place.

In addition to the methods described above, you can also use a number of backup services to protect your Windows data. In fact, one such tool is made for Windows 11. Known as BitLocker, you will be able to use this program to encrypt all the volumes of your Windows system. If your PC is lost, stolen, or temporarily disabled, BitLocker enabled can prevent others from accessing your computer’s contents.

Oh, and here’s a fun fact: Did you know that Windows 11 also hides files and folders from you, and to you? Don’t be mad at your laptop! These are important files that contain Windows OS hardware. If you stumble upon one of these files while reading your system’s hidden information (they’ll probably be called SYSTEM or BOOT, followed by a bunch of random characters), skip them. Moving or deleting one of these files can immediately cause your problem in Windows 11.

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