Hidden Windows XP and Vista Folders "How to Hide Files and Folders"

About: So what ideas would you like to try?

Many locked, private or hidden folders in Windows XP can simply be browsed or 'unlocked' and 'unhidden' by the same switches in Windows Explorer you'd used to enable the same features.

But what if I make it "invisible' or "transparent" then even if found it looks just like the background!

Try this trick on most any OS. Note this is not foolproof but along with locked, hidden and passworded/encrypted folders is very helpful and very safe from command line browsing as the directory/folder names are not "typeable" with any US keyboards...

Vista works similarly but seems to leave behind a "ghost" image?...hum...?


On the note of security don't collaborate with people you don't know about, ok? I can remove this from the face of the internet but it won't do me much good. ~llama13

'Security sux that's the point. Dude collaborate...not deface...add some value and post some results or do some test. YOU JOINED the GROUP so you get to see what I contributed to the site ...noobs... what did you post? 'ERCK

Step 1: Overview - OS Versions & Variations

Variations I've found-

Windows XP - no Media or Language support - Use ASCII codes in the name field with "num lk" keypad then 'alt'+0160 in the Name field from the Properties tab "New Folder".

Windows Media Center - varies see above or below

Windows Language support - use "right click" and insert Unicode in the 'New Folder' clear text from name field under the Properties tab.

Vista - has similar variations between ASCII, UniCodes and language options that vary by install and country of origin.

see below...read on for examples, screen shots & limitations.

Step 2: Properties - Edit Name and Icon

Edit properties (New Folder) now has a name like

from an ASCII code - <num lk>, <alt>+0160 *

  • must use numeric keypad & NOT the Number keys above qwerty!

from Unicode - Insert any non-printing character

Now let's hide the Icon!

Step 3: Appearance & Visualization

Some ways they/you can list your newly Gone files...

...hum...perhaps some reverse psychology is required here?
have these 'invisible' folders be empty. Make a Default 'New Folder' as empty but put a sub-folder inside with your files...

You cannot look at every directory with "New folder" inside it.


Step 4: Tips & Tricks

Tips & Tricks

TIP -Check for language support on toolbar...

TRICKS-always have an odd number of folders, add an extra as needed and keep that hidden one bottom right, right row.

TRICKS-Consider always having a folder called New Folder (inside it's EMPTY) add your hidden folders in this, alone, then lock and set read only bits on this New Folder.

TIPS-Remove the hidden folders from backups & archives and searches.

TIPS-Add language support on your tool bar...See embedded comments below...


Step 5: Suggestions or Ideas...

Please...any comments welcome here!

You may have to add text service below for some Unicode languages to work...

Step 6: VISTA!

Screen Shots HERE...!

Step 7: VMWare Image...

What if I distribute a public VMWare player image and you find the easter egg?



Strategies? Suggestions?

...see you later....maybe....I may not be visible!


EDITED by Hugo.B at 16:21 15/6/07GMT
Reason? To prove a point, see my comment below.
Sorry for any inconvenience, I'm not malicious.


EDITED by Erck 6/17/07 CST
Is everyone a noob here? Guys post SOMETHING ON TOPIC!
I added this to the GROUP for "c-o-l-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-i-o-n".

col·lab·o·rate (kə-lāb'ə-rāt') Pronunciation Key
intr.v. col·lab·o·rat·ed, col·lab·o·rat·ing, col·lab·o·rates

To work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort.
To cooperate treasonably, as with an enemy occupation force in one's country.

Use the former and not the later....ERCK



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    51 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i have vista home premium installed in my laptop bt i m tryin alt+0160 bt nthin is happenin!!!!!! pls help me out

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Nice article, and ghost folder trick :) I Just use Folder Vault http://www.gearboxcomputers.com. Select a folder or file, it hides it completely. Then the program can completely hide it self via stealth mode. It will also clear history when it closes. Very quick and simply, no fuss with the old ghost folder trick.

    1 reply

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Is there any way to do this without a number keypad? My stupid laptop doesn't have one; it just has the long bar of numbers at the top...

    1 reply

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I think some keys on laptop keyboards double as the numpad,as is the case with the HP Pavillion my mom has.Check for small numbers on the letters.


    11 years ago on Step 7

    This is nice. There is another way to hide data on NTFS partitions. You use Alternate data streams to fully hide the data, which can only be viewed with an ads aware application. To hide data such as text, or jpegs, or mp3's you use this command format. Run CMD at the run prompt. Then switch to the directory where the file you want to hide is located. Now type this without the quotes and substituting your filename. " type yourfile.bla > blahblah.txt:yourfile.bla" Only the txt file will show up and it can be ran or whatever but will not give away your ads file. If it is moved away from an NTFS partition the hidden file will be lost. This is for long term storage of your data, because it takes awhile to do. To get the file back just type this without the quotes and substituting your filename. " more < blahblah.txt:yourfile.bla > yourvisiblefile.bla " To hide exe files youll need a tool called cat.exe that is a Unix file, but is available as a win32 port somewhere, google it.

    2 replies

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Excellent! I like to hid data & files in these 'invisable' folders with enccrypted JPEG's. People are suckers for a pretty picture, flowers, puppies, bikini's etc... Data can be hidden inside JPEG uptp many megabytes of text, exe or others... See te free cryptobola.com Here is a pretty picture...it has my COMPLETE inventory and prices for my Amazon store, cost, sales, profits etc...safe from you guys, posted here freely, but safe and secure! E

    C:\Documents and Settings\gillisgi\My Documents\My Pictures\Adobe\Digital Camera Photos\2007-07-10-1314-01\SL030292edited.JPG

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    why not use the cmd command like the copy /c is it? Which you copy a zip to the picture. Still if it passes 2mb then a person could suspect that something is wrong with that picture.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Not secure. If you sort it then you will be able to identify the invisible folder tried it already. Why not put your folder in somewhere sneakier places. Like.... Windows folder or System32 folders or Local settings, inside application folders in program files or encrypt using truecrypt.


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Just remember never to depend on user ignorance as a form of security ;) Doing so is kinda like hiding your house key under your door mat -- the people you're not concerned with won't care to look.... but those "other" people...