Do you have files on your PC’s disk drive that you would prefer to keep secret? Are there documents that contain personal information, passwords, login details, your finances and so on? Hide them and protect your privacy.

Windows provides a facility to hide files and folders on the disk drive and this can prevent others from accessing them. All you need to do is set the Hidden file attribute.

On a security scale of 1 to 10, this technique probably rates about a 4. It is a simple technique that will fool non-technical people, but it is not perfect and experts can find a way around it.

However, it is better than leaving your files completely unprotected for all to see and there are better ways to hide your files, but it is a good first step.

Here is a step-by-step guide for Windows 10 users.

Find your files


Select the files

Click one file or click and drag the mouse over several files to select them. Click the View tab and then click Hide selected files.


Disappearing files

The file(s) you selected are now hidden. Notice that Explorer says “This folder is empty.” This is sufficient to fool many people into thinking that there are no files here. They won’t realise that there are hidden files and they are consequently safe from prying eyes.


Show the files

Suppose you want to open those documents, view the images and so on. All you need to do is to click the View tab in Explorer and then tick Hidden items.


The files appear. They have a slight gray appearance, and this is to indicate that they are hidden. They work just like regular files and you can open them, edit them, print them and so on.

After you have finished using them, return to the View tab and clear the tick next to Hidden items. The files will disappear again.

To put the files back as they were right at the start, repeat steps 1, 2 and 3, only this time, clear the Hidden attribute instead of setting it.

Author: Roland Waddilove. Roland is a freelance writer covering Windows PC, Apple Mac, iOS, and Android. He can be found at