Protect and hide folders, files, drives. Security tools for hiding your files, folders, and drives.

How to Hide Files and Folders

Caution! Do not hide Windows system files or folders. If a file Windows needs is hidden, and Windows cannot find the file, then Windows can become unstable and data can be damaged or lost. Certainly, this includes but is not limited to subfolders and files in the \Windows and \WinNT folders.

You can use Universal Shield's wizards to quickly hide an object (file, folder, group of files), so others cannot see the object in Windows.

Note: You may have to refresh the current view of the screen, in Windows Explorer, if the file, or folder containing a file, is currently in view when you perform a hide operation. This also applies to folders on the windows desktop.

  1. If needed, run the Universal Shield software by clicking Start > Programs > Universal Shield and clicking the Universal Shield icon, or by double-clicking the Universal Shield shortcut on your Windows desktop.
  2. If the Universal Shield Wizard does not open automatically, click the Wizard button. The Universal Shield Wizard opens.
  3. Select Hide files, folders, or disks. (You can only hide disks in Windows NT, 2000, and XP.)
  4. After you select the option you want, click Next. The Wizard leads you through the process of hiding files or folders.
  5. Choose the object you want to hide. For example, you might want to hide a Microsoft Word (*.DOC) file. Select I want to hide a file.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Select the file you want to hide.
    1. Click Add to List.
    2. In the Select File dialog box, browse to find the file you want. For testing, choose a file that is unimportant or create a file that you know you can delete without harming anything.
    3. When you find the file, click it to select it; click Open (or, double-click the file). The file you selected appears in the Universal Shield Wizard window.
    4. If you want, you could select more than one file by using Add to List.
    5. After you finish adding files, click Next.
    6. Click Finish to close the Wizard.
  8. The Universal Shield window displays the files you set to be hidden.
  9. To set the hidden property, you must ENABLE protection. Click the Unlocked button. (Notice that the lock button now displays its Locked icon. Clicking the button again would toggle the protection back to disabled, showing the Unlocked view once more.) The status bar shows whether protection is ENABLED.
  10. Notice that the window shows the visibility status-a cross in the visibility field indicates a file is hidden, whereas a check shows the file is visible.
  11. Using Windows Explorer, or My Computer, navigate to the location where the hidden file resides-it's no longer visible!-you cannot see it.
    • A file will remain hidden if it is set to be hidden, is listed in Universal Shield, and if protection is ENABLED-if you select the file and delete it from Universal Shield, then the file becomes visible in Windows again.
    • If the file is listed in Universal Shield and is hidden with protection ENABLED, you can close Universal Shield and the file will remain hidden in Windows-when you open Universal Shield again, the file will still be in the Universal Shield list.
    • Whenever you change the visibility of a file, you must refresh any open instances of Windows Explorer or My Computer, etc.-changes in visibility status are not always shown in open Windows without refreshing them, thus you might still not be able to see a file that you just made visible until you use View > Refresh to refresh the open window.

See Also


Universal Shield 4.7: Hide files, folders, and drives, and set access rules using flexible security combinations for your most precious data.

Lock Folder XP is a new security tool that lets you lock your files, folders, and drives with your personal password.

Protect Folder: Lock USB drives and local folders on the fly by protecting them with your own password.

USB Security: Secure workstations or the entire network against unauthorized USB devices.

DiskBoost: Speed up disk operation with a secure virtual RAM disk.

Using Protect Folder 98, you can password-protect your files and folders from unauthorized access by other Windows 98/ME users.

See also