Every one of us has some personal files and they should be kept safe, out of reach from other users. Therefore we search the internet for some file locking/hiding software without which our PC acts as a door without a lock. In this article, I will walk you through the process of how to hide a folder in Windows 10 without any third party software.
Don’t worry, hiding file in windows is not a difficult task. Windows have given us the provision but finely wrapped it out of our sight. We can hide any files completely and nobody will have a trace on them with Windows alone and we don’t need any 3rd party tools. However, you can always access them when you want. I am sharing a complete sequence of action to unwrap these provision in this article by which you will be able to hide your files without any trace regardless of any 3rd party software.
How To Hide a File/Folder in Windows 10
At first, we apply our common hiding technique and that is, open the directory where the file/folder is located. Right click on the file or folder and select properties. Then select “Hidden” and click on apply, then Ok.
Changing The Folder Option Settings
After that, we go to “Folder Option” under the tools menu and select “Don’t show hidden files, folder or drives”. However, this is a childish play, anyone can change the “Folder Option” settings and get access to your files. Now the question is how to restrict other users from accessing the “Folder Option” menu? The answer is just Disable it.
Disable The Folder Option
You can’t find any option to hide the “Folder Option” through the user interface of Windows. Therefore we have to use some tweaks. We need to edit some value in Windows registry. Windows Registry is a set of instructions which acts as the brain of Windows. Before executing any command or application, Windows first checks the Registry for the settings of that application and then executes. We can edit Registry value through Registry Editor. But we need to be careful while handling the Registry, any unwise move can ruin our system.
Open the “Run” box ( Windows logo key + R) and type “Regedit” and hit the enter key. The registry editor will appear. Locate the following key-path. “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\Explorer“. Now create a DWORD value from the edit menu, with the name “NoFolderOptions” and set its value to 1 (decimal). Now restart your computer to affect the changes. If you want to re-activate the “Folder Option” menu, just change the value from 1 to 0.
Only disabling of folder option can’t guarantee you utmost privacy. Anyone who knows this tweak can easily solve the issue. So you have to block or disable the registry editor to prevent unwanted access of registry editor.
Disable The Registry Editor
There are two methods for Disabling the Registry Editor.
Disable Registry Editor Using Registry
Now you are here for disabling the Windows Registry Editor. Open the Registry Editor again and follow the following key-path. “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\System“. Now create a DWORD value with the name “DisableRegistryTools” and set its value to 1 (decimal).
Disable Registry Editor Using “gpedit.msc”
Press Windows logo key and R together to open Run box. Type “gpedit.msc” without quotes, to open gpedit application. There on the left side, you will find “User Configuration“, double-click on it. Under “User Configuration you will find “Administrative Template“, double-click on it. Under “Administrative Template” there is “System” folder. Now come to the right side, scroll down the list and you will find ” Prevent Access To Registry Editing Tool” option. Open it and you will see 3 option lying there on the upper left side, Not Configured, Enabled and Disabled.
If you choose Enabled option and save the settings by clicking ok button, every time other users try to open “regedit” a message will be displayed saying “Registry editing has been disabled by your administrator” and will be unable to open Regedit. To enable Registry Editor just select either “Not configured” or “Disabled” option.
Therefore we know now that disabled Registry Editor can be enabled from “gpedit.msc” application. Any computer geek can easily enable registry editor with a few clicks. So we need to deal with the “gpedit.msc” application.
Rename The “gpedit.msc” File
Under the System32 directory, you will find the “gpedit.msc” file. Just rename it with a different name. When other users see that the Registry Editor is disabled, they run a search for “gpedit.msc” file to restore the Registry Editor. But they find nothing as it is there with a different name. However, you can always use “gpedit.msc” file with the new name you gave.
So, these are some handful of methods for how to hide a folder in windows 10 without any third party software. I believe that, there will be others too. If you find one, feel free to share your story with us.