On several occasion, we need to hide files and folders from the access of others. Though there are various ways of hiding files and folders, we will discuss only about some very easy and user friendly ways of doing this, so that anyone can understand this.
Here I will discuss about those ways only where the process of hiding is fast and you don’t need to connect to the internet to unhide those files and folders in order to access them.
Hiding Files and Folders on Computer Hard Disk
In order to hide all your secret and confidential files/folders, utility software like My Lockbox and Winmend are very handy and user friendly as well. The free edition of My Lockbox can lock one folder but if you wish to hide multiple files or folders on your hard disk, use the free Winmend utility. This is absolutely free and here you have the option to hide folders as well as individual files and someone will have to know your password to access the hidden files/folders.
Hiding Files and Folders by Camouflage
This is also a very useful technique of hiding confidential files/folders. The concept behind this is that if you camouflage the files/folders you want to hide by folder that resembles the Recycle Bin or Control Panel or Fonts folder, others will hardly be interested in opening them. Even if they open this camouflaged folders, they’ll open the folder corresponding to their appearance but if you open the same folder through Disguise Folders, it will reveal the actual content of that folder.
All you need to do is, download a free Windows utility software, Disguise Folders and run the app. This is how it works:
• Select the folder you want to camouflage by clicking on the Disguise button. Let’s say you want to disguise ‘Secret Folder’.
• Next select what you would like to hide it as. Let’s say you select Windows Update.
• Click Disguise Now.
• You will see your Secret Folder being replaced by Windows Update!
Hiding Files using the Steganography Technique
Another very good option to hide files and folder on your computer is steganography – it’s like embedding documents, images, and other files into another unsuspecting file – like your kid’s photograph. This is one way of fooling others.
The conceptual idea is that you can embed your private files into another file which could be a JPEG image or an MP3 audio file. When someone double-clicks these “container” files, the image or MP3 will open in the default media player but internally, they will hold all your private files. You can hide your secret image files inside a regular MP3 folder using simple copy command.
Alternatively, you can make use of the free utility software called Our Secret. It works like this. You pick a carrier file – it could be a JPEG image or an audio file – and then select one or more private files that you want to hide inside the carrier file. The next step is optional but you can also encrypt the contained files with a password. Your private files will be secretly bundled inside the carrier JPEG (or MP3) and only when you re-open this carrier file inside Our Secret, the hidden files will be decoded.
Most Secure Way of Hiding Files and Folders
While all the above utilities and processes do a decent job of hiding your files and folders on your computer, they aren’t the most secure choices available as they lack encryption. If you are really serious about protecting your files, you should use a powerful encryption software like TrueCrypt or SafeHouse Explorer.
Undoubtedly SafeHouse Explorer is more user-friendly. You need to first download and launch either of the two softwares. SafeHouse, it creates a hidden storage area (or an encrypted volume) on your hard disk to hold all your private files and folders. The size of this volume can be adjusted based on your requirements.
Here is a Video Tutorial on SafeHouse.