This is usually applied to sensitive data such as system files and user preferences to prevent any edits or changes. It also helps when you want to conceal any information from prying eyes. While there are many applications that claim to securely hide folders, some cause problems within the operating system. For example, in case of a system crash, will the hidden folders be backed up by the folder hiding application? Windows offers a very simple method for hiding folders. Simply right-click on a folder, select Properties, select the Hidden box in Attributes and click OK. The option to hide all subsequent sub-folders and contained files will also be presented. Your folder will now be hidden from public viewing. You can disable the Hidden attribute by deselecting the box. The folder thus reverts back to its visible status.
This is very weak protection since the “protected” folders are still easily viewable. To view any hidden folders (including any system folders), simply go to the Windows Explorer menu. Select Tools > Folder Options and go
to View. Click on Show Hidden Folders and Files and then Apply To All Folders. This will make all hidden files visible. It should also be noted that Windows allows you to navigate to hidden folders. Simply type the name of the folder in the address bar after the name of the drive and voila.
If they’re so easy to uncover, why hide a folder when you can just encrypt it? Simple: You can’t want what you can’t see. It should never become an either/or choice because you can never be too careful. However, a hidden folder lays in ambiguity. As long as someone doesn’t know about it, they won’t bother looking for it. However, a password protected folder that is visible screams “important data” and will tempt people to take a crack at it. The best solution is to encrypt and then hide important folders for double security. Simply don’t forget the password and you should be fine. On a side-note, malware often uses the hidden folder options to escape detection. Keep this in mind when running
virus scans and having the choice to scan hidden folders as well.