Have you ever wanted to hide files right in front of someone’s eyes? With this trick, you can hide a folder in view right on the Windows 10 desktop.
While there are certainly good (and safer) ways to hide files, this quick tip is definitely a lot more fun.
Why must create invisible directory?
Have you ever needed to add a quick-access folder on your desktop without letting it get in the eye of prying eyes? You can use the encryption feature built into Windows 10 to password protect a folder. But, that folder is still technically visible. This creates curiosity that you may not want.
What if no one can see an existing directory? With invisible folders, unless you know where to click or highlight everything on the screen, the folder will appear as if nothing was there.
This is not a security feature. If anyone happens to find the folder, they can still open and view its contents. Technically, you can use encryption with an invisible folder for even more security.
How to create invisible folders on Windows 10 desktop
To do this trick, you need to create a folder with no names and icons. To get started, right-click an empty spot on your desktop, click New , then choose Folder .
The folder appears on the screen with “New Folder” highlighted so you can rename it.
When you rename the folder, press and hold
Alt as you type
255 on the numeric keypad, and then press
Enter . Note that you must enter the numbers on the numeric keypad, not the keys at the top of the keyboard.
What you are doing is typing a special non-keyboard character with the ASCII character code. This gives the folder an invisible name (a space character does not appear in Windows Explorer).
Now, the name part is invisible. Next let’s deal with the icons. Right-click on the folder and select Properties.
Click the Customize tab, then choose Change Icon in the Folder Icons section .
In the Change Icon for Folder window, scroll right, select the invisible icon, then click OK.
Click OK again to close the properties window! Your folder icon is gone!
You can still find folders on the desktop if you drag the mouse pointer over a wide area to select multiple icons. If not, it’s still invisible. The folder will also be hidden in File Explorer, and so will the content inside it.
If you want to hide multiple folders at once on the desktop, repeat the above procedure, but press
255 multiple times to enter multiple invisible characters. The two folders cannot have the same name, so the second folder will need two spaces.
You can repeat the process with 3 or more folders, just increase the amount of invisible spaces in the folder name.
How do folders show up again?
To undo the wizard of making a folder invisible, right-click the invisible folder and choose Properties . Click the Customize tab and then choose Change Icon. This time, choose a regular icon for the folder instead of the invisible one.
To change the name, right-click on the folder and choose Rename. Type what you want to name the folder, then press
Matters needing attention
A possible glitch, where the folder might appear as a black box instead of being invisible. In fact, this actually happened when I first tried to create the invisible directory.
Obviously, the directory isn’t as invisible as it was originally intended. Deleting a folder, restarting your computer, and recreating it will often help, but not always.
Another problem is that someone can still find this invisible folder if they know how. Highlighting everything on the desktop will show an outline around the invisible folder.
Alternatively, if you use File Explorer and select Desktop , an empty space with file properties will appear. This is why this is just a temporary solution to hide everything on the desktop (like when you have a few notes for holiday shopping). A suitable solution is to protect folders with a password.
The only way to make files and folders truly hidden or invisible is to store them on a USB flash drive that only you have access to. You can even encrypt the USB, if you want. Unless someone has the USB stick, they won’t accidentally see your files. For most people, this is just a new trick, so don’t use it as a security feature.