You may already know the hidden files and folders in Windows 10, but the invisible folders are completely different. You can’t just change the display options to show all files and folders, including hidden folders. An invisible folder is a trick that uses the properties of the folder to hide it, even from view.
Why create invisible folders
Have you ever wanted to add a quick access folder to your desktop while protecting it from prying eyes? You can use the encryption feature built into Windows 10 to password protect a folder. But it’s still technically visible. This creates a curiosity which you may not want.
What if nobody could even see the file exist? With invisible folders, unless you know where to click or if you highlight everything on the desktop, it looks like nothing is there.
It is not a security feature. If someone comes across the folder, they can still open it and view its contents. Technically, you can use the encryption feature with an invisible folder for even more security.
Create an invisible folder
For this tutorial, I create the folder on the desktop, because if you create an invisible folder in another folder, a blank space and / or file properties will appear next to the invisible icon.
Start by right clicking on your desktop where you want to create an invisible folder. Choose “New -> Folder”. Leave the name as a new folder.
The next step is to make sure the folder name is not visible. Instead of a real name, you enter an ASCII code that is not visible in the folder names. Right click on the new folder and choose “Rename”.
Press and hold Alt when you type “255” (without the quotation mark) on a numeric keyboard. This only works with a keyboard and not with the numeric line above the alphabetic keys.
Obviously, the folder is still visible, so it’s time to hide it as well. Right-click the folder and choose Properties. Select the Personalize tab.
Click the “Change Icon” button. The folder icon is just the default for folders, but you can change an icon to any other icon image by changing its properties. Choose one of the three invisible icons.
Press OK and then Apply to apply the changes. Now your file is invisible.
There is a problem that occurs when the folder can appear as a black box instead of being invisible. In fact, this happened when I tried to create invisible folders the first time.
Obviously, it is not too invisible. Deleting the folder, restarting your computer, and recreating the folder usually works, but not always.
Another problem is that someone can still find it if they can watch. Highlighting everything on the desktop will display an outline around the invisible folder.
In addition, if you use File Explorer and select Desktop, an empty space with the file properties will appear. This is why this is only a temporary solution to hide things on your desktop. For example, you may have some notes for holiday shopping. An appropriate solution is to password protect your files.
The only way to create truly invisible or hidden files and folders is to store them on a USB drive that only you can access. You can even encrypt the USB drive, if you wish. Unless someone has the USB drive, it will not accidentally fall on your files. For the most part, this is a novelty trick, so don’t use it as a security feature.
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