The Windows folders are the easiest way to store our files and folders on your computer. Folders, or directories, are usually available to all users of a computer, as long as they have permissions to access them. By default, Windows does not offer us many options to prevent other users from accessing our folders, except for a complex access permission system. However, it is possible to protect our folders and their data by hiding folders and making them undetectable with a simple command for CMD: attrib.
The attrib command is a command that allows us to specify the attributes that any file or folder on our computer can have. Unlike the normal function to hide files or folders, which can be easily reversed, if we decide to mark a file or folder as hidden with this command, it will be really hidden. And not only that, but it will even be undetectable.
What can we use a hidden folder for
A hidden folder in Windows can be useful to store all kinds of personal files that we don’t want other people to see. The method is especially useful for users who are not very technical or advanced, since they will not know this command and will not be able to reveal the folder. However, if the person does know this trick, then it will be of little use to us.
We can save all kinds of data in this folder, from photos and documents to all kinds of material that we don’t want other people to see. The data is kept safe on the disk (that is, even if the folder is hidden, it is still there, it is not lost, and we can access it at any time). But anyone can reverse the changes.
There are much better options for protecting our data. For example, we can save them inside a compressed file with a password, or use much more secure encryption software. This way we will ensure that these folders do not fall into the wrong hands. But if we want to take advantage of this Windows hack, this is how it is used.
Hide and protect any folder in Windows
Create a folder from CMD
Surely most of us know how to create a new folder on the computer. Just right-click on any directory and choose the New> Folder section. We will give it the name we want and voila, we will have a folder ready to save whatever we want in it.
Besides being able to use the standard way to create a new folder, we can also create it from CMD. To do this, we must open CMD with Administrator permissions and we will use the MD command to create a new folder in the directory we want.
For example, we can create a new folder called “SoftZone” in “C:” using the following command:
If we have the need to create several folders, we can easily do it with this command by typing the names of the folders one after the other. For example:
md sz1 sz2 sz3 sz4
Once we have the folder created, the next step will be to hide it from CMD as well.
How to make a folder hidden and undetectable in Windows 10
The attrib command allows us to modify the attributes of any file or folder on our computer. This command has different parameters that we can use to give the different attributes to the files or folders on the PC:
- A: It is used to know if the file or folder has been modified or not.
- A: it allows us to configure the directory as “read only” to prevent its content from being modified.
- H: we can mark the file as hidden.
- S: assigns the file as if it were from the system, that is, it marks it as hidden and as read-only.
When using this command, we can use the parameters we want preceded by a “+” to assign them, or preceded by a “-” to remove them.
To convert any folder into a hidden and protected folder, what we must do is use the parameters “+ h” and “+ s”. For example:
attrib +s +h "c:SoftZonesz1"
As we can see, the folder is hidden from you, and now it no longer appears in the directory list, neither in the folder nor using the CMD command “dir”.
In case we want to show the folder again, what we must do is remove the parameters that we have just assigned to it. We can easily do this by changing the “+” to the “-“, as, for example, with:
attrib -s -h "c:SoftZonesz1"
A quick and easy method, but not very effective
As we can see, this is a very fast way to hide and protect the files that we want inside our computer. And also, to do it without using additional software. However, it is not exactly the safest method we can use.
If a user knows that the folder is hidden, they could easily unhide it again using the “attrib” command again as we have shown. The same is true if you enable the option to view hidden or system files in the File Explorer properties or if, for example, you use a Linux Live to access the data.
If we really want to hide and protect our data, what we must do is use encryption software, such as VeraCrypt, which allows us to protect it with a password to prevent the data from falling into the hands of unauthorized users.