Initially, the system hides some data folders, editing of which may lead to disruption of its functioning. This is done to protect Windows from inept user actions. But in some situations, you need to work with these folders, for example, setting up the program in manual mode, transferring game saves, and so on. And it can also be used in the opposite direction to protect personal data. Understanding the possibilities of hidden folders.
Making a folder invisible is quite simple, the method is the same as in previous versions of Windows. To begin, open the directory containing the desired folder. Right click on it and open its properties. At the bottom of the pop-up window is the “Attributes” block with two activated items.
The first one is for editing protection, and the second one masks the directory, so it should be included. Don’t forget to accept the changes. For individual files, the procedure is completely the same.
You need to show hidden folders in Win 10 to see this document. Read the instructions for this below.
Masking multiple folders
The previous method is great for hiding a single folder. But if there are several directories, then masking them using this method will take a lot of time. For this case, Windows has a special function. Open the folder with the necessary documents, switch to the “View” tab in the browser and expand it to full screen. Then select the desired directories and click on “Hide Selected Items”. The system will offer two options for hiding: only for folders and for directories with nested elements.
Reliable data masking
The file masking option described above has a significant drawback – it is easy to bypass. A person who knows a little about computers can easily cope with the task. Accordingly, this method is not very reliable. How, then, to qualitatively protect hidden folders in Win 10? There are many third-party programs for this, but we will get by with the built-in OS tools.
The method is based on assigning system attributes to the data. Files directly related to Windows are safely hidden. This is done so that the user does not inadvertently damage or delete them. They will not be shown even if the hidden folders are visible.
Accordingly, it is necessary to make an important document a system document, then it will be much more difficult to find it. All operations will be performed in the Command Prompt utility. The shortcut to launch it is in the “System Tools – Windows” section of the Start menu. An alternative way to open the command line is the cmd command in the Run utility (Win + R on keyboard).
The attrib command assigns certain properties to a file and directory. There are four of them: system, hidden, read-only and ready for archiving. We only need the first two. Now, using the example of the Example folder, which is located in the PC directory of the system drive, let’s consider how to protect it.
attrib +s +h “C:PCExample”
This command will assign the following attributes to the Example folder: system (system) and hidden (hidden). Accordingly, the computer will not display it even if the display of masked data is activated.
In quotes, you can specify the path to any folder whose properties you want to change. To restore the directory to its original state, run the command again, but replace + with – for all attributes.
Because the folder is considered a system folder, it won’t be as easy to find it compared to the previous method. If you want to enable its display, then deactivate system data masking in the Explorer settings. The corresponding changes can be made in the control panel, the item “Explorer Options”. Switch to the View tab and scroll almost to the bottom.
Show hidden folders
There is an easy way to open hidden folders in Win 10. Open any folder on your computer. In the browser window, click on the inscription “View“. In the toolbar, find “Show or hide”. It remains only to uncheck the option to hide documents. Now all folders will be displayed, but initially hidden ones will be greyed out.
There is an alternative way to complete the task that works for older versions of the system as well. Open the Control Panel and change the displays to icons. There, find the item “Explorer Options”. Go to “View“, scroll through the entire list to the end. There will be a file display item.
How to hide hidden folders in Windows 10? Both of the above methods are suitable for this, it is enough to do the opposite in the last steps.
If the display of masked directories is enabled, the obscurity attribute can be removed from documents. It is enough to open the properties of the file or folder and remove the selection from the corresponding item.
If you do not plan to work with masked data on an ongoing basis, but only a one-time change, then it is not rational to perform all the above actions. You can do it much easier. Windows Explorer is configured to work with invisible directories even when their display is not enabled. Consider everything with an example
The appdata folder stores information about all installed applications, sometimes you need to open it to make changes to the program. And here you can go in several ways: turn on its display or use the search function. The previous section is devoted to the first option. Now consider the second one.
To get into this directory, you need to open any folder, go to the root (This computer). In the address field, click on an empty space and type %appdata%, then press Enter. This will open the corresponding directory, although it will not be visible when stepping through. This can be done with any other hidden folders. In the address bar, enter the name of the directory and surround it with % operators on both sides, as we did with appdata.