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How to Hide folders on the laptop running on XP professional

Posted on 2007-03-20
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Last Modified: 2007-03-21
How can I hide some custom folders from being seen by my other family members for privacy reasons. I am using windows XP professional.

Any help will be appreciated.

Thanks!
Run2004
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Question by:run2004
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5 Comments
 
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 18761690
You can't really hide folders.  You can use account permissions and based on who you are logged in as, the files will be inaccessible.  However, keep in mind that anyone with Admin rights can "take ownership" of the file and then open it.

There are some rudimentary ways of hiding folders, but if a person knows anything about Windows computers, they will be EASILY found.
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Perkins
ID: 18761713
Well that depends on how savvy your other family members are.  I hide things from my kids, but they don't really know where to look or how....
Open Windows Explorer, I use a two fold process to hide them.
1.  Go to >tools >folder options > view tab > put a tic beside the option that says 'do not show hidden files and folders'
2. Move the folders you would like to hide into someplace less obvious, just in case they know how to turn this back on.  For instance move the entire folder inside of a folder inside of the windows folder, like  c:\windows\ime  (just be sure to pick a folder that already has other folders inside of it)
3. After you have moved it, right click on it, and go to properties.  Put a tic mark in the box at the bottom that says 'hidden'  

   Now when you want to access it you can either change the option in 1. above to show hidden files,  or you can type the address of the folder into the explorer bar or into the run dialogue box, just be sure that if you do this, you access some other file or folder from the run box to clear the cache there. And don't forget to clear any docs from >recent documents

    You can also create different user profiles, password protect yours, and make the files private.
   I hope this helps,
Jappo
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LVL 14

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Burns2007 earned 500 total points
ID: 18761717
Agreed with leew...you can mark folders as "hidden" in windows, but anyone can turn on "show hidden files and folders", so it defeats the point.

There are a number of 3rd party tools that people use to hide their por...important documents :)

http://www.everstrike.com/lock_folder.htm
http://www.folder-password-expert.com/index.html
http://www.fspro.net/hide-folders/
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:orangutang
ID: 18761763
Well, I agree with riteheer :)

You could just change the folder's attributes to hidden which is definitely the easiest method. There are quite a few third party software that use encryption and do all sort of things to make the folder inaccessible. You can search on download.com and filter the results by Freeware if you don't want to spend any money.
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LVL 1

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by:IslandsIT
ID: 18764323
Hi,

Firstly ensure your Hard Drive uses NTFS, as FAT32 has no built in security.  Check this by looking at the properties of the drive/partition.  To convert from FAT32 to NTFS, use the following command from a command prompt:

convert <volumename>: /FS:NTFS /x

If your drive you want to work on is the D: drive, then the command would therefore be:

convert d: /FS:NTFS /x

Once the drive is converted, create a 'private' folder you want your family to be kept out of.  Move all of the data into the folder.  Right-click the folder and choose the Hidden option.  Then Choose the Security tab and deny all users you don't want to have access to the folder.  Because you've placed all the data into the hidden folder, the other users won't be able to access any of the sub-folders either.

If moving the data all into one folder isn't viable, then you'll have to repeat this for all of the folders you want to be private.

However, here's the crunch.  If any of the other users are Administrator users, then they can reverse the situation if they know a bit about PCs and Windows XP, so you might want evaluate their know-how and restrict their user accounts accordingly.

Good luck!

Mark.
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