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How to Create a Secretly Disguised Folder Without Extra Software

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Almost anyone knows how to make a “hidden” folder in Windows, most people also know how to make Explorer show hidden folders. Instead, if your folder looked like an innocent shortcut no one would know you have data in there.

Using Command Prompt to Disguise a Folder

In this example I have an ordinary folder on the root of my drive called How-To-Geek.

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To disguise it, I need to open a command prompt and navigate to the directory where its resides, since it is on the root of my drive I can use:

CD C:\

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Now all I need to do is rename it and include the CLSID for Computer:

ren How-To-Geek How-To-Geek.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}

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Now if I go back to my folder it looks like a link to Computer, and if I click on it, it even opens Computer. No one can get inside this folder now without knowing the CLSID you used to hide it.

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Using Command Prompt to Reveal Your Folder

You will need to navigate to the directory where the disguised folder resides.

CD C:\

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Then all you need to do to unhide a folder is rename the folder back to what it was before:

ren How-To-Geek.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d} How-To-Geek

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If you go look at your folder now you will see it’s back to normal.

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Using Batch Files

If you want to go even one step further you can create batch files. The following one hides my folder.

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Then to unhide it i use the following batch file.

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All that you would need to do now is run one of the batch files.

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You should also take note that although this is a geeky way of hiding your data nothing is stopping the person from deleting the folder which would delete everything you have inside as well.

Taylor Gibb is a Microsoft MVP and all round geek, he loves everything from Windows 8 to Windows Server 2012 and even C# and PowerShell. You can also follow him on Google+

  • Published 07/26/12

Comments (31)

  1. maydaypc

    At first sight, seems to be a nice way of hiding a folder. But, one can think this hidden folder is an unnecessary link to My Computer and may decide to delete it!!! So, be warned.

  2. rapposa

    It is displaying the syntax of the command is incorrect.I want to hide it in
    e drive
    help me

  3. harvey hawley

    Of course, absolutely no one is going to examine the Properties of such an odd ‘shortcut’.

  4. Bob Eisenberg

    What is a CLSID and how do we find it?

  5. Nishad

    if we can deny write along with this trick then we can not able to delete this type of folder can this is possible ?

  6. pbarron

    “The syntax of this command is incorrect”

  7. Taylor Gibb

    @everyone If you are getting the syntax error, make sure your folder names have no spaces, if they do enclose them in quotes eg. “My Folder”

  8. Rakesh Gupta

    syntax is correct and command is working fine.
    If you want more CLSID, go to the following Web site:

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/110919-clsid-key-list-windows-7-a.html

  9. Cocoy

    good old msdos.. :)

  10. SatoMew

    @Cocoy:
    >implying Windows NT has anything to do with MS-DOS
    >implying any Windows NT release is based and runs on top of MS-DOS

  11. caswm42

    Why not just go to cmd prompt, find the folder you want to hide, and then type attrib +s for system folder, which is hidden and not deletable?

  12. Stephan

    OR you can just add a Desktop.ini file in the folder and put the following in it:

    [.ShellClassInfo]
    CLSID={645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}

    That’s how the ‘RECYCLED’ folder in the root directory of drives work.

    If you want to acsess it then just go to command prompt and type ‘ notepad “C:\Recycled\Desktop.ini” ‘ (without the single quotes) edit the shell code to something else, eg.

    CLSID={645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954Ennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn}

    The after your’e done delete the things you added.

  13. Ashutosh

    Is there a similar way for linux??

  14. Zakariah

    If you get the syntax is incorrect then that means you got a space in the folder name. Example:

  15. Zakariah

    Just continuing my comment. Example: I put No Peeking and I got the same error, so I renamed it to Denied and it worked.

  16. Willy

    For some reason I’m getting a subdirectory named “C:\My Computer.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}”

    It hardly pays to “hide” a subdirectory and then give everyone the CLSID.

  17. Don Edwards

    Hi, caswm42

    Your solution below looks really simple but if the folder is now hidden how do you unhide it please?

    Why not just go to cmd prompt, find the folder you want to hide, and then type attrib +s for system folder, which is hidden and not deletable?

  18. Beverly Margolis, Ph.D.

    The great thing about my systems is that I’m the only one who can get into the office in which I work. When I’m not working, my system is off line and either shut down or hibernating or, if the time I’m going to be out is fairly short, I’ll just put the system to sleep.

    Yeah, I’m lazy.

  19. Chris

    O r you could just change the icon in properties

  20. Chris

    Or you could just change the icon in properties

  21. Willy

    Here’s the solution to my problem above (CLSID included in the directory name):

    #HIDE.BAT:

    @echo off
    cd C:\Temp\
    ren X “My Computer”.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}
    ren “My Computer”.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d} “My Computer”

    #UNHIDE.BAT:

    @echo off
    cd C:\Temp\
    ren “My Computer” “My Computer”.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d}
    ren “My Computer”.{20d04fe0-3aea-1069-a2d8-08002b30309d} X

    Simply use the batch file to rename the changed directory to remove the CLSID, then before unhiding the directory rename it back to include the CLSID to change it back to a normal subdirectory.

    Or you could simply buy a thumb drive with software included to encrypt files, directories and/or drives with military grade encryption.

  22. DSSystems

    @Don Edwards

    Change the attrib switch from +s to -s
    e.g. type attrib -s
    Which will make the folder unhidden and deletable.

  23. TheKingOfScandinavia

    When I rename it, it just shows the CLSID after the name – when I then remove that the folder goes back to normal…

  24. Willy

    @KING:

    See my batch files above.

  25. WanChainKein

    How can I get the CLSID of a folder, for example if I want to make a redundant shortcut that sends me to the same folder I was when attempted to enter it…

    Also, trying your trick I found out that if someone happens to search a part of a file name that is inside your “hidden” folder it stills appear in the windows search. Any roundabouts or suggestion for this?

    Thanks in advance.

  26. Pranesh

    Hi There,

    For one of the above queries, i would like to give solution to utilize this trick in E drive files which done for me successfully.

    1. Type E: to get in to the E drive.

    2. Then copy and paste the last line within braces instead of typing it to avoid displaying syntax error.
    E:\>ren your-folder-name your-folder-name. {20D04FE0-3AEA-1069-a2d8-08002B30309D}

    Note: Please avoid keeping the folder name with spaces, better use “-” symbol.

    3. Press Enter –> It’s Done :)

    Likewise to Unhide.

    Hope this will work out for you “rapposa”

  27. vinod

    Hi,
    Thanks..Really Superb Technique..

  28. Matt

    or you can use attrib to create a batch that unhides and hides it from explorer all together so it doens’t look suspicious, my batch is below

    @echo off
    attrib C:\p >log.txt
    for /f “tokens=1″ %%I in (‘type log.txt’) do (
    IF %%I==SH attrib G:\RAID5\p -S -H | @echo unhiding
    IF NOT %%I==SH attrib G:\RAID5\p +S +H | @echo hiding
    )
    del log.txt
    PAUSE

  29. Matt

    *EDIT*

    or you can use attrib to create a batch that unhides and hides it from explorer all together so it doens’t look suspicious, my batch is below

    @echo off
    attrib C:\p >log.txt
    for /f “tokens=1″ %%I in (‘type log.txt’) do (
    IF %%I==SH attrib C:\p -S -H | @echo unhiding
    IF NOT %%I==SH attrib C:\p +S +H | @echo hiding
    )
    del log.txt
    PAUSE

  30. Dylan

    Another easy way to make a hidden folder is as follows:

    Part 1

    1. Make a folder in the location you want it to be (eg. Desktop)
    2. Go to the Start Menu, then to All Programs, Accesories, System Tools, then open Character Map.
    3. Scroll down and select one of the boxes with nothing in it, usually not far from the bottom.
    4. Once clicked, click Select, and then Copy.
    5. Go back to the folder at the preferred location, and Rename it.
    6. Paste (Ctrl + V) the invisible letter and hit Enter.

    There should be no name under the folder now if done correctly. The next step is to get rid of the icon.

    Part 2

    1. Right click the folder and click Properties.
    2. In the top tabs, go to Customize and click Change Icon.
    3. Scroll to the right a bit and click on one of the empty spaces. Click OK, then click Apply.

    And there you have your invisible folder!

    Cheers

  31. Joey

    This is not really that secure. Look up the properties of that folder and there you can find the CLSID. Anyone could crack it in seconds.

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