Though most don’t know, Windows lets you create invisible folders. Follow these steps to make an already existing folder invisible or create a new invisible folder.
In case you were wondering, the invisible folder is not a hidden folder. It is accessible just like any other regular folder. When you hide a folder, Windows will remove it from the regular structure. Unless you specifically toggle the “Hidden Items” option in File Explorer, you cannot see the folder.
On the other hand, if you make a folder invisible, it remains in the standard hierarchy. It is, however, completely transparent. For example, if you make a folder on your desktop, move it to a corner, and then make it invisible, it will still be there but will not be visible. Unlike the hidden folder, there is no need to unhide it first. You can access it like any other folder.
As you might have guessed, it works well as a prank or a party trick. It can occasionally be helpful to keep less important items hidden from plain sight.
Important: Avoid this method to save and hide important data. This is not a safe way to save private and sensitive files. Consider it a fun way to mess with your friends, family, and colleagues.
Related: How to encrypt and password-protect a folder with BitLocker
The steps below work the same in Windows 10 and 11.
Create invisible folder
It is relatively easy to create or make a folder invisible. There are two major steps. First, name the folder with a blank string and then change its icon to a blank image. It may sound difficult, but it is relatively simple. How? Read on.
- Go to the desktop.
- Right-click on the desktop.
- Select “New > Folder.”
- Select the folder and press “F2.”
- Hold “Alt” and press “0160” on numpad.
- Press “Enter” to confirm the blank name.
- Right-click on the folder.
- Choose the “Properties” option.
- Go to the “Customize” tab.
- Click the “Change” button.
- Find and select the “Blank icon.”
- Press “Ok.”
- Press “Ok” in the main window.
- With that, you have created an invisible folder in Windows.
First, create a new folder on the desktop or wherever you want. For that, right-click and select “New → Folder.” If you already have a folder you’d like to make invisible, skip this step.
When you create a new folder, its default name is “New Folder.” We need to change it to a blank string. For that, select the folder and press “F2.” You can also right-click the folder and select “Rename.”
Next, hold down the “ALT” key on your keyboard and press “0160” on the Numpad. It will insert a blank character—Press “Enter” to save the name.
If your keyboard didn’t have a Numpad, copy (“ ”) the string between quotes. Alternatively, copy the blank string from the built-in Windows “Character Map” tool.
If you are wondering, typing “SPACE” or deleting the existing name and saving won’t work. You must use the special blank character to ensure an empty folder name.
Next, we must change the default folder icon to a blank icon. Right-click on the folder and select “Properties.”
Go to the “Customize” tab in the “Properties” window and click the “Change Icon” button.
Scroll sideways until you find the blank icon. Select the blank icon and click “Ok.”
Click the “Apply” and “Ok” buttons to save changes.
That is it. You’ve created an invisible folder. Place it in a corner, and no one will find it. If you change the “View” or “Sort By” options, the folder might rearrange itself between other folders or icons on your desktop. People can see a suspicious blank space between other files and folders when that happens.
To take it a step further, you can hide the invisible folder (right-click → properties → select the “Hidden” option). That way, the folder will not be visible even if someone selects the entire desktop or rearranges the icons. The added benefit is that the folder will still be invisible even after unhiding folders and files. You can also use the attrib command to hide the folder.
As I said, only use this as a trick to show off or play with your friends. Don’t ever use this to protect important and sensitive files. It would be best if you used software like BitLocker or VeraCrypt.
I hope this easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need some help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.
Image credit: Flickr – Daniel Lobo