Files found in Microsoft Window’s Explorer can easily be hidden (or unhidden) by following these simple steps. There are several reasons you may want to enable the “Hidden” attribute on files, folders or drives, such as cases when a computer has multiple users. Hiding items is a good way to prevent novice computer users from deleting critical system files, and it is also a great way to increase your privacy in regards to important data. Unhiding files, folders or drives, on the other hand, can give more advanced users access to files they may need to examine or modify.
To enable or disable hidden files, folders or drives, first open Windows Explorer by double-clicking on My Computer. This will open up the Windows Explorer Window. Press Alt and T at the same time and select Folder Options from the drop down menu that appears.
Go to the View tab in the Folder Options window and select either Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives or Show hidden files, folders, and drives, depending on which you wish to accomplish. Once done, click OK.
To hide a specific file, folder or drive, right-click on the item you wish to hide and select Properties. In the Attributes section of the Properties window, place a check in the box next to Hidden and click OK. If you wish to unhide an item, you must first go back to the Folder Options window and select Show hidden files, folders, and drives so that you will be able to find the item you want to unhide. Then repeat the process of right-clicking the item, selecting Properties, then remove the check next to Hidden and click OK.
While this is a solution that works for many, the easiest way to ensure your privacy on computers with multiple users is to set up different password protected user accounts for each person using the computer. When using separate accounts, each users’ documents are kept separate from each other. This can be accomplished by going to Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts. From the User Accounts window, select Manage another account, then click Create new account. Follow the on-screen steps to create the account, and repeat this process for each individual users. It can also be wise to make a “Guest” account that doesn’t require a password for visitors. Once you have created the users accounts, when a user is done on the computer, they should select Log Off from Shut Down in the Start Menu. This will take the computer to a logon screen where a new user can log in.