Best Free Folder Hiding Utility

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Introduction

Folder-hiding utilities help you hide folders you don't want to see, or don't want other people to see.

Most folder-hiding utilities provide a minimal level of secrecy, because your information is hidden but not necessarily encrypted. It's often relatively easy to locate a file in a hidden folder simply by using the Window's "Search" feature. Then again, to do this, you must know what you are searching for.

Other than keeping folders away from prying eyes, you can also use these utilities to hide some system folders that clutter your directories, even if you have Windows set to show hidden files and folders.

 
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Discussion

One recommended utility is My Lockbox from FSPro Labs. It creates a hidden password-protected folder. What makes this utility better than many others is that this folder is not only hidden from view, but it's also hidden from the system and applications as well, and will remain hidden even if the computer is started in safe mode.

Be aware that My Lockbox does not secure your files through encryption, nor is it fool-proof; two users have indicated that they were able to access their folders without using their passwords. With these reservations it still works well to hide a casual folder, but for really important data use a encryption program like TrueCrypt. Please note that as of version 2.9.8, My Lockbox uses the controversial OpenCandy wrapped installer.

 

Another good utility is Free Hide Folder. Usage is simple; just nominate the folders to hide, and they immediately disappear from view. Un-hiding requires the use of a password.

Don't depend on it to hide anything of real importance, because the files in the hidden folder are not hidden from the system and can be found and accessed using the Windows "Search" feature. But if you want to simply hide a folder from user view and still be able to use applications to access the files in that folder without jumping through hoops, it may be just what you're looking for.

Be aware that each time you use the program, it will nag you for a donation.

 

Another alternative, although technically not a folder-hiding utility, is TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt works by creating a completely secure encrypted volume that can be mounted and used just like any other drive.

It uses on-the-fly encryption, which means that your files are decrypted and encrypted as they are opened and saved. Decrypted data is loaded into memory only and is never written to disk, so your files always remain secure.

Use this solution instead of the above utilities if you require the highest level of security for your files.

 
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Quick Selection Guide

My Lockbox

4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Folder is not only hidden from view, but also from the system and applications, and will remain hidden even if the computer is started in safe mode.
Does not secure your files through encryption, nor is it fool-proof. Uses the OpenCandy wrapped installer (see link in review text for details).
2.99
3.46 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Feature limited freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
v2.99 released 6 July, 2013 View release notes here

Free Hide Folder

4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Usage is simple, just nominate the folders to hide, and they immediately disappear from view.
Files in the hidden folder are not hidden from the system and can be found and accessed using the Windows "Search" feature.
3.0
875 KB
32 bit only
Unrestricted freeware
There is no portable version of this product available.
 
Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Victor Laurie. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

 
Tags

hide holder software, free hide folder software, free folder hiding tool, best free folder hiding utility, top folder hiding software.

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Comments

My Lockbox update: The free version now hide&locks only ONE folder.

I feel the need to add the following. The Author of this article at one point states the following "files always remain secure." In truth, no data can be truly hidden on a drive. The drives MFT, various FAT's and slack space usage reports can all indicate that there is more data on the disk than the OS reports. In the hands of a HD expert, this information will lead to the discovery of the data. and all but the best data encryption methods can usually be beaten.

I just tried to update mylockbox, and the update came with OpenCandy.

Yes it does. Checked it now..
Thanks guys. Now included in the product description. MC - Site Manager.

I don't know if it's any good, but have you consider Wise Folder Hider? Also, can't you use these in conjunction with TrueCrypt? For instance, placing the TrueCrypt volume inside of a folder and then hiding it?