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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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.
You might want to check out these articles too:
- How to Hide a Windows Folder
- Protect Your Valuable Data with My Lockbox
- Best Free File Encryption Utility
- Best Free Drive Encryption Utility
Free Hide Folder
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