Have you ever wanted to hide files under someone’s nose? With this digital living room tip, you can hide a folder from your Windows 10 desktop.
To achieve this feat, you create a folder with an invisible name and no icon. To start, right-click on an empty location on your desktop, click “New,” then select “Folder.”
The folder appears on the screen with “New Folder” highlighted so that you can rename it.
When you rename the folder, hold down the Alt key while typing 255 on the numeric keypad, then press Enter. Note that you must type the numbers on a numeric keypad, not the numeric keys at the top of your keyboard.
What you do is type a special character which is not on the keyboard with an ASCII character code. This gives the folder an invisible, unbreakable space character that will not appear in Windows Explorer.
Now that the name is invisible, let’s take care of the icon. Right-click on the folder and select “Properties”.
Click on the “Customize” tab, then on “Change Icon” in the “Folder Icons” section.
In the “Change Icon for Folder” window, scroll right, select the invisible icon, then click “OK.”
Click OK again to close the properties window and voila! Your folder icon has disappeared!
You can still find the folder on your desktop if you hover your mouse over a large area to select multiple icons. Otherwise, it remains invisible. The folder will also be invisible in File Explorer and will remain invisible even with its contents. (Explorer usually shows a preview of files in a folder in its icon).
If you want to hide more than one folder on your desktop at once, repeat the above process, but press Alt + 255 repeatedly to type multiple invisible characters. Two folders cannot have the same name, so the second will need two empty spaces.
You can repeat the same pattern with three or more folders, just increase the number of invisible spaces in the folder name each time.
It is not secure and can be buggy
Obviously, this is not a safe way to hide files. Anyone can find the contents of an invisible folder via a system search. It is also possible that someone accidentally finds out while using the desktop.
This can be useful if you only need to temporarily hide something (or if you just want to prank someone). If you really want to secure files, you should definitely use encryption.
This tip is not an official Windows feature, so it can sometimes contain bugs. Sometimes the icon may be black or appear as a blurred outline, rather than being completely invisible. This may be related to the size of the icon. If the icon is not invisible, press Ctrl and use the scroll wheel on your mouse until you find the right size.
In the event of a problem, simply move the files from the folder to a new one, then delete the invisible one. Or, you can try to restore the folder to its normal state.
How to make a folder visible again
To cancel the invisible tip, right click on the invisible folder and select “Properties”. Click on the “Personalize” tab, then on “Change icon”. This time select a standard icon for the folder instead of the invisible.
To change the name, right click on the folder and select “Rename”. Type what you want to name the folder, then press Enter.