Hide A Folder On Windows XP or Vista Without Making It Hidden

If you wish that your folder should not be easily visible to others on common PC say shared with friends or family, you can hide a folder on Windows XP or Windows Vista without making it hidden thru Properties. Few simple steps and you would be done:-

1. Single click the folder and press F2 key on the folder (for renaming the folder)

2. Then keep the ALT key pressed and on the Num Pad which is on the right side of your keyboard (!important) press the numbers 0 1 6 0 in sequence. On some keyboards like Laptop Keyboards there is no such distinct Num Pad. For example, there is a function key that needs to be pressed and then the Num Pad numbers are present on the alphabet keys. But remember, you have to use the Num Pad numbers only,  the normal numbers on the top of the keyboard won’t work!

3. Then release the ALT key, and click the mouse some where else. Now you would see the target folder has no name or we can say a blank name!

4. Right click the folder, and go to the Properties option at the very bottom. Go to Customize tab, from where we need to make the folder icon disappear.

5. Click on the Change Icon button (below screenshot is from XP, but same kind of options are there on Windows Vista also)

change folder icon XP

6. You would get a selection list containing large number of icons from SHELL32.dll file. Select the blank icon as follows:-

select blank icon XP7. Press OK button and then Apply button. You would see the icon has also disappeared!

8. The folder becomes visible in the form of a very small box on Ctrl + A. You can right click the folder and repeat the above procedure to make the icon visible by selecting the visible icon. Also, you can rename the folder back to your original name. The action is totally reversible as this is a very simple means to hide the folder as it cannot be located easily, without someone very desperately wanted to view your folders!


1. The folder is visible to Winrar

2. You can have only one folder with a blank name in one location. You can create any number of invisible folders, just you need to keep in mind is that you need to put each of them in different location or path!

3. You cannot make a file invisible in this way, this trick works only for folders. In order to make a file invisible or hidden without using any software and hidden folder option, you can read this useful trick.

Some of you might be well aware of this trick, but hope it helps some like me, who just learn it! You can share your experiences and issues in the comments section. I would definitely like to dig more on this topic.