While there’s no way to make a folder truly “invisible” to a determined user, you can hide your sensitive files and folders from regular computer searches by modifying a couple of system attributes (PC) or by using the “Terminal” app (Mac). After doing so, your new file will be invisible, both literally and to normal computer searches.

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Hiding Your File (Windows)

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    Right-click your desktop. You’ll need to create a regular file here first.
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    Hover over “New”.
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    Click a file type. “Folder” or “Text Document” are quick and simple choices.
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    Type in a name for your folder.
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    Hit  Enter.
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    Right-click your file.
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    Click Properties.
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    Check the “Hidden” box.
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    Click OK. Your file is now hidden, meaning it won’t show up in search queries or your File Explorer app; however, if you create a regular folder in the same directory with the same name, it will rename itself to be “Filename (2)”, which betrays the fact that you have a hidden folder in that directory.

    • Your file is also literally invisible unless your computer is currently displaying hidden files and folders.

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Finding Your File (Windows)

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    Type “hidden files” into the Start search bar.
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    Click “Show hidden files and folders”. This should be the first item in the search list.
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    Double-click “Hidden files and folders”. If this option already shows two sub-options indented below it, skip this step.
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    Click “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”.
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    Click OK.
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    Close the “Hidden files” menu.
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    Return to your desktop. You should now see your previously-hidden file! It will appear transparent to indicate its “hidden” attribute.

    • To hide your files again, return to the “Hidden files and folders” menu and click “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives”.

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Hiding Your File (Mac)

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    Two-finger click your desktop. You’ll need to use the “Terminal” app to hide your folder.
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    Click New Folder.
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    Type in a name for your folder.
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    Tap  Return.
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    Click the magnifying glass icon. This is in the top right corner of your screen.

    • You can also hold  Command and tap Spacebar.
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    Type in “Terminal”.
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    Tap  Return.
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    Type chflags hidden.
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    Drag your folder into Terminal.
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    Tap  Enter. Your folder should now be hidden from view!

    • Hidden folders on a Mac are invisible unless you type a specific command into Terminal.

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Finding Your File (Mac)

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    Click Go. This is in your screen’s top right corner tool bar.
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    Click Go to Folder.
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    Type in ~/Desktop/(FolderName).
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    Click Go. You should now be viewing your folder’s contents!

    • Any files you place in your folder will also be hidden.