How to Hide Files in Windows

Note: this will not keep fbi/police/anyone who knows computers really good from finding your files, only computer illiterate people and people who aren’t really looking for incriminating files on your computer.

Hiding The Files/Directories:

1) hide directories
2) encrypted directories
3) CDs and floppies

Hiding The Evidence:

1) browser history
2) cookies
3) temp files
4) windows history (Start->documents)
Ok, let me first start off with why you would want to do this.  You live at home with your parents and your brothers and sisters.  They all use the computer every once and a while, but you use it all day.  You do a few things on it that you would rather keep any of them from knowing about.  ex.  hacking. I’ll try to share some knowledge I’ve gained on keeping things secret from people on windows, I don’t know if this will work with any other versions of windows (most likely they will).  I will keep this very short and to the point, there are tons of little details that I could get into, but it would be a waste of everyone’s time.  Just think to yourself how to keep them more secret and you’ll be more productive than reading 40 pages by me telling you not to write down the location of your files on a post-it by the monitor.
I’ve decided to break this tutorial down into 2 main categories.  Hiding Files And Directories is the first, and Hiding The Evidence is the second.

Hiding Files And Directories

Hiding Directories

This is a key point in keeping your things secret from the other users.  You should try to make the files and directories seem as if they are not even there.  Hopefully, the other users will never even find the directory.  The first thing to do is to find a place where the other users of the computer would not likely look.  I would suggest something in C: windows since many regular computer users never go into this directory, so they would be less likely to find it.  I picked C: WINDOWSSYSTEMMSAABAK.  Now make several directories named like: 01q1 01p2 01u3 01w5 01y3 04×2 .. the more you create the more likely the other users will not look in the one you use to keep your hidden stuff***.  You can also make subdirectories in each of these if you really want to make it hard for other users to find it.  Create a few dummy files in there to make it look like they are being used.
Now you need to create the actually hidden directory by using an old ms-dos technique.  Create a normal directory in explorer and right click on it and select properties, under attributes select hidden.  Now you need to make this directory inaccessible from windows by going to Start->Programs->ms-dos and then cd to where you put the directory.  once their type: rename and the name of the directory you created, then press alt+255 (using the number buttons on the right side, not the ones above the letters). and then type in the name of your directory.
It should look like this:
rename dir dir
you will type this:
rename dir alt+255dir
What this does is renames the directory with alt+255 in front of it.  With the alt+255 in the name, it makes the directory inaccessible from windows since windows cannot handle the alt+255 character.  So you will have to also make the directory hidden by going to View->folder options..->View->under hidden files select “do not show hidden files”.
So from now on, you will need to move all your sensitive files into that directory from dos prompt.  To move them to do:
move c:pathtofile.txt c:pathtoalt+255dir
Microsoft has an alittle better way of hiding files than this alt+255 trick.  go to a dos prompt and type: cd windowstempor~1 then dir see nothing? try cd content.ie5     oh my, completely hidden.  They’ve got some directories so hidden that you can’t even get to them with dos prompt from within windows.. you need to reboot into actual dos to get to them.     Although I don’t know how/if you can create hidden directories yourself.  I guess you could hide your files in c:windowstempor~1content.ie5

Encrypting Files

Alright, this is a key.. although getting your directories encrypted isn’t as easy in windows as it is in Linux it still is fairly seamless.  I would suggest downloading a program called Mooseoft Encrypter – why this program? Because it’s freeware, it’s simple to use, it works very well, and it can encrypt/decrypt multiple files at once.  It comes with a really good help file, so if you have any problems with it just look there.  In fact, if you encrypt your files with it, using a password no one will ever guess .. I see little reason to use the alt+255 method =)  But if you still want to be 100% secure I would use both methods.

100% Hidden Files (using removable storage)

ok, this is by far the best method to use, and it’s fairly easy to do.  Simply get a floppy, put it in your computer and put the files you want hiding on it.  That’s it.  Now hide the floppy so no one finds it.  Putting crappy decoy files mixed in with the real ones will help just in case someone does find the floppy and checks to see what’s on it.  And don’t name your files hack1.jpg hackinghowto.txt.gif.  Make sure to label it something like ‘school work #3’ so maybe your parents will ignore it.  Don’t name it ‘video games’ or anything like that if you have brothers or sisters living with you. that’s just asking for them to check it out.  any other form of removable media would work as well, zip disks, cdrw, tape drives.. anything.

Hiding The Evidence

Deleting The History In IE

Doing this will help keep what you are up to online much more secret.  After being asked what I was doing on a few times by roommates I decided to start deleting the history of ie.  This is very simple, you can either delete everything in history or only the sites you want.  To delete everything:
go to Tools->internet options…->delete cookies and delete files
To delete only the sites you want to click on the history button (it’s got a sundial on it) and right-click on any of the sites you want to delete, then select delete.
(go over how to make a .bat file that will delete the history HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Internet Explorer TypedURLs)
tmp Files
tmp files are created by programs while you run windows.  The normal location for these files is C:windows tmp but also check C: temp C:tmp C:windowstmp.

Deleting Form Field History

You know how if you have autocompleted on with ie and you start to type in a form field that has the same name as the one you have filled out before how it pops up a drop-down menu with all the previous values you have put in that form? This can be pretty bad when your parents go to and see that you have been searching for
cracking tutorials
big boobs
how to steal your parents credit card
So you need to delete this history whenever you search for something you shouldn’t.  You should first turn off autocomplete (tell them how.) then delete the history file by (tell them how.) if I can’t find out how to tell them to go one by one and delete them :/
Since I have no other place to put this I’ll just throw it in here.  0perations gave me this great tip when hiding my evidence of files.   Now instead of just clicking on it and viewing it rename it to windemo.mpg or something bland like that.  Since most movie players keep a kind of history of the last videos you viewed this will defeat that.  Also if you rename the file and put it in a different directory after you view it other users will have no clue what it was.

Deleting Recently Viewed Documents

Whenever you open a file that windows see as a document it is put in a list.  To view this list go to Start->documents since this is such an open place other computer users will often see it.  You don’t want xxxhackpic01.jpg showing up on there.  So let’s get rid of that list.  right click on the toolbar at the bottom of the windows.  Right next to your minimized applications. select properties->start menu programs->under the document’s menu press the clear button and then ok.  The list will be empty now =)
Want to just get rid of that folder? go to Start->Run-> type in regedit     Then go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer     and change NoRecentDocsMenu’s REG_DWORD to 1.  If it’s 0 that means it will display it, 1 will not.
I like to just clear it when I leave windows, to do this open up regedit and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionPoliciesExplorer     and change ClearRecentDocsOnExit’s REG_DWORD to 1.  If it’s 0 it will be disabled, 1 will be enabled.
*** 0perations told me of a file called fakefile.exe that will create as many dumby files as you want, any size that you want.  This can help hide the real files from people.  The fake file was originally ment to make dummy files when uploading to warez sites that require a ratio of uploads to downloads, but it works well for hiding your files in a field of fakes.