There are many reasons why you might want to hide certain data from prying eyes. For the IT administrator, it could be documentation or a username/password list. For those who own or run businesses, it could be company secrets or employee information. One free tool that will keep that data tucked safely away is Wise Folder Hider. It works with Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Wise Folder Hider’s features include:

  • Safely hide file/folder/USB
  • Double password protection
  • Support for removable drives
  • Support of Drag and Drop (UAC must be disabled for this feature)
  • Built-in Explorer support

Note: Wise Folder Hider is not an encryption tool; it allows you to hide folders away from the site and to password protect the application and folders. Even with these capabilities, Wise Folder Hider does not encrypt folders.

Installing Wise Folder Hider

As with any Windows application, the installation of Wise Folder Hider is quite simple. Follow these steps:

  1. Download the installer.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file.
  3. Allow the wizard to complete the installation.

Upon first run, you will be asked to create a password for the application (Figure A). This step is crucial because it will protect the application from allowing just anyone to unhide your hidden folders.
Figure A

Set up a password that will be used when running the application. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Using Wise Folder Hider

After you create the password, the main window will open for the application (Figure B). From here, you do all the work.
Figure B

Drag and drop will only work in Windows 7 if the UAC is turned off. In Windows XP it works fine. (Click the image to enlarge.)

To hide a folder, follow these steps:

  1. Open Wise Folder Hider.
  2. Enter your password.
  3. Click Hide Folder.
  4. Navigate to the location of the folder to be hidden (Figure C).
  5. Select the folder to be hidden.
  6. Click OK.

Figure C

You can add more than one folder to be hidden. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Now that the folder is hidden, so it will not appear in Explorer. You cannot even type the path to the folder and have it appear (Figure D).
Figure D

If a folder is hidden, it may as well not exist — that is, until it is unhidden. (Click the image to enlarge.)

You can also password protect a folder with Wise Folder Hider. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Wise Folder Hider.
  2. Select the folder you want to protect.
  3. Click the Operation drop-down.
  4. Select Set Password (Figure E).
  5. Enter the desired password and confirm.
  6. Click OK.

Figure E

You can password protect as many folders as needed. (Click the image to enlarge.)

With the folder password protected, the folder cannot be unhidden without entering the password. This  adds a second layer of protection for the folder in case your Wise Folder Hider password is compromised. If the main password becomes compromised, it is possible to change the login password. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open Wise Folder Hider.
  2. Click the Menu icon (to the left of the minimize button in the title bar).
  3. Select Change Login Password.
  4. Enter the old password.
  5. Type and confirm the new password.
  6. Click OK.

It is also possible to hide a USB drive from a site, although if the drive is sticking out of the front of a machine, it will be quite obvious it is there. If that flash drive is attached to the back of the machine (out of site) and hidden with Wise Folder Hider, no one will be the wiser. To hide a USB drive, do the following:

  1. Make sure the drive is attached and recognized.
  2. Open Wise Folder Hider.
  3. Click Hide USB Drive.
  4. Select the drive to be hidden.
  5. Click OK.

Give this free application a try, and then let us know what you think of it in the comments.

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