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Windows 7: How do I hide/unhide specific files of my choosing?

15 Dec 2011   #11
MarkC0

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Orbital Shark View Post
If you're working within the confines of 1 window at a time then the solution below should be fine. As it seems you wish to "Hide" files then at some point "Unnhide them". As you will be doing this from within the same window it should make no difference as to whether all files are shown as you're only going to see the ones in the active window.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Mark,

You could use the tutorial below to actually hide or unhide a specific file or folder.
File and Folder - Hide or Unhide
However, when you choose to show hidden files, it shows all hidden files and not just select specific ones. If you like, you could use the tutorial below to be able to toggle showing or not showing hidden files in the context menu.
Show - Hide Hidden Files - Add to Context Menu
Hope this helps,
Shawn
Right, but I cannot have those files hidden (non-technical) without also hiding (non-technical) all other hidden (technical) files. I don't want other files that are set as hidden (technical) to be affected by these changes... however this might be impossible.

That leaves me with this question: Is there any difference between a hidden (technical) file and a non-hidden (technical) file when "show hidden files" is enabled in Folder Options? I was under the assumption that these files will not show up in searches, "recently opened documents section", etc, even when "showing hidden files". If this is not true -if a hidden/non-hidden file is the exact same when "showing hidden files"- the solutions presented indeed may work!

Lastly... what would be the quickest way to disable hidden (technical) on ALL files? This way I may start from scratch, and only files of my choosing become affected when changing the show hidden files/folders option. I attempted to highlight the contents of my drive and enable "hidden" via the R-Click properties menu but it would have nothing of it... greyed out.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Dec 2011   #12
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

Mark,

If you would give what I suggested above a try, it may work for what you wanted. You could use the context menu item in my post by clicking on it to toggle to hide or show all hidden files/folders at will.

You have two types of hidden files in Windows 7. One is system files, and the other protected OS system files. When hidden files are set to not show, they will not show up in search results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #13
fseal

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
 
 

I suppose there is some specific reason why you want to see the protected system files all the time in most places but not others. I find that I need that maybe once every few months and turning it on doing work then then turning them off again when not needed isn't that big of a deal... So 99% of the time the folders are hidden and uncluttered as they should be, but I can get at the contents with a couple of mouse clicks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Dec 2011   #14
search53

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Oh, so you want to be able to view SOME hidden files, but not all - right?

If so, can't be done. There's only one way to hide a file/folder. All files/folders use this method. If you see one, you see them all.

What you CAN do, though... is install a "safe" on the drive. These files will be invisible unless you know the password to the safe. The disadvantage to this is that the files/folders would need to be MOVED into the safe - anything outside the safe would be visible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Dec 2011   #15
search53

Win 7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
You have two types of hidden files in Windows 7. One is system files, and the other protected OS system files. When hidden files are set to not show, they will not show up in search results.
I forgot about the "System" attribute - but that's a bear to set. I think the only way to do that is to use CMD to get to the C:\ prompt and ATTRIB to set the attribute.

edit: And I'm not convinced it will cause it to be hidden. Show Hidden seems to display files that have the System attribute set.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2011   #16
MarkC0

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Alright, thanks for the help guys. I've found a "solution". Hopefully others reading this thread who are experiencing the same problem can also use this solution effectively:

- I had to separate protected OS files. I've set the few files I don't want to be "protected" to have different attributes using CMD, so they aren't considered in that group anymore. Now if I hide protected OS files, they will not become hidden.

- Now I did mention there are some files (normal, not protected OS) I wanted to stay hidden and not be affected when I change things around with other hidden files. Using CMD, I changed these files to be set as "protected OS files", so they now stay hidden independent of the changes I make to "hidden files/folders". I believe this can also be done through the Win7 GUI however.

- I set all the other hidden files/folders on my computer to non-hidden. Through Folder Options, I then set it to hide "protected OS files" and show "hidden files/folders". However, there are no files/folders set as hidden. The ones I want hidden are now included in protected OS files. As such, all things I add as "hidden" from this point on will be the only things included in that category, and only those items will be altered when changes to "hidden files/folders" are made.

- Finally, using the right-click context menu trick, I can easily turn these hidden files on/off.



It took awhile... it's not perfect... but it will do. I'd like to thank everyone in this thread for their help. seal, shark, brink, search. You will all be repped!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Dec 2011   #17
Brink

64-bit Windows 10 Pro
 
 

You're most welcome Mark. I'm happy to hear that you got it sorted how you like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I hide/unhide specific files of my choosing?




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