Everyone has documents and files of sensitive nature that they would like to keep away from prying eyes. Users have a handful of options to do this, ranging from the most secure, such as mounting virtual archives using programs like TrueCrypt, physically encrypting and reprocessing files, or hiding and embedding them within other larger files … to less secure options that merely hide files cosmetically.
These tend to be quicker and easier to use but files can be easily found if someone was actually snooping. Disguise folders is a small, free program that belongs to this latter category.
This small app runs on Windows 7 and can quickly replace your folders with the icon of various system folders or functions, such as Windows update or Display Options or the Recycle bin. Clicking on the new icon will open the system folder or service, leaving your files hidden and invisible.
See the below screenshots for an illustration of what this program does:
- Fast: a large folder containing many gigabytes is disguised in a flash
- Works well: does what it is supposed to do
- Good for ad-hoc uses: quickly hide as many folders as you want, in the spur of the moment.
- System folder icons put in place of your folder actually work
- If advanced user is snooping and knows what they are looking for, they will probably find it.
- You have to disguise your folders manually every time; meaning that if you forget to do it your folders are not hidden.
- No profiles or any means to make it remember your list of folders that you usually disguise
- Some system folders, such as the fonts folder, actually open to reveal your data (?) strangely enough. If that’s the case obviously unencrypt and use something else.
- Windows 7 only.
- If it won’t encrypt: make sure that the files inside are not being used by a process and that the folder or subfolders are not open in Explorer.
- If it won’t decrypt: did you give the folder a name? You have to type in a name for the folder to be un-disguised to every time.
The verdict: for what it tries to do, it is an excellent program. I like that it is portable and doesn’t do much to the system; a great way to quickly hide folders without a lot of messing around your system.
Version Tested: 1.0
Compatibility: Windows 7 only.