Don’t want specific folders to appear when you search in Windows? Hide them with these tips.
There are a few reasons why you might want to exclude folders from Windows Search. Maybe you don’t want a folder showing up in search results and potentially burying the file you’re really looking for, or you just don’t want people snooping around inside it.
Fortunately, you can hide your folders from Windows Search by making a few changes within the system. In this guide, we will discuss how to exclude your folders from Windows Search in Windows 10 and 11.
How to exclude folders from Windows Search in Windows 10
The easiest way to exclude one or more folders from appearing in search results in Windows 10 is through the Settings app.
This is how you can proceed:
- press the Victory + i keys together to open the Settings app.
- Click on Search from the list of available options.
- To choose looking for windows from the left panel.
- go to the Add an excluded folder in the Excluded Folders section and click it.
- In the next dialog box, click the Select the folder button.
- Choose the folder you want to hide. Once you do, the folder will no longer appear in search results.
How to exclude folders from Windows search in Windows 11
We’ll use the Settings app to hide folders from appearing in search results in Windows 11 as well, but the method is slightly different than in Windows 10.
Here is all you need to do:
- Open the Settings app through the Start menu or by pressing the button Victory + i keys together.
- In the Settings window, choose Privacy & Security from the left panel.
- Select the looking for windows option on the right side of the window.
- Go to Exclude folders from the Enhanced Search section and click the Add an excluded folder button here.
- Now click on the Select the folder and choose the folder you want to hide.
How to hide folders from File Explorer in Windows 10 and 11
The methods mentioned above explain how to hide folders from appearing in search results in the Windows Search utility. If you want the selected folders to not also appear in File Explorer search, follow the steps below:
- Launch File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder you want to hide.
- Right click on the folder you want to hide and choose Properties from the context menu.
- In the next dialog, go to the General tab and check the box to Hidden in the Attributes section.
- Click Apply to save the changes.
- If you are hiding a folder that has subfolders, a message will appear asking if you want to hide the subfolders as well. Choose the preferred option and click okay.
You can now close the Properties dialog.
Note however that the folder will only be hidden if File Explorer is explicitly set not to show hidden folders. This is how you can check if this feature is enabled.
- Launch File Explorer and click on the three dots at the top.
- To choose Options from the context menu.
- Go to the View tab and in the Advanced Settings section, enable the Do not show hidden files, folders or drives option.
- Click Apply > okay to save the changes.
If you want even more privacy, check out how to encrypt folders with BitLocker or how to password protect a folder in Windows.
Protect your privacy on Windows
Now you know how to prevent certain folders from appearing in search results in Windows. These tips and tricks can help you protect your privacy on your PC, especially if it’s used by multiple people.