The simple way is (almost) always the best. Whether you want to hide important business documents, or a collection of “adult material,” the method that gets the job done with the least amount of fuss at lowest cost is best. Here’s how to hide Mac folders.
Here are three ways that are free, easy and likely will fill the bill:
1. Turn On FileVault — FileVault is the integrated full-disk encryption system built into OS X. Turn it on (System Preferences > Security & Privacy > FileVault) and then anyone wanting to access the files on your system must provide the password.
For what it’s worth, Apple provides the following warning when setting up FileVault.
WARNING: You will need your login password or a recovery key to access your data. A recovery key is automatically generated as part of this setup. If you forget both your password and recovery key, the data will be lost.
2. Hide folders in the Library Folder — By default, your Mac’s Library Folder is hidden inside the your home directory, but it’s easy to get at if you know the trick. In Finder, while holding down the Option key, click the Go menu, click Library and you have access to it.
Simply drag whatever folder you want to hide into the Library folder. Close that Finder window and the Library folder is hidden until you make visible again — not something an uninformed individual is likely to stumble upon.
However, you won’t be able to save files directly to the Library from an application, such as Safari, even when it’s visible — moving files and folders in and out will be strictly manual.
That said, if you use this method, try to keep things neat, clean and organized — don’t drop in individual random files as the resulting mess will be indecipherable even to you.
3. Use ShowHiddenFiles — ShowHiddenFiles is a free app that allows the user to set up and control hidden folders and files. It’s easy to use and you can’t beat the price.
However, you can’t specify a password with ShowHiddenFiles. If someone finds the app, they could figure out what you’re hiding.
Apimac’s Secret Folder isn’t free ($20), but does offer the ability to set a password and other controls.
There are other free ways to hide folders on your Mac, which are generally more difficult than those outlined above. The good people at Macworld can you more about those.
How do you hide Mac folders? Share your story and link in the comments below…