Don’t want specific folders popping up when you search on Windows? Hide them away with these tips.
There are a few reasons why you might want to exclude folders from Windows Search. Perhaps you don’t want a folder appearing in your search results and potentially burying the file you’re actually looking for, or you just don’t want people snooping inside of 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 both Windows 10 and 11.
How to Exclude Folders From Windows Search in Windows 10
The easiest way of excluding one or more folders from appearing in the search results in Windows 10 is via the Settings app.
Here is how you can proceed:
- Press the Win + I keys together to open the Settings app.
- Click on Search from the list of options available.
- Choose Searching Windows from the left pane.
- Head over to the Add an excluded folder option under the Excluded Folders section and click on it.
- In the following dialog, click on the Select Folder button.
- Pick the folder you want to hide. Once you do that, the folder will no longer appear in the search results.
How to Exclude Folders From Windows Search in Windows 11
We will be using the Settings app to hide folders from appearing in search results in Windows 11 as well, but the method is slightly different from Windows 10.
Here is all that you need to do:
- Open the Settings app through the Start menu or by pressing the Win + I keys together.
- In the Settings window, choose Privacy & security from the left pane.
- Select the Searching Windows option on the right side of the window.
- Navigate to the Exclude folders from the enhanced search section and click on the Add an excluded folder button here.
- Now, click on the Select Folder button and choose the folder that you want to hide.
How to Hide Folders From File Explorer on Windows 10 and 11
The methods mentioned above discuss how to hide folders from appearing in the search results in the Windows search utility. If you would like the selected folders to not appear in the File Explorer search as well, follow the steps listed below:
- Launch File Explorer and navigate to the location of the folder that you want to hide.
- Right-click on the folder you want to hide and choose Properties from the context menu.
- In the following dialog, head over to the General tab and checkmark the box for Hidden in the Attributes section.
- Click Apply to save the changes.
- If you are hiding a folder that has subfolders, a prompt will appear asking you if you want to hide the subfolders as well. Choose the preferred option and click OK.
You can now close the Properties dialog.
However, keep in mind that the folder will only be hidden if File Explorer is explicitly configured to not display the hidden folders. Here is how you can check if this feature is enabled.
- Launch File Explorer and click on the three dots on the top.
- Choose Options from the context menu.
- Head over to the View tab and in the Advanced settings section, enable the Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives option.
- Click Apply > OK to save the changes.
Protect Your Privacy on Windows
You now know how to prevent certain folders from appearing in the search results on Windows. These tips and tricks can help you protect your privacy on your PC, especially if it is used by multiple people.