How to hide Files and Folders on Android devices

Every PC user knows how to hide a folder in Windows. But, when it comes to Android, which is based on Linux, users are clueless on how to hide files and folders. There are several apps in the Play store that allows you to hide files and folders on Android, but why give your phone another app load, when the job of hiding files can be easily using a file manager app only. We recommend ES File Explorer app, but you may go ahead with any file manager app of your choice.

Method 1 : Hide folder adding a dot to the folder name

In Android, the apps save caches and some other files by naming it with a dot in front of the folder name. (eg. .movies). The files inside this folder is not accessible for normal apps (Gallery, Video player, etc). It is accessible for file manager apps and other special apps only.

  1. First, Enable hidden files from Settings> Display Settings.
  2. Select the folder you want to hide.
  3. Rename the folder by adding a dot before the folder name. 

The folder you want to hide will be hidden from other user apps such as Gallery, MX Player, etc. And to view it, you’ll have to use ES File Explorer or any other file manager app that lets you you to view hidden files and folders.

NOTE: Don’t use this method for hiding folders that are actively used by apps installed on your phone. For example, this is useless for hiding images from Whatsapp or files from Downloads folder. If your purpose is hiding files, not folders, use the second method instead. The best use of this method is to collect all the files that you want to hide, place them in one folder and then rename the folder with a dot before folder’s name.

Dot before folder

Method 2 : Hide files inside folder using ‘.nomedia’ file

Similar to the last method, Android OS uses one more method to make files inside a folder invisible to other apps by creating a special file named .no media inside a folder. This can also be used to hide files inside a folder.

  1. Open the folder from which you want to hide files from
  2. Create a .nomedia file inside the folder using a file manager app

The files inside the folder will be hidden from other apps like Gallery and other apps that list media items.

nomedia folder


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