Uninstalling programs on our computer is very simple and only takes a few seconds from the control panel. But it is possible that you do not want to uninstall them but to hide them temporarily, hide a program in Windows so that other people do not see it when they are going to use the same computer as you. In that case, we can do it without having to eliminate it completely and we will explain how.
There are several options: we can hide specific files and folders on our computer, we can hide programs in Windows 10 and Windows 11 or we can use specialized programs that help us hide this software.
Hide files and folders
We can mark files or folders from the Windows computer as hidden so that another person does not see them when you are going to use it. It is a function that is available from older versions of the operating system and that we can continue to use today with a couple of clicks. What we will do is hide them and not delete them. They will still be there, but no one will see them with the naked eye except us.
The steps are simple:
- Go to the file or folder that interests you
- Click on the icon and tap on the right button
- A drop-down menu will open with different options
- Go to the end and open the Properties section
- In Properties, tap on the first tab: General
- Scroll down until you see “Attributes”
- There will be two options: Read Only / Hidden
- Choose the option ” Hidden “
- Confirm with “accept” and exit the properties
You will see that the icon becomes somewhat more transparent compared to similar ones. A few seconds later, it disappears. But it has not been deleted, we have simply managed to hide the corresponding file or folder and we can show it whenever we want if we go to the folder and change its ” view ” settings. In our case, from the desktop.
We open the desktop folder and go to the “View” tab that we find at the top next to “Start” and “Share”. Here we will see a series of options such as a preview panel or details panel as well as several different views on how we want the icons to be displayed: details, list, small, large, medium, very large … We can also group or choose the order , group or adjust by columns, etc. And, finally, we will see three options that we can mark in a box next to its name:
- Item boxes
- File name extensions
- Hidden elements
If you mark hidden elements, the document that you had hidden or hidden following the previous steps will appear on the screen again.
Another option to hide elements is to do it from this screen. In the “view” section you will see that there is (on the right) a button that indicates “hide selected elements “. This will allow us to hide files and folders in batch without having to go to the properties of each one of them. We simply have to mark all the folders that interest us or the files and mark the button “hide selected elements” as you see in the image below. The same will happen as in the previous case and we must choose “hidden elements” to be able to see them. The rest will not see them, but keep in mind that they are not protected with any key and that anyone can press that button and see and open them freely.
Hide app without uninstalling
In the event that you want to hide an application instead of a file or a folder , we can do it too, although the steps will be different. We can do it from the computer configuration, in the registry, or using a third-party program that specifically takes care of this work. Both options are straightforward.
From the record
To hide an application in Windows 10 from the registry, the first thing we have to do is open the system registry. To do this, we must touch “Windows + R” on the keyboard. A “Run” window will open and we will have to write “Regedit” in it. Once you have it, click on accept and open this window. Or, we go to Start and look for “Registry Editor” and click on it.
When we have opened it, we have to write the following:
There we will find a lot of registry keys, specifically one for each application installed on the computer. We will see them on the left side of the screen, as you see in the image below. To find out which application each one corresponds to, we select it and on the right side we look at the value of the string with the name DisplayName. Along with this, the corresponding name of the application or program that interests us will appear.
To hide an application, we must find it. The problem with this system is that we will have to click one by one until we find the one that interests us and we must take special care not to make mistakes so as not to hide or delete the program that is not it. Of course, before proceeding with its deletion, we must make a backup in case at some point we want to show it again and that they appear in the list of programs installed and ready to uninstall.
Once you have it selected, tap on it in the left panel. You will open a drop-down menu in which we must choose “New” and here we choose DWORD Value (32 bits). In the heat, change the name to “SystemComponent” and in “value information” change the 0 there is to a 1. Once ready, accept and save.
With specialized programs
Depending on the type of application that we want to hide, the other option is to use a specialized program or third-party applications. For example, we can use the Hide From Uninstall List tool. An application that we can get completely free from this link. Once the .ZIP file is downloaded, we unzip it and launch the executable file. The tool’s interface will automatically open where a list of installed applications will be displayed that we can hide from Hide From Uninstall List. It is much more comfortable and simple to do this than to go one by one in the registry since the program will show us a list with all the installed applications and we can choose whether to hide or show.
Its operation is very simple, since, to hide an application, all we have to do is mark the application in question from the list and then click on the ghost button that is displayed on the top bar of the tool. If we prefer, it is also possible to hide an application if we click on it with the right button of the mouse in the list itself and select the option Hide from programs and features from the contextual menu. This will prevent it from appearing in the list of applications to download in the Control Panel.
We can simply return to the program whenever we want to hide or show as we need or as we install new things that we want to hide. It will take us just a few seconds and we will hide it completely, they will even stop appearing in the uninstall programs window of the Control Panel. To show them again, we follow the same steps.