Everyone has their own reasons why they want to hide their important files. Sometimes, people would want to hide their entire C drive to protect their system files. Sometimes, D drive, because they have their work files in that drive. If someone else uses your machine, it’s better if they don’t even see the drive letter under This PC window. So is there a way how you can hide an entire drive or all of the drives or some specific drives in your PC? Well, we wouldn’t be writing this article if there wasn’t a way, of course.
In this article, we are going to explain in detail how you can easily hide or show specific drives in your Windows 11 and 10, through 2 different methods. Though both the methods yield the same results, the registry method has a slight advantage over the policy editing method as the registry method enables you to hide or show any drive letter whereas the local group policy editor method lets you hide or show drive letter combinations having A, B, C and D only.
Note: Please note that the methods only hide the drives in the This PC or My Computer window. Users can still access the hidden drive and its contents using the File Explorer navigation bar or using the Run window or using any other similar method. But if you assign a rare drive letter like K for your drive and then hide it, then it is highly unlikely that someone would find a way to access it.
Solution 1: Using Local Group Policy Editor
This is a rather simple method compared to the Registry method. This method is straightforward and safer as well. Now let’s see how you can hide or show drives using Local Group Policy Editor.
1.1 How to Hide Drives
Step 1: First of all, let’s bring up the Run window to launch the Local Group Policy Editor. Press the keys Win + R together, type in gpedit.msc next and then hit the Enter key.
Step 2: As next, double click on each folder, given below, to navigate to the location of the group policy that we are going to slightly tweak.
User Configuration --> Administrative Templates --> Windows Components --> File Explorer
Once you are at the File Explorer folder, on the right window pane, double click on the setting named Hide these specified drives in My Computer.
Step 3: Firstly, choose the radio button corresponding to Enabled.
Now the dropdown menu under the Options section will become clickable. Here, you can choose an option as per your choice. For example, if you want to hide all the drives in your system, choose Restrict all drives. If you want to hide only the C drive, then choose Restrict C drive only etc.
Once you have chosen an item from the dropdown menu, hit the Apply button and then the OK button.
You can now open your Windows file explorer This PC to see your change in effect. Enjoy!
1.2 How to Show Drives
Let’s say you changed your mind and want things to be back to how they were. In that case, on the configuration window of the Hide these specified drives in My Computer setting, you just need to choose the Not Configured option or the Disabled option.
Don’t forget to hit the Apply button and then the OK button once you are done.
Solution 2: Using Registry Editor
The registry editor method is a bit more complex compared to the policy changing method. However, techies love some registry hacks, and we totally know it. Because unstable registry settings can cause some system issues, it is greatly recommended that you take a backup of your registry settings before you proceed with this method.
2.1 How to Hide Drives
Step 1: On the taskbar, click on the Search icon.
Step 2: Now in the search bar, type in regedit and choose Registry Editor from the Best match section.
Step 3: On the Registry Editor navigation bar, copy and paste the following location and hit the Enter key.
Now, right click on the Explorer folder, click on New and then click on DWORD (32-bit) Value.
Step 4: Click on the newly created DWORD value and press the F2 key to rename it. Give the name of the DWORD value as NoDrives.
You need to double click on the NoDrives DWORD value to edit its properties.
As next, we will edit the Value data field of the NoDrives DWORD value as detailed in the following subsections.
2.1.1 Hide A and B Drives Only
If you would like to hide only the A drive and the B drive from This PC, then you need to set the value in the Value data field as 3. Make sure Base is set to Decimal. Hit the OK button once done.
2.1.2 Hide C Drive Only
If only the C drive needs to be hidden, then set the value in the Value data field as 4. Make sure Base is set to Decimal before you hit the Enter key.
2.1.3 Hide D Drive only
To hide only the drive D from This PC, the value in the Value data field has to be set to 8 and the Base has to be Decimal.
2.1.4 Hide A, B and C Drives only
If you would like to hide A, B and C drives, then you need to set 7 as the value in the Value data field and Decimal as the Base.
2.1.5 Hide A, B, C and D Drives only
Set the value 15 in the Value data field and set Base as Decimal if you would like to hide A, B, C and D drives.
2.1.6 Hide All the Drives
If you would like to hide all the drives from This PC, irrespective of the number and the names of your drives, copy and paste the value 67108863 in the Value data field and set the Base value as Decimal before you hit the OK button.
2.2 How to Show Drives
In case you want to show all the drives, then you need to set the Value data field value to 0 (Zero). Or you can simply right click on the NoDrives DWORD value and hit the Delete option from the right click context menu to remove this setting altogether, which will by default enable showing all the drives in your system.
That’s how simple it is!
2.3 The Drive Letter – Value Data table
Though the Registry Editor method is a bit more complex compared to the Local Group Policy Editor method, there is one advantage when you follow this method. By editing the registry settings, you can hide or show drives other than A, B, C and D, which is not possible with the Local Group Policy Editor.
If you have drive E in your system and you would like to hide it, you definitely need the Value data corresponding to drive letter E. Likewise, your drive letter can be any alphabet. In such cases, we hope you will find the following table useful.
Note: If you would like to hide a combination of drives, then you need to add up their Value data fields. For example, if you would like to hide the drives H, K, A and F, then the value that you need to enter in the Value data field would be 128 + 1024 + 1 + 32 = 1185. Also, please make sure to set the base to Decimal.
|Drive Letter||Value Data|
|Hide All Drives||67108863|
|Show All Drives||0|
Using the table above, you can find the Value data field for any drive letter you have in your machine and edit the value in NoDrives Value data field with that value to hide that specific drive or a combination of drives.
2.4 Restart Windows File Explorer to See Changes in Effect
Please note that for Local Group Policy Editor, the changes would be instant and after making the changes, you can straight away check your This PC to see your change in effect. If you have hidden a drive, it will be hidden under This PC right away.
But for the Registry Editor method, you have to either restart your machine or restart Windows File Explorer to see your changes in effect. To restart Windows File Explorer, you can follow the steps below.
Step 1: Right click on the Windows Start menu icon and click on Task Manager.
Step 2: On the Task Manager window, make sure the Processes tab is selected. Now under the Apps section, right click on Windows Explorer and click on the Restart option.
Once you restart Windows Explorer, your changes would successfully be applied for you to verify. Enjoy!
Please tell us in the comments section whether you found the article useful.
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