How to Hide Files on Chromebook

Chromebooks have become increasingly popular devices for personal and professional use. Their simplicity, affordability, and security make them an appealing choice for many users. However, you may have private files stored on your Chromebook that you want to keep hidden from prying eyes. Thankfully, hiding files on a Chromebook is straightforward.

Why You May Want to Hide Files

There are a few reasons why you might want to hide certain files on your Chromebook:

  • Privacy – You likely have private documents, photos, videos, or other files saved on your Chromebook that you don’t want others accessing. Hiding them is an easy way to keep them private.
  • Security – In addition to privacy concerns, hiding sensitive files can also be prudent from a security perspective. If your Chromebook is ever lost or stolen, hidden files will be more difficult for unauthorized individuals to access.
  • Sharing Your Device – If you share your Chromebook with family members, friends, or as a guest device, hiding private files will prevent awkward or unintended access.

How to Hide Files on a Chromebook

Hiding files on a Chromebook is easy and only takes a few steps:

1. Open the Files App

The Files app allows you to view and manage all files saved on your Chromebook. To get started, click on the app launcher (magnifying glass icon) in the bottom left corner and select the Files app.

2. Show Hidden Files

By default, hidden files are not displayed in the Files app. To show hidden files:

  1. Click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner
  2. Select “Show hidden files”

A checkmark will appear next to this option when enabled.

3. Rename the File

To hide a file or folder:

  1. Right-click on the file/folder and select “Rename”
  2. Add a period . to the beginning of the name
  3. Press Enter to save the change

For example, to hide a file called “secret-document.pdf”, rename it to “.secret-document.pdf”.

4. Hide Hidden Files

Finally, to re-hide all hidden files:

  1. Click the three-dot menu
  2. Uncheck “Show hidden files”

The files and folders renamed with a period at the beginning will now be hidden in the Files app.

Viewing Hidden Files

To temporarily view your hidden files again:

  1. Open the Files app
  2. Click the three-dot menu
  3. Check “Show hidden files”

Your hidden files will now be visible. Remember to uncheck this option again to re-hide them.

To permanently unhide a file, simply remove the period from the beginning of its name.

Additional Privacy Tips

In addition to hiding files, here are some other tips for maintaining privacy on your Chromebook:

  • Encrypt your hard drive – Turn on encryption in your Chromebook’s settings to add an extra layer of security.
  • Use guest mode – Guest mode allows others to use your device without accessing your personal files and data.
  • Create restricted user accounts – If you share your Chromebook, create a restricted account to limit access.
  • Use a privacy screen protector – Prevent visual hacking by using a screen protector that obscures viewing angles.
  • Keep your device locked – Set your Chromebook to auto-lock after a short period of inactivity.


Hiding files on your Chromebook is simple using the built-in Files app. By renaming files and folders to begin with a period, you can easily conceal them from view. Periodically checking back and confirming your sensitive files remain hidden is prudent. Combine file hiding with other privacy tips for optimal security.

Your private files and confidential data deserve vigilance and protection. Following these recommendations will help keep them secure on your Chromebook. Implement these steps proactively so your files remain discretely tucked away when needed.