Drive - Hide or Unhide

ByLine
How to Hide or Unhide a Drive in Vista and Windows 7
Synopsis
This will show you how to hide or unhide a drive from being displayed in Computer and Windows Explorer in Vista and Windows 7.
How to Hide or Unhide a Drive in Vista and Windows 7

information   Information
This will show you how to hide or unhide a drive from being displayed in Computer and Windows Explorer in Vista and Windows 7.

By default, all drives are not hidden.
Note   Note
This will only hide or unhide the drive in Vista and Windows 7, and will not prevent access to the drive from say the command prompt or Run command window.

This will not unhide a drive that was not hidden by this method.

EXAMPLE: The D drive set to Unhide and Hide in Computer
NOTE:
Open the Start menu and click on the Computer button to see this.

Computer_Unhidden.jpg Computer_Hidden.jpg



METHOD ONE
Using the Local Group Policy Editor

NOTE: For more drive letter options, see Method Three below.
1. Open the all users, specific users or groups, or all users except administrators Local Group Policy Editor for how you want this policy applied.​
2. In the left pane, click on User Configuration, Administrative Templates, Windows Components, and Windows Explorer. (See screenshot below)​
Group_Policy.jpg

3. In the right pane, right click on Hide these specified drives in My Computer and click on Properties. (See screenshot above)​
4. To Unhide All Drives
A) Select (dot) Disabled or Not Configured and click on OK. (See screenshot below step 5C)​
B) Go to step 6.​

5. To Hide a Drive or Combination of Drives
A) Select (dot) Enabled.​
B) Click on the drop down arrow and select the drive or combination of drives option that you want to set as restricted (hidden). (See screenshot below)​
NOTE: Even though the options say Restrict, it is to Hide the drive(s).​
C) Click on OK.​
Properties.jpg

6. Close the Local Group Policy Editor window. Your done.​



METHOD TWO
Using a REG File Download

NOTE: Whichever REG file you choose to use, it will overide all of the others. For more drive letter options, see the Method Three below.
1. To Hide A and B drives only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

2. To Hide C drive only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

3. To Hide D drive only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

4. To Hide A, B, and C drives only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

5. To Hide A, B, C, and D drives only
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

6. To Hide All drives
A) download
B) Go to step 8.​

7. To Unhide All drives
A) download

8. Save the .reg file to your Desktop.​
9. Right click on the downloaded .reg file, and click on Merge.​
10. Click on Run, Continue (UAC-Vista) or Yes (UAC-Windows 7), Yes, and then OK when prompted.​
11. When done, you can delete the downloaded .reg file if you like.​
12. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply changes.​



METHOD THREE
Manually in Registry Editor

1. Open the Start Menu, then type regedit in the search box and press Enter.​
2. If prompted by UAC, then click on the Continue (Vista) or Yes (Windows 7)..​
3. In regedit, navigate to the location below. (See screenshot below)​
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer
Reg1.jpg

4. To Hide a Drive or Combination of Drives
A) In the right pane of Explorer, right click on a empty area, click on New and DWORD (32-bit) Value, and type NoDrives and press Enter. (See screenshot below)​
B) Right click on NoDrives, and click on Modify.​
Reg2.jpg

C) Type in the drive option hex or decimal number below in bold you want to set as restricted, and click on OK. (See screenshot below)​
Tip   Tip
To hide multiple drive letters, add the decimal numbers together for each drive letter below that you want to hide, , select (dot) Decimal or Hex for the type of numbers you used, enter that number, and click on OK.
Tip   Tip

For Example: I'm using 8 (hex number) to Hide D drive only, or for E=16 and F=32, I would use 16+32=48 (Decimal number).​


Drive Letter

Decimal

Hex

A

1

1

B

2

2

C

4

4

D

8

8

E

16

10

F

32

20

G

64

40

H

128

80

I

256

100

J

512

200

K

1024

400

L

2048

800

M

4096

1000

N

8192

2000

O

16384

4000

P

32768

8000

Q

65536

10000

R

131072

20000

S

262144

40000

T

524288

80000

U

1048576

100000

V

2097152

200000

W

4194304

400000

X

8388608

800000

Y

16777216

1000000

Z

33554432

2000000

All Drives

67108863

3ffffff
  • Hide A and B drives only - type 3 (hex)
  • Hide C drive only - type 4 (hex)
  • Hide D drive only - type 8 (hex)
  • Hide A, B, and C drives only - type 7 (hex)
  • Hide A, B, C, and D drives only - type f (hex)
  • Hide all drives - type 3ffffff (hex)
Modify.jpg

D) The registry will now look like this. (See screenshot below)​
Reg3.jpg

E) Go to step 6.​

5. To Unhide All drives
A) In the right pane of Explorer, right click on NoDrives and click on Delete. (See screenshot above)​
B) Click on Yes to confirm delete.​

6. Close regedit.​
7. Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply changes.​
That's it,
Shawn


Related Tutorials


 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Slovenski,

The link below from Toshiba will help show you how to create a set of recovery discs as a backup of your recovery partition in case something happens to it. It will also show you how to do restore the original factory image of Vista like it was the first day you got it. :)

How to use the Toshiba HDD Recovery Utility

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hey man!
i had a 5th drive which is hidden now in a laptop!
i can't use the first method as it has HomePremium
and i don't find any explorer under policies
help me regain my fifth drive! :(

Capture.JPG
 
Hello Jeyessh,

If this is an external drive, then try disconnecting it and reconnecting it, or restarting the computer to have it back again.

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Hello VJ,

You could use METHOD THREE in the tutorial and type 16 for the E drive as in the yellow TIP box at step 4C. :)

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Do you have access to C Vista drive now?

Did you also select (dot) Decimal, then entered 16 instead of just entering 16?
 
Hi, I am having some trouble with all of this, I wonder if someone can help.

I have just installed Windows 7 onto my laptop and I have created a couple of partitions, plus a RAM drive. I also have an external hard drive plugged in, and there is an optical drive. I changed the drive letters for the RAM drive and external drive to way down the alphabet as I use a virtual drive and pen drives on a regular basis and when they take on the next available letter it can be dead annoying if i plug the ext hdd in after a pen drive and all my shortcuts are incorrect.

Here is a screengrab of what it looked like before:


I don't want the "C" drive or the "R" drive to appear in Explorer, so I tried Method Three in your tutorial. I followed every step precisely, and using the yellow tip box I worked out that C=4 and R=131072 so I tried entering 131076 (I tried it as hexadecimal and then later as decimal as I didn't quite understand that bit, both attempts gave me the same result

Here is a screengrab of what it looked like after:


As you can see, it did remove "C" and "R", but it also removed "E" and "F". What did I do wrong?

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Hello PK1,

You really don't want to hide the C: drive that Windows is on. It could cause unknown issues.
 
I thought that this was a cosmetic change only, and the drive would still be accessible, just hidden from view in explorer. If it needs to stay there then that's no big deal, but if I can hide it I would like to. Could you help explain how I hid drives "E" and "F"? I read through the comments from when you have helped other people and I saw that you recommended with an external drive to disconnect it and reconnect it, well my external drive is still visible, and I tried ejecting the DVD drive, and disabling/enabling it in device manager but it made no difference
 
I'm not sure why it also had E and F hidden when you only set it to hide C and R. :huh:

Only having it hide R would allow the others to still show.

You wouldn't want to hide C, since other users would need to be able to see the C drive to access their user folders and such.
 
I'm the only user, it's just my own personal laptop. I literally only have windows and driver files on C, everything else (including the desktop) is on separate partitions/drives. I can live with C remaining, I will just hide R like you said.

Thanks for you help, and thank you for responding so quickly, this forum and sevenforums.com are really great

PS: Will post on Monday to confirm it has worked, left my laptop at work
 
I had my B drive hidden using this method for a long time. I had some spyware on my system and had to run various utilities to remove it. The spyware is gone, but as part of the "fixing" process one of the utilities had to unhide a lot of files. So it appears that either that "unhiding" process or something the malware did prevented this method from working.

I have confirmed the settings are in the registry and also tried disabling/enabling via the policy snap in. The settings are there, but the drive still shows in the My Computer window. I also tried changing the B: drive to a different drive letting and using the corresponding reg setting for that and does not hide.

Any idea if there is another setting somewhere that may have been enabled that would cause windows to ignore these settings?
 
Hello Chico, and welcome to Vista Forums.

The A: and B: drive letter is usually used for floppy drives. You might see if changing the drive letter to something else, and hiding it may work.

If not, then if you like, you might see if removing the drive letter for the drive will allow it to be hidden afterwards.

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn
 
Hello Chico, and welcome to Vista Forums.

The A: and B: drive letter is usually used for floppy drives. You might see if changing the drive letter to something else, and hiding it may work.

If not, then if you like, you might see if removing the drive letter for the drive will allow it to be hidden afterwards.

Hope this helps, :)
Shawn

Thanks, removing the drive letter hid it from the my computer window. I had tried changing the drive letter to something else in the past and that didn't have any effect. This accomplishes what I was looking for.

Thanks

Chico
 
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