In the last post I wrote about how to encrypt files and folders on a Mac in order to be able to password protect them. In this post I want to talk about where might be the best place to hide them first of all and finally I want to show you how to make them disappear entirely.
Hiding Files in the Library Folder
Your Mac’c Library folder is similar to the Registry in Windows and is hidden by default. It’s hidden so that people are less likely to move, delete or deface system files but otherwise it is just like any other folder in OS X so you can certainly add other folders and files there. So as long as you are careful, it’s fairly good place to hide some secret stuff.
To find the Library folder in Mavericks and Yosemite, go to your Home folder in Finder (Shift + Cmd + H) or look for Home in Finder’s Go tab in the Finder menu bar. When in your Home Folder click View then click Show View Options or type (Cmd + J). When the View Options window opens, you’ll see a box at the bottom you can check to Show Library Folder. See below illustration. Enable that and your Library Folder appears. Now you can double-click it open and start dragging your secret stuff into it.
Another way to get to the Library Folder is to hold down the Option Key while clicking the Go tab in Finders. This will give you the option to click open your Library Folder whether you have it hidden in your Home Folder or not.
It’s perfectly safe to add all the stuff you want to the Library Folder just don’t alter or delete anything that’s already there . When you’re done you can make the Library Folder hidden again by un-checking the Show Library Folder box.
The Most Secure Way to Hide Stuff on a Mac
While the above method of hiding files on a Mac might be geeky enough to secure things from your snoopy little brother, most tech savvy snoops could possibly find your secret stash if you tried to hid it in the OS X Library Folder so here’s a far more secure way to secret stuff on a Mac
In fact, it’s a way to hid folders and files on your Mac that is so secure that even Edward Snowden couldn’t find them. Here’s how.
To hide a file or a folder completely on Mac OS X you need to set the “hidden” attribute for it.
Open Terminal by typing Cmd + the Space bar and in the Spotlight Search window type Terminal and press Enter. When Terminal appears type the following command: chflags hidden followed by a space. Now drag-and-drop a file or folder that you want to hide from the Finder into the Terminal window.
The path of the folder or file that you just pulled into the Terminal will appear in its place so copy this path to your clipboard before you press the Enter key. Now press the Enter key and the file or folder will disappear.
To get access to the folder, open Finder or click your Desktop so that the Finder’s Menu is visible at the top lefthand corner of your screen and click open the Go tab then mouse down and click Go to Folder and type or paste the path of your hidden folder into the box that appears. The ~ stands for your user folder, so if you previously hid a folder named Confidential that was on your desktop, you’d enter ~/Desktop/Confidential. The instant you hit Enter your hidden folder or file will appear. You can edit it any way you like and once you click it closed it will be hidden again so don’t forget its name and path.
You might want to read my last post to learn how to password protect your hidden secret stuff on a Mac.
If you found any of this information idiotic or confusing, yell at me in the comments.