How to Hide Files and Folders in Android without Any Apps

You may have some personal stuff on your device that you don’t want others to see.

If so, then you need to hide it to keep it off from others view.

On an Android device, you can do it without any apps. In this post, we will see 2 different ways to do this task. Let’s get started.

Hide Files and Folders without any Apps

Method #1

Dot Method

Go to your file manager. Enable “Show hidden files” option to see the hidden files in your file manager.

Enabled Show hidden files option

Open the menu and select “Create folder”.

Provide the name as per your choice. But, place dot (.) before the file name. For this instance, I’m creating a folder named “.mydata”.

Alternatively, you can place the dot before the existing folder name to hide its contents.

From now on, placing any content within the folder “.mydata” is going to be hidden and it won’t be visible on Gallery, multimedia players and anywhere.

In our instance, the subfolder and all the items within the “.mydata” folder is hidden and will not be shown anywhere.

.mydata folder

What happens when you place a dot (.) before individual file name (such as Image, video, and PDF)?

Image – the images will not be shown on any app. But unfortunately, the Gallery is not giving constant results. When I test, It is showing the hidden images most of the times and sometimes not.

Video – The case of the video is same as the image.

PDF – the PDF are not shown anywhere.

Here are the couple of things to note:

The files within the hidden folders such as (.mydata) will be visible on the computer.

Before giving your phone to others, make sure to disable “Show hidden files” option.

Method #2

.Nomedia Method

What is .nomedia?

It is just an empty file with an extension nomedia. Generally .nomedia file tell the Android apps to not display the contents of the folder in which it presents.

Here are some things to remember:

.nomedia is a file and not a folder.

It only works for the media files (such as photos and videos).

The folder which contains .nomedia file is always visible in the file manager. But, the .nomedia file will only be visible to you if you have enabled “Show hidden files” option.

You can place the .nomedia file within the new or existing folder to make its content hidden.

Well, let’s see the steps to create a .nomedia file.


Just select any junk file.

Copy and paste it in the folder you want. In this instance, I’m gonna paste this into “mydata” folder.

Now, rename it as .nomedia.

.nomedia file creation
.nomedia file placed in the .mydata folder

All the files and folders within “mydata” folder are hidden now and will not be shown on Gallery, multimedia players and so on.

You may be thinking, what will happen to the PDF file within the mydata folder?

The PDF file doesn’t hide by the .nomedia file and the PDF readers can still detect the PDF file within “mydata” folder.

Remember, .nomedia file is for the media files only.


Alternative method to Create .nomedia File:

Some file managers such as ES File Explorer have the luxury to create a new file.

If you prefer, you can create a new file named “.nomedia” using that app.

Final Thoughts

You can use any one of the methods as per your need. I suggest you to go with the first method as much as possible.

Because, the first method is the easy and flawless one to unhide files and folders.​

Also see:

How to Hide Apps on Android

How to Password Protect Files on Android

Scroll to Top