How to Hide Files and Folders from Search Results in Windows 11/10?

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By default, Windows 11/10 includes files and folders in search results. The built-in feature of Windows sync in and index files/folders on the PC and updates the data whenever there is a change. However, it is possible to exclude files and folders from your Search Results in Windows 11/10.

Although this feature is definitely impressive, a few Windows users might not want to allow searches of everything. Sometimes, you want to hide a set of files in a folder from being viewed by someone. We will explain if you want to hide specific folders from not being indexed to Windows search results.

It is possible to hide specific folders in Windows 11 and Windows 10, but the path is different. We will see both of them one by one.

How to Hide Files and Folders from Search Results in Windows 11?

Step 1. Open the Windows Settings by pressing Windows + I keys from the keyboard.

Step 2. Press Privacy & security category from the left sidebar in the Settings page.

Step 3. Scroll down and click on the Searching Windows tab on the right-side pane.

Step 4. On the top of the page, you can see the indexing status available in search results.

Sep 5. Scroll down to find the Exclude folders from enhanced search section. Here, you will see a few system folders are already in excluded list. To add more folders, click on the Add an excluded folder button next to “These folders won’t be included when searching your PC.”

Step 6. Now, FIle Explorer will open, click on the folder you want to hide from the search results and then press the Select Folder button.

That’s it. The selected folder is now included in the exclusion list of Windows search. The folders within the exclusion list and files under that will be invisible from the Windows search.

How to Exclude Files and Folders from Search Results in Windows 10?

Like Windows 11, you can also hide specific folders and files within that folder on Windows 10. For that, do the following:-

Step 1. Open the Settings app.

To do that, click the Start button and then select the Settings icon on the left.

Step 2. Click on the Search category on the Settings app.


Step 3. Next, click on the Searching Windows tab from the left sidebar.

Step 4. On the right-side pane, you can view the indexing status. Scroll down to the “Excluded Folders” section. Click Add an excluded folder button.

Step 5. Now, the File Explorer window will open. Select a folder that you would like to exclude or hide from Windows Search. Then, click the Select Folder button.

Now, the desired folder is added to the exclusion list. That means this folder and its contents will not be available in Windows search.

One comment

  1. Not sure this is complete or even works. Other sites include the instructions to rebuild the index (advanced options), but even that no longer works (Feb 2022)

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