If you’re looking to hide files on your PC hard drive, you may have read about ways to encrypt folders or change the attributes on a file so that they cannot be accessed by prying eyes. However, a lot of times hiding files or folders in that way requires that you install some sort of software on your computer, which could then be spotted by someone else.
I’ve actually written quite a few articles on how you can hide files and folders in Windows before (linked above), but here I’m going to show you a new way to hide files that is very counter-intuitive and therefore pretty safe! Using a simple trick in Windows and a third-party program, you can actually hide a file inside of a JPG picture file!
You can actually hide any type of file inside of an image file, including txt, exe, mp3, avi, or whatever else. Not only that, you can actually store many files inside of single JPG file, not just one! This can come in very handy if you need to hide files and don’t want to bother with encryption and all that other technical stuff.
Hide File in Picture
In order to accomplish this task, you will need to have either WinZip or WinRAR installed on your computer. You can download either of these two off the Internet and use them without having to pay anything. Here are the steps for creating your hidden stash:
- Create a folder on your hard drive, i.e. C:\Test and put in all of the files that you want to hide into that folder. Also, place the image that you will be using to hide the files in.
- Now select all of the files that you want to hide, right-click on them, and choose the option to add them to a compressed ZIP or RAR file. Only select the files you want to hide, not the picture. Name it whatever you want, i,e. “Hidden.rar”.
- Now you should have a folder that looks something like this with files, a JPG image, and a compressed archive:
- Now here’s the fun part! Click on Start, and then click on Run. Type in “CMD” without the quotes and press Enter. You should now see the command prompt window open. Type in “CD \” to get to the root directory. Then type CD and the directory name that you created, i.e. “CD Test“.
- Now type in the following line: “copy /b DSC06578.JPG + Hidden.rar DSC06578.jpg” and press Enter. Do not use the quotes. You should get a response like below:
Just make sure that you check the file extension on the compressed file, whether it is .ZIP or .RAR as you have to type out the entire file name with extension in the command. I have heard that some people say that they have had problems doing this with a .ZIP extension, so if that doesn’t work, make sure to compress to a .RAR file. I also downloaded 7-zip and tried it with the .7z extension and it worked fine.
Note that in the command, I used the same name for the new picture (DSC06578), but you can give the new picture a different name if you like. The second instance of the picture name in the command is the name the new picture will get.
That’s about it! The picture file will have been updated with the compressed archive inside! You can actually check the file size of the picture and see that it has increased by the same amount as the size of the archive.
You can access your hidden file in two ways. Firstly, simply change the extension to .RAR and open the file using WinRAR. Secondly, you can just right-click on the JPG image and choose Open With and then scroll down to WinRAR. Either way, you’ll see your hidden files show up that you can then extract out.
So that is all it takes to hide files inside JPG picture files! It’s a great way simply because not many people know it’s possible and no one even thinks about a picture as having to the ability to “hide” files. The only ways for anyone to figure it out is if you tell them or they see your picture of a dog is 100MB in size, which might make them a bit curious. Enjoy!