How to Hide Files and Folders from Search on Windows 11?

In general, Windows 11’s search function can search, pictures, music, documents and videos, applications, emails and other important files. But in fact, specific files can be displayed in search results through settings, such as some private documents that need to be protected. This article will show you how to hide files and folders from search on Windows 11.

Ways to Exclude Files and Folders from Search on Windows 11

The first thing you need to know is the location of the custom Windows search file. Then skip those specific locations, see results faster, and also hide any files you want to protect. Next, we’ll walk through the steps if you want to exclude files and folders from Search on Windows 11.

1 Click Start menu and choose Settings.

2 When the settings open, select Privacy & Security on the left.

3 In Privacy & security, select the Searching Windows option.

4 Click to expand the Find My Files option.

5 Under Find my files > Classic, click the Customize search locations option.

customize search location windows 11 settings

6 In the Indexing Options window, press the Modify button at the bottom.

7 Next, check the folders to include, uncheck the folders to exclude from Windows Search, and click OK to save.

Steps to Hide Folders from Search on Windows 11

Follow the steps below to hide specific folders from Windows Search:

1 Click the Start button to open the Start menu and select Settings.

2 In Settings, press Privacy & Security > Search Windows.

search windows in privacy & security

3 Scroll down the list and select the Add Excluded Folder option.

add xcluded folders

4 Select the folder you want to hide and click the Select Folder button.

hide folders from search on Windows 11

5 The folder you selected will no longer be included in the search results. If you want to unhide the folder, 6 Click the three-dot icon next to the folder, and then click Delete.

How to Change Screen Resolution in Windows 11 or 10remove hidden folders form search

Steps for hide files from search on Windows 11

When you hide certain file types from Windows 11 search results, it will prevent it from appearing in search results.

1 Click Start, type indexing options, and select the top result.

search for indexing options

2 In Indexing Options, press the Advanced button.

advanced button indexing option

3 Next, click the File Types tab.

file types

4 In the File Types tab, browse for and uncheck the file types you want to exclude from the search.

exclude file types

5 After deselecting the file type, click the Indexing Settings tab.

6 Click the Rebuild button in the Troubleshooting section to rebuild the search index.


7 The time required to rebuild the index will vary depending on the number of files on your PC. The more files there are, the longer it will take to rebuild. Then click on OK button.

8 At the top of the Indexing Options window, you will see the status of the process.

indexing results

After reindexing, excluded file types will no longer appear in search results.

If you hide files and folders on Windows 11, you may not find the correct results when trying to find a specific item. If this happens to you, you can enable Enhanced Search to resolve this issue. The enhanced search function will scan your entire PC. Although the search is broader, the search speed will be slower. Enable Enhanced Search on Windows 11 by the following steps.

1 Press Start and open Settings.

2 When the settings are open, navigate to Privacy & Security > Search Windows.

3 Under the Find My Files section, click Enhanced Options.

4 From this point on, when you run a search query, your entire system is scanned, except your hidden files and folders.

Of course, Windows 11 also includes several ways to search for files and other items. For example, by clicking the start button or pressing the Windows key and typing your query. You can also use the search icon to the right of the start button.


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