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You must have figured it out by now, I love these little Quick-Tips. I also love to find new uses for “old” things. I recently re-discovered the LOG feature in Notepad, and this inspired me to dig out some more hidden features of this seemingly insignificant program that has been installed with every single Windows Version I can remember.

This time I’ll show you how to Hide important information inside a Notepad document.

It has been reported that this doesn’t work on FAT partitions, only NTFS.  But if it does – let me know.

Notepad is usually used to open and edit small text files or batch-files. What I’m sure you didn’t know is that it can also be used to safely (and securely) store important (read:Secret) information. The hidden text remains hidden from windows and any other resource unless you know it exist and what it is called.

To achieve this we create two notepad documents (text files) and hide one of them inside the other. One of the documents will remain visible, hiding the other one. Sounds Complicated ?

It’s not – Here’s how

  1. Open the folder where you want to store your hidden document (I use c:\secret )
  2. In the adress field (URL) type the following:

    notepad ShowThisFile.txt:HideThisFile.txt

    NOTICE the Colon [ : ] in-between the filenames?  That one is the secret.
    You can choose any filename you like – only make sure they are something you will remember later on.

  3. Windows will now display an error, saying it cannot find the file in question.
    Click YES, to create the new file.
  4. Type in your secrets, Save and Close the Document
  5. In the folder you will now see one new document called: ShowThisFile.txt

    Open it – what do you see ? It’s blank!
    Type in some unimportant information so no one expects its to be a decoy.
  6. Save the File and Close it

Anyone opening the file will only see the unimportant information that you typed in. Unless you know the Hidden Filename you will not be able to open the hidden part. So make sure it is something you definitively will remember.

Access the hidden part of the document

Opening the hidden part is not that difficult, but nothing is – once you know the secret.

  1. Open the folder where you keep the document named: ShowThisFile.txt
  2. In the adress-field, type in:  notepad ShowThisFile.txt:HideThisFile.txt
  3. Voilá – the hidden part of the document is revealed, until you close the document.

Usable ??

Well, I don’t know how usable this function is, but I am sure you wish you had known about this one a long time ago, am I right ?

One last tip:  If you like, you can also do this using the Command Line Tool (cmd.exe).

About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6LIMFW3V5TI6CNMXZCVZR52LZY cliffordtheitguy

    I love all this little tips and tricks that’s so easy anyone can implement

  • Shan

    does it work on winXP pro?

    • Anonymous

      as long as your HDD is formatted as NTFS it should

  • http://twitter.com/lautomne M.T

    wow. this is cool! might be useful some day. u never know!

  • Danny Boy

    “It has been reported that this doesn’t work on FAT partitions, only NTFS. But if it does – let me know.”

    This trick used alternate data streams, which is NTFS only, so it cannot work with FAT.

    Cool trick BTW. You can even fill up the fake txt file with content so that an eavesdropper wouldn’t become suspicious with a zero byte file.

  • http://twitter.com/lautomne M.T

    this tricks does not work in win xp . when i typed as in step 2, pressed enter, it said ‘parameter incorrect!’

    • Anonymous

      It should work on XP as well BUT if your disk is formatted as FAT32 – it will not work, no matter which windows version you use. See Danny Boys answer below.

  • vincerulzall

    Worked. Nice.

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