application to hide and unhide files in folders

  1. Posts : 7
    Windows 10

    application to hide and unhide files in folders

    Hi. Our genealogy society has hundreds of folders with jpeg images of sacramental records like baptisms. To the public, we are only allowed to show records that are 70 years old or older. That means we have to copy over a new year's worth of records for all the books every January. So we have two sets of folders: one that contains all the images and one that cuts off currently at records prior to 1952.

    What we would like to do is hide records after 1951 in a single folder and then unhide just the 1952 records when January comes around. I have looked at a couple applications but so far they are too complicated for us to use. Also hide and unhide using the Windows attribute command seems very laborious for so many folders.

    Any suggestions? Thank you! Windows 10 version 10.0.19042
      My Computer

  2. Posts : 43,242
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, rather than using a program, have you considered using permissions to make the folders inaccessible?

    Change Permissions of Objects for Users and Groups in Windows 10
    Enable or Disable Inherited Permissions for Objects in Windows
    Add Inherited Permissions Context Menu in Windows

    -more related tutorials listed following the main text.

    Or keep them under a separate user account? Or on offline storage until needed?
      My Computers

  3. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    thank you

    Thank you for your response. The issue is not with the folders but with the individual files in the folders. For example, suppose we have a public accessible folder of jpeg images with baptisms from 1925-1965. We can only show to the public the baptisms from 1925 through 1951 at this time because of the 70 year rule. So all the baptism images after 1951 have been deleted. But in January 2022, we have to copy over (from our master folder) any baptisms from 1952 into the public folder for searching.

    I don't see how permissions or group rules would help - unless I am missing something. The complete set of public folders and master folders are kept on external storage and only the public folders are read-only for searching.

    The copying of a year's worth of records is not that bad but to allow our volunteers to do that work at home means that we have to copy both the public folders and the master folders for each church (well of over 350) to external hard drives. That takes literally weeks of computer time because size the folder are so large. Most contain at least 100-200 jpeg images.

    Thanks, again, for you ideas.
      My Computer

  4. Posts : 43,242
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, there's probably something about your requirements or file structure or file copying that will make almost any suggestion inappropriate, so here are some ideas, which are to be considered illustrative rather than directly relevant. The rest will be up to you, together with any ideas others will offer.

    a. Put files per year in a folder for that year. Then use permissions.
    b. Put files for the years you don't want visible in a different place.
    c. If your only option is one gigantic folder with all files from all years, which needs careful sorting and handling, this appears to offer a way to hide (and presumably unhide) multiple selected files using a context menu option:

    application to hide and unhide files in folders-untitled.png

    Wise folder hider (free & paid)
    Wise Folder Hider - No.1 Freeware to Hide Folders or Files

    With Wise Folder Hider, you can easily hide your files and folders. Protect your private or important data from unauthorized access and deletion. The second level password for specific file, folder or drive also increases security.
    If this program is not suitable, you can search for another that operates like that.
    Functionally, that may be about as simple as you'll get.

    You've not said which programs you've looked at, so you've probably already decided this is not suitable anyway. Such is life.

    Caveat: I've not tried it, so do not consider this a recommendation. Good luck!
      My Computers

  5. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, again. I did download and try Wise File Hider and it works but it keeps a history of all the hidden files. So to restore one year's worth of baptisms for probably 300 baptism books you have to open Wise File Hider, fine the particular book in the history and then find the hidden files that correspond to the year you are working on.

    Plus this yearly updating is done by 4 volunteers from their homes so they would not have the software and history of the hidden files that Wise maintains. It's a mess! But I appreciate your help.

    I did have a thought. Can I super impose a mask on a jpeg image that is removeable? In other words, could I add a "black mask" to the images beyond 1951 (using MS Paint, for example) and then remove the mask on those images that are for 1952? I'll look into that. Thanks, again, for you helpful and quick responses.
      My Computer

  6. Posts : 43,242
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    Hi, there are programs like this:
    Change file icon or color, free. Make a search for important information a "one-glance" affair!

    I'm guessing your sets of files have a linear set of names which include nothing about the year to which their contents pertain.

    One thing you might consider is using a bulk rename tool to add the relevant year to the filename of each group of files.
    That would make selection very easy, as you could then have an ordered list of files
    1951 asddsa
    1951 aasdasd
    1952 asdas
    1952 asdsad
      My Computers

  7. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Great idea. Unfortunately, our file names look like this SSPP bp p 4-5 for Saints Peter & Paul baptism pages 4-5. No one ever thought about adding years because some images may cover multiple years especially in a church that had minor activity. One marriage image could have entries that span 4-5 years. I want to check out Photoshop and the adding and removing of layers. Maybe we could layer over all the future years and then remove the layer as we move into a new year.
      My Computer

  8. Posts : 43,242
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)

    If you're going that far, why not simply create multiple files for a page covering, say parts of or a whole year or years such that each file only includes the information for 1 year?

    That would make sorting, filing, and ensuring people can't see data they shouldn't quite definitive.

    (I'm somewhat familiar with images of church records of baptisms, marriages etc having done quite a bit of work on my family tree these last few months).
      My Computers

  9. Posts : 7
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter

    Thanks. The copying over of the next year's records is not a big burden. The issue is copying both the public version and the master version of the sacramental book to an external drive so that our 4 volunteers can do the copying from home. That takes weeks and weeks. For example, our public Roman Catholic sacramental books take up 509 GB with 215,271 files in 2,724 folders. The master collection is at least twice as large - well over a terabyte. Then we have the Polish National Catholic and various Protestant church books. All get the same treatment. I have asked a couple of Photoshop experts about masking records beyond 1952 with a layer that can be removed as needed. We'll see what they have to say. Thanks!
      My Computer


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