Hiding Local and Network Drives on Windows XP

Its not unusual for network administrators to want (or need) a way to stop users from accessing certain local and network drives. While features like NTFS security permissions can be used to do the trick, sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that work the best – in this case, simply hiding the drives from the Windows Explorer interface.

One good example – users have a drive (say Z:) mapped to a directory on a server, but this drive is only used to access a client/server program’s data files. The client portion of the program needs access to the network drive, but the user’s themselves shouldn’t be browsing through its contents. In this case, it would be best if drive Z: were completely hidden from view.

The easist way to accomplish this, without the need for Registry edits, is to use the free TweakUI PowerToy from Microsoft. Once it’s installed, open the program from its Start menu shortcut, expand My Computer, and then click Drives. Simply uncheck any local or network drives that you want to hide from users, and then click OK to activate your new settings.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of 2000Trainers.com. He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.