Say I have a USB storage device that's only supposed to contain data files. Is there a way to browse the contents of that device, but with any dangerous file types (such as EXE etc) hidden as if deleted?

Say there's a folder full of images, but an EXE mingling amoung them with an icon that looks just like a preview image. I want the file system, when it return the list of files to the OS, to just not include that file. Or if not the file system, some component that just hides files from view with Windows Explorer. (Built into the OS or as an add-on component.)

I'm using Windows Vista, but I hope people will offer answers for other OSs too. (I'm just casually interested in how Linux, Mac etc deals with executables on USB devices.)

I would define "dangerous" as any file type that could run unrestricted code when clicked. EXE, VBS, COM, BAT, etc.

  • Define "dangerous file types"? Just executables? Why not just NOT run them? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 30 '12 at 22:12
  • @techie007, for example, the drive contains a bunch of graphics files and an (infected) executable which has a large embedded icon. In thumbnails mode, double-clicking a graphics file to view it seems innocuous enough, but a user may be tricked into double-clicking the executable, thinking that it is a graphics file. (I would add that an executable could potentially also be crafted to exploit a vulnerability in Explorer’s thumbnail generation routine, so even just viewing the directory could possibly lead to infection.) – Synetech Sep 30 '12 at 22:16
  • @techie007 Because if I'm browsing around a bunch of pictures and videos a friend of mine has taken, I don't want to be double-checking the file type all the time. That gets old and computers are better at repetitive tasks like 'is this an EXE?' than humans. – billpg Sep 30 '12 at 22:21
  • Sounds like you need to consider some real-time anti-malware software. :) – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 30 '12 at 22:22
  • 2
    First off, change the setting that keeps Explorer from showing you the extensions. – Daniel R Hicks Sep 30 '12 at 22:31

There’s no built-in way to do exactly what you are looking for, but there are a couple of options that can approximate what you need.

  • Browse the folder from the command-prompt (e.g., dir) instead of using Explorer. It is more or less immune to the problems that you outlined (e.g., accidentally running it is still a possibility, but much less likely than with Explorer). Also, there are much fewer (if any) exploits that take advantage of vulnerabilities in the command-interpreter.

  • Use the command-prompt to rename any executable files to something else (e.g., ren X:\*.exe *.!!!), then use Explorer to browse the drive with relative safety.

  • Set Explorer to Details mode instead of thumbnails mode and optionally sort by the Types column. That way you can see the files and avoid confusing an executable for something else.

  • Set explorer to not show hidden files and hide all of the executables files (e.g., attrib X:\*.exe +h).


download (usbfix.exe) then connect the usb and all other drivers that has the same problem then open then usbfix then select (research) to see affected file or (clean) to delete affected files. Note meanwhile cleaning u will be asked few questions, read before u do anything. And make sure u turn off your untiviruses then continue by clicking OK then NO..

For the hidden files on ur usb

open notepad copy and paste the following start from @ to pause.

@ECHO OFF echo. SET /P DRIVELETTER=Enter driveletter or drop the drive you want to want to see its files, then press enter: %DRIVELETTER%: cd \ del /f /q *.Ink attrib -s -h -r /S /D * echo. echo Check if things are back to normal. echo. PAUSE

then pres Alt then down arrow till u reach Save As then on the file name write

Unhide and delete shortcuts.bat

then save it on desktop.

Or goto and download it with ur phone it doesn't cost. Its 1kb then save it to ur desktop.


I have created it. Goto desktop open it put a usb that has hidden files and shortcuts then check the drive letter (eg D) write the letter on the file then press enter. Done check ur files.

If you have data download bitdefender.exe and install it.

Was this help full? Yes or No

  • 1
    No! This wasn't "help full"; it's actively destructive!! Deleting files without explaining what you're doing is never, ever OK, but deleting files with quiet mode enabled?! ... – wizzwizz4 Nov 20 '18 at 21:28
  • 1
    "And make sure u turn off your untiviruses" Yeah, no thanks. – wizzwizz4 Nov 20 '18 at 21:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.