How to Hide Porn on Your Computer

2007 version

You're a grown man or woman. You can look at whatever obscene material you want. That is, until your wife/girlfriend/child/father comes in the room and wants to use the computer. Just because you're married to/dating/raising/born to a puritan, you shouldn't have to cut down on your intake of glorious, glorious porn. This is a guide to keeping your stash secret. Please don't use this to hide illegal (read: child) pornography, because kiddie porn makes Jesus weep. Seriously, fuckos get out. I've got your IP address.

The Basic Idea

Good, now that the perverts are gone we can talk about how to hide your 15 gigabyte collection of furry porn. First you must realize that there is a very important tradeoff between Accessibility and Security. It's like real life: you can keep girly magazines on your toilet tank for easy access whenever you need them, or you can hide them in a locked box in the attic, the key to which is hidden under the cat's litter box. If the magazines are in the john, you know where they are at all times. However, with the magazines in the attic, you can leave your kids at home and go on vacation for a week and still be confident that your secret is safe. So you must choose: how much security do you need? Are you just trying to keep your computer-illiterate husband from discovering your double life as an erotica writer when he logs on to check his email? Or are you dating a computer hacker that's looking for any reason to break up with you? This guide is divided into sections from low-security and easy-access, to high-security and married-to-UberH4X0r2000.

If you really are worried about some smart person finding porn on your computer, you should just delete it. If you don't search for porn on that computer anymore and you just want to have the computer completely safe to give to your grandma, then delete the porn. However, this is a guide on how to hide porn, not delete it. Please see "How to Erase Porn from Your Computer" (to be written soon).

This guide assumes you are using a computer with Microsoft Windows on it and that your main browser is Microsoft Internet Explorer, simply because most people use have Windows and use IE. However, many of the principles of this guide carry over to other operating systems like Unix and Mac OS, and the web browser tips also work for Mozilla Firefox, a superior Internet browser in every aspect.

This guide also assumes you know how to do simple things with a computer, like rename a file.

Security Level 1: Basic

First, you need to delete all the History caches on your computer that show where you've been and what you've opened. They're supposed to make your life easier, but I bet that 90% of all "*Gasp* Someone's been watching porn on my computer!" moments happen because someone didn't clear their History or some other cache. Most important of all is my first tip:

Internet Browser: Delete your History cache, stupid (Go to Tools > Internet Options > Clear History button). Although having a blank history file will make computer-smart people suspicious, it's better than a History filled with gay porn links. Also, you should turn off AutoComplete for web addresses and forms, so that a link to "" won't pop up when other people innocently begin to type "nanking" in the address bar. Go to:
Tools > Internet Options > Content tab > AutoComplete button and uncheck the boxes next to Forms and Web addresses.

Mozilla Firefox is a wonderful browser. Under Tools there is a Clear Private Data option that will allow you to delete any and all data on your web surfing habits. You can even set it to clear your data every time you close Firefox. Opera and the most recent version of Netscape also have this ability.

Windows: Clear your recently used documents. These are the videos, images and text documents that appear whenever you go to the Documents tab on your Start bar. Almost every time you open up a new document or image, it's added to your recently used document list. This means you need to either 1) clear it regularly, like after every porn session, 2) turn it off (N/A for Classic Start Menu) or 3) have it cleaned automatically.

To clean it manually, go to Taskbar settings by right-clicking the taskbar (that's the little grey or blue bar at the bottom of your screen) and going to Properties. Go to the Start Menu tab, click Customize, go to the Advanced tab (unnecessary if you're using the Classic Start Menu) press Clear to clear your recently used documents.

To turn off recently opened documents (for the XP Start Menu) right-click the taskbar, go to Properties, go to the Start Menu tab, click Customize, go to the Advanced tab and uncheck "List my most recently opened documents."

To clean it automatically, download TweakUI. There is a version for XP at Microsoft's website here. There is also a version of TweakUI for other versions of Windows. To find one of these versions, do an Internet search for TweakUI. For the Windows XP version, if you go to the Explorer option in the box labeled "Settings" you will find the option to "Clear document history on exit." That's what you want. To clear your recently used documents, now all you have to do is log out, restart or shut down.

Windows/Mac: Empty the Recycle Bin: When you finally delete those video clips of Amazonian women fucking men with strap-ons, they aren't actually gone, they're in the Recycle Bin, or the "Trash" for Mac users. Open the Recycle Bin and delete them individually, or simply Empty the Recycle Bin (right-click the Recycle Bin icon to find this option) to delete everything.

Media Player: Next, if you watch dirty videos, you should clear the history of whatever media player you use. If you use Windows Media Player, go to Tools > Options > Privacy tab and make sure the Save File and URL History checkbox is empty (this box may be named different things for different versions of Windows Media Player, and one version of WMP, I think it's 7 doesn't have this option). You can also Clear History and Clear Caches, though nobody's probably going to look through your Media Player cache. Even I don't know where it is.

Image Viewer: Microsoft Paint also keeps a list of the four images you have viewed most recently. There's no way to clear it, you can only get rid of the filenames by replacing them. Replace the four items in this list by opening four other (harmless) images. Or only open images that have harmless filenames, like "smilie.jpg", and hope that no one else will re-open the picture with such an innocent-sounding name.

The best way to view images is to use an image viewing program. Pretty much anything is better than MS Paint, including IrfanView, Picasa, XnView, or even Microsoft XP's Picture and Fax Viewer. Each image viewer should have a way to keep your recently viewed porn images private. For IrfanView, one can just turn off the MRUD (Most Recently Used Directories) list by unchecking the MRUD option in "Properties". Picture and Fax Viewer doesn't keep a list of recently opened directories or images at all.

Cleaners: There is a lot of software out there that will clean all this stuff for you, but most of it costs money and the point of this guide is to provide you with free ways of keeping your computer (seemingly) porn free. However, one free program that was suggested to me is CCleaner. It cleans browser histories, cookies, temporary files, the recycling bin and even the registry. I have not CCleaner used personally, but it has gotten some good reviews.

Now that you've got your browser, media player, image viewer and operating system clean (mostly), let's get to what this guide is really about: hiding picture files, movie files, and perhaps naughty text documents. Hopefully you don't have adult games on your computer. Those are just too hard to hide (and easy to find) for me to deal with those here.

Create a New Folder. Put all your xxx-rated files into that folder. Name that folder something inconspicuous like "work stuff." Go to the Properties of that folder (right-click the folder and go to Properties) and click the checkbox next to the word "Hidden". If Windows asks whether you want to also hide every file in that folder, click OK, if you want. This folder will now become slightly transparent. If "Show hidden files and folders" is on, you will need to turn it off. If not, all you need to do is refresh your window. Press the button F5 to see if the folder disappears. If it doesn't, turn off "Show hidden files and folders" by opening a window in Explorer (any window that has files and/or folders in it) and then going to Tools > Folder Options (View > Folder Options for Windows 98). In Folder Options there should be a "Show hidden files and folders" checkbox (in Windows XP it is under the View tab). Uncheck it.

Now your folder, and all the files it contains, is hidden. You will need to "Show hidden files and folders" before you can find your folder, though.

A simpler way to hide this folder is to put it inside a seldom-viewed folder, like C:\Windows, or even better, in a folder inside a seldom-viewed folder like C:\Windows\inf (my first hiding spot... ah, memories) or C:\Program Files\Starcraft. Assuming you've picked a semi-decent pair of folders, you don't need to go much deeper. A naughty jpeg in C:\Windows\Config\ is about as likely to be found as a naughty jpeg in C:\Windows\Config\Data\Extras\Uninstall\definitely_no_porn_here\ . Just don't forget which folder you've placed it into.

Level 2: Tricky

Read Security Level 1. Now hide the folder and put it into a seldom-viewed folder. Yeah, you like that, don't you? I got a million tricks up my sleeve.

Windows XP's User Accounts: Easy and Secure

Turn on user accounts. This will allow you to have a separate history caches (including your Recently Used Documents) than other computer users. Since the My Documents folder is different for every user, you can put all your porn files in My Documents and it will be quite difficult for others to find those files unless they are logged on under your user account. Put a password on your account and presto, easy security.

To do this, simply go to the Control Panel (Start Menu > Settings > Control Panel) and select User Accounts. Windows will lead you through the process of adding users and selecting a password.

It's really as easy as the Level 1 security tips (maybe easier) but it's only available for Windows XP (and Unix and maybe Mac OS). Windows 98 users cannot use this option, and I don't know what Vista will be like, so it's good to be familiar with Level 1 security tips.

Turning on New Technology File System or NTFS, if it's not already on. NTFS is a hard drive setting that dictates how your files are stored. This will make certain that no user except you can see the files in your My Documents folder (and its subfolders) without the aid of special software (unless they are an Administrator or Power User). However, if you aren't using password-protected user accounts, you might as well skip this section. So if you have user accounts set up and you want a little extra security, convert your hard drive(s) to NTFS.

How to tell if your hard drive is NTFS or FAT32: Go to My Computer, right-click the hard drive in question (likely C:) and click Properties. Under File System, it will likely say "NTFS" or "FAT32".

How to convert your FAT32 drive to NTFS:1.Open Command Prompt. Start Menu > Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt. 2.In Command Prompt, type:
convert c: /fs:ntfs

The example used is for the drive letter C. Warning: Although NTFS is superior to FAT32 in almost every way, converting back to FAT32 is, for all intents and purposes, impossible. Also: you may want to back up your files before converting your hard drive. I've never had trouble with it, nor have I known anyone to lose data this way, but Microsoft warns that there is a minimal chance of corruption or data loss.

Windows's Dirty File Footprint

If you use Windows there's likely a folder on your hard drive in C:\Documents and settings\[your username]\Local Settings\Temp. In it are a bunch of files that you may have opened/downloaded at some point in time. This also seems to be a place for some programs to store data.

Because actual program data is kept here, you shouldn't just delete everything in the folder. I would recommend you sort the folder by file type and delete any pictures and movie clips that may be stored there.

I don't know of any other folders that could have evidence of your porn habit in them, but that's not to say that there aren't any more folders like this one.

Your registry may also contain website addresses of websites you don't want anyone to see. The only instances I've heard of this are when someone is using an internet toolbar (like Google Toolbar). Internet Explorer also puts website addresses in the registry, but these addresses are cleared out when you clear your history in IE.

Level 3: Smart

Unix/Linux/Windows 2000: Permissions: In Unix distributions, making porn-filled folders unviewable to others is a simple "chmod 700" away. In Windows 2000, user groups or individual users can be allowed or denied the ability to read, write, or modify files or the ability to list folder contents. This also can be done in Windows XP Pro if your hard drive is NTFS and you disable simple file sharing. If you want to know how to do all these things, google them.

Rename files: Something simple that anyone can do on any computer is rename files with lewd filenames to innocent-sounding filenames. For example, a file named "Brazilian with fat titties 01.jpg" can be found if someone using the computer searches for files with the word "titties" in the filename. Or someone using the computer might accidentally stumble across that file and will discover your fondness for large-bosomed Brazilian women without even opening the file. However, simply rename the file "Baby's first steps.jpg" and no one will be the wiser to your Latina fetish. If you think someone might find your stash, or you are forgetful when it comes to clearing your Recently Used Documents, this is a good hiding tactic for you. But it's a lot of trouble if you have hundreds of files to hide.

Level 4: Inconvenient

Removable media: How do you hide porn on your computer? By not putting it on your computer. Put it on a floppy disk, on a zip drive, on your flash drive, burn it to a CD or DVD, or hide it on your iPod (they can be used as external hard drives). Or put it on an external hard drive. By putting all your videos of donkey shows on a removeable medium, you have a physical object that's easier to hide and impossible to find on your computer once removed. Put it in the attic with the girly magazines, put it in an airport locker... it doesn't matter. Still, you should remember to clear your Recently Used Documents, which can list files used on a removable medium, even after that medium is removed from your computer.

Since your data will be on a portable, physical medium, it will be easier to damage. Remember to keep your CD/DVD in a place that it won't be scratched, or your portable drive away from water. I once lost lots of good erotica by keeping it all on a floppy disk that banged around in a duffel bag for a couple of years.

Level 5: Burdensome

Changing the file extensions for your porn pics and vids will keep anyone from thinking they are pics and vids. For example, if you have a picture of your naked wife called "TiedUp.jpg" you can change the filename to "TiedUp.mp3" and your son will think it's merely part of your music collection and, worst case scenario, if he tries to play the MP3 file, he may find out that the MP3 doesn't work, but won't know that secretly that file holds photographic evidence that his mother is a kinky woman. Then, when you want to see the picture again, you just change the extension back to ".jpg" and view the picture.

Picture and movie file extensions can be changed to almost any kind of file without damaging the original file, unless they are SAVED in that format. If you change the format of your movie to a document and then open that movie as a document and save that document, your movie is now gone.

If you can't see file extensions (if your files don't end with a period followed by 3 or 4 letters), turn them on by going to Tools > Options > View tab and uncheck "Hide extensions for known file types."

The only trouble with this method is it is a lot of trouble to change a bunch of files, one by one, to a new file type and change them back whenever you want to view them.

File zipping (aka "file compression") is much better way of making a large group of files unopenable. You can zip entire folders. This also makes renaming files easier. If you have 100 files from "assfucking001" to "assfucking100", you can zip them all up in one zip file, and rename the file "AF100Set". This two-step process is a lot easier than renaming 100 different files. A basic file compressor comes free with Windows XP and what's even better is some file zipping programs (like Winzip or WinRAR) allow you to set a password for the compressed file. This way, people can't see your zipped interracial sex movies without supplying the correct password. They can, however, see the filenames of the zipped files without supplying a password.

If you're going to zip your files and set a password to access them, then you might as well use file encryption software instead. After all, it's not the compression you're after, it's the security. AxCrypt and TrueCrypt are a couple examples of file encryption programs. AxCrypt integrates into Windows and it allows you to encrypt and decrypt files using strong encryption algorithms. It is my understanding that it's easy to use as well, however I have no experience with this program as of yet.

Level 6: Don't Save It

Leave no trace of porn, 100% guaranteed: The best way to make sure no porn is found on your computer is to not save any of it on your computer. If you use a live CD like Knoppix or Ubuntu, the entire operating system will be loaded into temporary memory, meaning anything you look at online or even download never actually touches your hard drive. And both Knoppix and Ubuntu are free.

The downsides:

If you don't want to go as far as using an entire "no footprint" operating system, you can use a footprint-less web browser, but I haven't come across one that works as well as it claims.

And that's it for my advice on how to hide porn on your computer. Remember who your trying to hide your material from. Level 1 might not be secure enough for some, but if you forget your password or how to change file extensions, Level 5 can make your data inaccessible. And remember that different level of security can be used in conjunction with each other.

Well, that's all. Happy Hiding!

Notes: Don't hide porn on your work computer. There are always ways for IT people to find things and it just isn't worth it. If you VPN in to work, it is like being just at work; all your internet traffic for that computer goes through your work network and it is at least logged.

(Level 5) Zipped (or rarred or tarred or otherwise compressed) files and folders can be hacked. There are several programs freely available on the web that do this. However, they run by brute force and can take a long time to crack a zip file, if they can do it at all. I tried cracking someone else's compressed file once and I couldn't crack it.

I would like to thank The Heretic, hotguy1234, Horny Husband and ma_guy for their input on this article.


"There is so much good porn out there, I wish there were 6 billion psychicly linked clones of me so that I could see it all."

Updated 03/07