How to show hidden files and folders in Windows

How to show hidden files and folders in Windows. In this article, we will analyze the question of how to show hidden folders and files in Windows in different versions of the operating system. Windows has a built-in feature to hide folders and files.

The user can independently hide the folder or file for security reasons if the device has unauthorized access. The hidden file or folder will not be visible on the Windows desktop or in other folders on your computer’s drives.

Content:
  1. How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 11
  2. How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 10
  3. How to make it show hidden files in Windows 8.1
  4. How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 7
  5. Universal way to enter Windows folder options
  6. How to remove the “hidden” attribute from a folder or file
  7. Article Conclusions

The Windows operating system hides important system files and folders for security purposes so that an inexperienced user cannot accidentally harm his PC. In other cases, users may choose to hide their data to maintain confidentiality and privacy. Sometimes files are hidden by viruses so that the user does not notice the operation of malicious software on the device.

Third-party specialized software used on the computer can hide files and folders. In this case, the hidden data can be accessed from the interface of the application involved.

Windows has two types of hidden files:

  • in the properties of which the “Hidden” attribute is set – these files can be created by the system, applications or by the user himself;
  • there is a “System” attribute in the file properties – these files are necessary for the operation of the operating system, therefore they are hidden to prevent their deletion or modification.

In some situations, it is necessary to show hidden files and folders in order to access the necessary information using system tools. For example, you needed to get access to system files or hidden data from a user profile, modify OS settings, clear garbage.

Accordingly, the user has a question about how to show hidden files in Windows. To solve this problem, you can change the system settings to show hidden files and folders on Windows.

In the instructions of this guide, we will analyze how to show hidden files and folders in different versions of the operating system: Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7.

How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 11

You can use the suggested methods to quickly show hidden files, folders, and drives in the new Windows 11 File Explorer.

Windows 11 Explorer has removed the menu ribbon in favor of a more minimalist menu with basic commands. As a result of changes to the app’s interface, some settings are now harder to find, such as the ability to show hidden files.

The View tab is no longer available in File Explorer, but you can still show hidden files and folders in the new app menu or using the Folder Options feature.

For example, you can show hidden files in File Explorer using layout and view options.

1 way to show hidden files and folders through explorer:

  1. Open File Explorer in Windows 11.
  2. Click the View menu (Layout and View Options).
  3. In the context menu, select “Show”, and in the submenu that opens, check the box in the “Hidden items” item.

After completing these steps, hidden files and folders will be visible in File Explorer. In this way, we can show hidden folders in Windows 11 or other hidden files and folders that are displayed on the screen and in Explorer windows in a semi-transparent form.

2 way to show hidden folders and files in Explorer through folder options:

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click the Details menu (three dots) and select Options from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the Folder Options window, click the View tab.
  4. In the “Advanced options:” section, in the “Hidden files and folders” group, check the “Show hidden files, folders and drives” box.
  5. Click the OK button.

Files and folders with a hidden attribute will now be visible to anyone using File Explorer on Windows 11.

You can also show hidden files in Windows 11. These files are hidden by the operating system for security purposes.

To show hidden system files, you will need to change the settings in the Folder Options window:

  1. In the “Advanced options:” group, uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)” checkbox.
  2. In the warning window, click the “Yes” button.
  3. Confirm your actions in the folder options window.

Do not take any action with protected operating system files if you do not understand why you are doing this and what it can lead to. Deleting or modifying hidden system files can prevent your computer from working properly.

This method works the same in different versions of the Windows operating system.

How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 10

You can show hidden files and folders in Windows 10 using several methods.

1 way to show hidden files and folders in Windows 10:

  1. Log in to File Explorer and then go to the “View” tab.
  2. Click on the “Show or hide” button.
  3. In the menu that opens, check the box next to Hidden Items.

2 way:

  1. In the Explorer window, click the View tab.
  2. Click on the “Options” button.
  3. In the Folder Options window that opens, open the View folder.
  4. In the “Advanced options:” group, in the “Hidden files and folders” setting, check “Show hidden files, folders and drives.”
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

How to make it show hidden files in Windows 8.1

Now we will look at the options for accessing changing the functions for displaying hidden items in the Windows 8.1 operating system.

1 way:

  1. Sign in to Windows Explorer.
  2. From the View menu, click the Show/Hide button.
  3. In the drop-down menu, check the box in the “Hidden items” parameter.

2 way:

  1. With Explorer open, go to the View menu.
  2. Click on the “Options” button.
  3. In the Folder Options window, go to the View tab.
  4. In the “Advanced options:” section, enable the “Show hidden files, folders and drives” setting.
  5. Click OK.

How to show hidden files and folders in Windows 7

In the Windows 7 operating system, you can change the display of hidden items in several ways.

1 way:

  1. In the Explorer window, click on “Organize”.
  2. From the menu that opens, select “Folder and Search Options”.
  3. In the Folder Options window, select the View tab.
  4. Activate the “Show hidden files, folders and drives” option.
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

2 way to show hidden folders and files in Windows 7:

  1. Enter the “Start” button menu, click on “Control Panel”.
  2. In the All Control Panel Items window, click on Folder Options.
  3. The “Folder Options” window will open, in which you need to check the item to display hidden folders and files (see above for how to do this).

Universal way to enter Windows folder options

You can use the universal method, which works in all versions of Windows, to enter the folder options, from where you can turn on the display of hidden folders and files.

Do the following:

  1. Press the “Win” + “R” keys.
  2. In the Run dialog box, enter the command: “control folders” and then click OK.
  3. In the Explorer Options window, click the View tab.
  4. In the “Advanced options:” group, in the “Hidden files and folders” section, set the value to “Show hidden files, folders and drives.”
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

How to remove the “hidden” attribute from a folder or file

The user can remove the Hidden attribute from a folder or file to make that item permanently open. This can be done after you have configured Windows to show hidden folders or files.

Go through the steps:

  1. Right-click on a file or folder.
  2. In the context menu, click on “Properties”.
  3. In the properties window of the folder or file, in the “General” tab, in the “Attributes” group, uncheck the “Hidden” option.
  4. Click on the “OK” button.

After that, this element will be displayed in the system on a permanent basis.

Article Conclusions

In the Windows operating system, for security reasons, some folders and files are hidden. Third-party programs and the user himself can create hidden files and folders. If necessary, you can enable the display of hidden items in Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7 using several methods.

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