Hidden files are often hidden for a good reason – they are often crucial files, and hidden from view makes them difficult to change or delete.
But what if you want to see these hidden files?
There are good reasons for you might want to show hidden files and folders in folder searches and view, but most of the time, because you’re dealing with a Windows issue and you need access to it. One of these critical files to edit or delete.
Instructions on how to show or hide hidden files and folders in Windows 10, 8 and 7
- Open Control Panel. Tip: If you are comfortable with the command line, there is a faster way to do this. See More Help at the bottom of the page and then skip Step 4.
- Click or tap the Appearance and Personalization link. Note: If you view the Dashboard the way you see all the links and icons, but none of them are categorized, you won’t see this link – skip Step 3.
- Click or tap the File Explorer (Windows 10) or Folder Options link (Windows 8/7).
- Click or tap the View tab in the File Explorer Options or Folder Options window.
- In the Advanced settings: section, locate the category of hidden files and folders. Note: You should see the type of Hidden Files and Folders at the bottom of the Advanced settings text area: no need to scroll down. You will see two options in the folder.
- Select the option you want to apply. “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives” is Do not show hidden files, folders or drives will hide files, folders, and drives that have hidden attributes enabled.“Show hidden files, folders, and drives” is Displays hidden files, folders and drives, allowing you to see hidden data.
- Click or click OK at the bottom of the File Explorer Options or Folder Options Windows window.
- You can check to see if hidden files are being hidden in Windows 10/8/7 by browsing to drive C. If you don’t see a folder called ProgramData, hidden files and folders will be hidden.