Hidden files are usually hidden for a good reason - they are often very important files and hidden from view, making it difficult to modify or delete them.
But what if you want to see these hidden files?
There are many good reasons why you will need to make hidden files and folders visible in your search and folder views, but most of the time this is because you are dealing with a Windows problem and you need access to one of these important files to edit or delete.
On the other hand, if hidden files are already visible, but you want to hide them instead, this is just the opposite.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to switch, show or hide hidden files and folders in Windows. This change is made through the control panel.
The specific steps involved in setting up Windows to show or hide hidden files depend on which operating system you are using:
How to show or hide hidden files and folders in Windows 10, 8 and 7
- Open the control panel.
Press CTRL + R, type control and press Enter.
Or enter in the search Control Panel.
Switch view to small icons.
Open Explorer Options (Windows 10) or Folder Options (Windows 8/7).
Do not show hidden files, folders or drives will hide files, folders and drives that have a hidden attribute.
If you switch to Show hidden files, folders and drives allows you to see hidden data.
Turn on hidden packs through my computer
Open My computerclick on the dropdown menu Sort> Folder and Search Options
In the open window My Computer, press the Alt key and select from the context menu Service and further Folders settings
In the opened Folder Options window choose View, from the list Additional parameters go down the list, look Hidden files and foldersput a tick on the item Show hidden files, folders and drives and click OK.
Folder settings through the control panel
Push Start> Control Panel, Further choose Design and personalizationfollowing select Show hidden files and folders
The Folder Options window opens, in this window you also need to go down the list, find hidden files and folders, and check the box next to Show hidden files, folders and drives and click OK.
Having done the specified manipulations, hidden files and folders will be displayed on your computer.
show system files in windows 7
In order to show system files you need to uncheck the box next to the item in the folder options window Hide protected system files (recommended).
WARNING: For stable operation of the windows 7 operating system, this checkmark makes sense to remove only experienced users. Otherwise, you run the risk of disruption by accidentally deleting system files or system folders.
After you try to uncheck the show system files box, you will immediately see a windows warning. If you still decide to see hidden system files, click YES in the warning window, otherwise there is NO to cancel. Next click OK.
If you have unchecked this checkbox and you see all hidden OS files, it is recommended to set it so that windows 7 hides system files.
How to open hidden files on Windows 7?
- Press Win + R, write control folders and press Enter.
- Open the “View” tab, scroll down the slider and check the box “Show ...”.
- Click Apply to save the changes.
- Go to Start, open the “Control Panel” and click on the “Folder Options” shortcut.
- Select the "View" section, scroll down the slider and activate the "Show ..." item.
- Save the changes by clicking Apply.
And the third way:
- Open any folder you want.
- Click the Alt button - this menu will appear.
- Click Tools - Folder Options.
- A familiar window will open: to enable the display of hidden files, go to the “View” tab and check the box “Show ...”.
As you can see, there’s nothing complicated here. Choose any method that is more suitable, and use it at the right time.
When you enable the viewing of hidden files in Windows 7 using any of the above methods, they will be visible everywhere. Including on a flash drive. It is enough to connect it to a PC or laptop - and you will see the hidden folders (provided that they are there). The same goes for an external HDD.
With the "seven" figured out, now let's move on to the "eight".
How to enable hidden files in Windows 8?
There are also 3 options to choose from. The first two are described above in the instructions for Windows 7. That is, you can enable hidden files in Windows 8 by writing the command control folders. Or by selecting the “Folder Options” shortcut in the “Control Panel”.
But there is another way to show hidden files in Windows 8:
- Open any folder you want.
- Select the "View" section.
- Click on the "Show or hide" option, and then check the "Hidden items" box.
Done. And not only in the current folder, but also in the rest. The same methods will help to display hidden files on a USB flash drive or external HDD - you just need to connect them to your computer or laptop.
The latter method, working on Windows 8, is also suitable for the "tens"
To enable hidden files in Windows 10:
- Open any folder.
- Select the View section.
- Put a bird in the item "Hidden elements".
After that, you can see the hidden folders and documents in any section of the hard drive or on a USB flash drive (it must be connected to a PC).
There is also another way to enable the display of hidden files in Windows 10:
- Click Win + Q and write “Explorer Options” in the search box.
- Press Enter - a familiar window will open.
- Go to the "View" section and put a bird in the "Show ..." item.
Done. Now you can open any hidden files on Windows 10. As you can see, the methods on different versions of the OS are quite similar, but differ in small nuances.
Piggy today is used by not so many users, but still consider it. You can view hidden files in XP like this
- Go to Start - Control Panel and select the “Folder Options” shortcut.
- The same window will appear: go to the "View" section and check the "Show ..." checkbox.
- Do not forget to click “Apply” to save the changes.
All - now you can open or delete hidden folders and documents.
If you don’t want to understand the differences between different versions of Windows, you can use the universal method
In this case, you just need to install the Total Commander file manager (download link). The program sees hidden documents and works on all Windows.
How to see hidden files in Total Commander? To do this, do the following:
- Open the program and select Configuration - Settings from the menu.
- Click on the “Panel Content” tab.
- Place the birds in the top 2 points.
- Click "Apply" and exit the settings.
Need to see the hidden documents? Launch Total Commander and go to the desired section of the hard drive. Or plug in a flash drive, and then open it through this file manager.
As you can see, all ingenious is simple. Now you know how to display hidden files and make them visible. And if necessary, you can easily find them. The only advice: if you find any unfamiliar folders - do not delete them. After all, they may contain important system files, the removal of which will disrupt Windows.