[How To] Show Hidden Files in Windows: 10, 8 or 7?

Hidden files or folder are usually created to hide some important file or cache files by Operating System. You can also hide any file or folders without any additional software. These hidden files and folders are not visible by default when you open file directory (File Explorer). Most of all Operating Systems support hidden files and folders which you can choose to see or keep hidden. By default your Windows hide some system files and program files which you shouldn’t touch or delete as they may cause issues in some programs. But there are some tips how you can show hidden files in Windows 10, Windows 8 and Windows 7.

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Show Hidden Files in Windows 10 and Windows 8

To view hidden files and folders in Windows you need to follow simple steps by which you can show any hidden file in Windows 10 computer. To view hidden files in Windows 10, first open file explorer and then click on View Tab (on the top) and Click on “Hidden Items” checkbox. You can find this in show/hide section. You can also enable check-boxes on files/folders and you can also choose to view extensions after file name.

Show Hidden Files in Windows 10, Show hidden files in Windows 8

To hide your hidden files and folders, just uncheck the “Hidden Items” box again and your files will disappear until you want to see those.

Show hidden files in windows 10 and open folder options or filer explorer options in windows 10

If you want more control over folder options then click on Files on top left corner > and then click “Change folder and search options”.  Here you can customize your folder and search options and show hidden files in Windows 10 or 8. These are the following change which you can make to your computer with this option:

open folder options in windows and view hidden files in windows 8
  • Open folder in New Windows or Same Windows
  • Single click / double click to open folder & files (just like you do on internet). A hand will occur when you hover your mouse to file/folder name and you can click on underline to open it.
  • You can also change your privacy options (Windows 10) and control what to show in quick access.
  • You can display or hide full path from title bar
  • You can hide/show empty drives and hidden files
  • Show/hide status bar, preview, popup description and many other options to choose from.

Show Hidden Files in windows 7

Well, I hope you have got the point to hide/show any file or folder in your computer. But in Windows 7, this is a bit confusing to view hidden files. This is because, the “folder options” is hidden in Windows 7. To show hidden files, first open file explorer and then click on “Organize” button on the top right corner of Window’s Explorer toolbar. Now, select and open “Folder and search options”.

Show hidden files in windows 7, view hidden files in windows 7

Here, you will see the same small window that open up Folder options in Windows 8 or 10. Now you know, what to do. Move to second tab and select “Show hidden files, folders and drives”.

Alternate Ways to Open Folder Options in Windows

Showing hidden files on Windows is becoming much easier with new updates in Windows. There are other ways, by which you can easily customize folder, files and drives settings by accessing
“Folder Options” window.

open file explore options, open folder options in windows
  • Open Control Panel > Appearance & Personalization > Folder Options (WINDOWS 7)
  • Open Control Panel > Appearance & Personalization > File Explorer Options (Windows 8/Windows 10)
  • Click on search bar on taskbar (Windows 10) and type “folder”. You will see “File Explorer Options”.

View Protected Operating System Files in Windows 10, 8 or 7

Show protected operating system files in windows

Even after enabling “Show hidden items”, you will not be able to see some Operating System protected files. These files are kept hidden and it is recommended that you do not touch / delete any of the system file. These protected system files are required for Windows start and run process. You may not be able to use your Windows again if you delete some of the important files. To show protect Operating System files, you need to follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Open “Folder Options” (Windows 7) or “File Explorer Options” (Windows 8/ Windows 10) by any of the method.
  • Head to “View Tab”
  • Scroll down and Check/Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” to hide or show these files respectively.
  • You will see a warning message from Windows if you uncheck the option. If you know what you’re doing then hit “Yes” button otherwise abort.
  • Return to “Folder Options” and uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” again to avoid damage to your computer.

Conclusion

Now that, you have known how to show hidden files in Windows, folders or drives in your computer. You can also make many changes to your computer’s folder settings and allow what to show and what to hide. Remember, it’s very easy to hide and file or folder. Just select and right click any file or folder. Then, click on properties and select the attribute you want to apply on your files and folders.

Note: Do Not Delete any unknown hidden file from your computer. Specially, if it belongs to same drive in which you have your operating system installed.

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