As you might know, your computer contains a lot of files and folders that it doesn’t show you by default. Some of these are protected system files that would cause problems if you deleted them, while others are hidden simply so they don’t clutter your file browsing.
You can always type out the full path of a file to visit it, but this is clunky if you navigate around a lot. Next time you need to access a hidden folder in Windows, all you need to do is flip a setting in Windows Explorer. Just follow these steps for Windows 10 or 8.1:
- Open a File Explorer window.
- In the top bar, switch to the View tab.
- Under the Show/hide section on the right side, check the box for Hidden items.
Now you’ll see all the hidden folders that were invisible to you before. If you look closely, you’ll notice that these have a lighter appearance than normal folders. For instance, in the screenshot above, Default is a hidden folder.
If you’re using Windows 7, you’ll need to change the setting in another location. The process is slightly different:
- Type folder into the Start Menu’s search box and select Folder Options.
- Select the View tab.
- In the Advanced Settings box, select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.
- Click OK.
That’s all you need to do to see hidden files and folders. This lets you see more of what’s on your PC, but also opens you up to protected files. Be careful, and use this as an opportunity to learn! To do some hiding yourself, check out how to hide anything in Windows.
What hidden folders and files do you need to access in Windows? Tell us your reason for changing this setting down in the comments!
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