The Easy Way to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 10, 8.1, and 7

Ben Stegner 27-10-2017

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 5 Default Windows Files and Folders You Should Never Touch Windows contains countless default files and folders, many of which the average user shouldn't touch. Here are five folders you should leave alone to avoid damaging your system. Read More , 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 10 Little Known Features of Windows File Explorer Don’t let Windows File Explorer fool you with its plain looks. It’s capable of many more actions and tweaks than it lets on! Let us show you a bunch of them. Read More . Just follow these steps for Windows 10 or 8.1:

  1. Open a File Explorer window.
  2. In the top bar, switch to the View tab.
  3. Under the Show/hide section on the right side, check the box for Hidden items.

The Easy Way to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 Windows 10 Show Hidden Folders

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:

  1. Type folder into the Start Menu’s search box and select Folder Options.
  2. Select the View tab.
  3. In the Advanced Settings box, select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.
  4. Click OK.

The Easy Way to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 10, 8.1, and 7 Windows 7 Show Hidden Folders


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 How to Hide Anything in Windows Windows allows you to tweak and customize almost anything. We show you how to make use of these superpowers to let things disappear. Read More .

What hidden folders and files do you need to access in Windows? Tell us your reason for changing this setting down in the comments!

Image Credit: nevarpp/Depositphotos

Related topics: Computer Security, Windows 10, Windows Tricks.

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