How to View Hidden Files and Folders in Windows

Ben Stegner 17-05-2016

Windows has a lot of functionality that isn’t immediately visible; hiding some folders and options protects novice users New to Windows? These Tips Will Help You Survive Many kids these days go through school using iPads, Macs, and Android tablets. Sooner or later, though, most people encounter Windows. Learn about the OS and tips on mastering it! Read More from accidentally breaking something they shouldn’t.


However, sometimes you need to access hidden files or folders in Windows to perform various tricks or change settings — here’s the easy way to do so in Windows 10, 8.x, or 7.

First, open a Windows Explorer Window by pressing Windows Key + E (one of our many shortcuts in the ultimate keyboard shortcuts guide Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Keyboard shortcuts can save you hours of time. Master the universal Windows keyboard shortcuts, keyboard tricks for specific programs, and a few other tips to speed up your work. Read More ). For Windows 7, under the Tools menu at the top, choose Folder options… to access the folder options dialogue. In Windows 8 or 10, expand the View tab and choose Options on the right side.

You can also access this dialogue by opening the Start menu/screen and typing Folder Options if you prefer.

Next, switch to the View tab and scroll down to find Show hidden files, folders, and drives. While you’re here, you can also uncheck the box to Hide protected operating system files if you want to see them, but most people shouldn’t bother with this.


Remember that because you can see hidden files and folders, you have access to areas that could contain important information. Don’t delete or change anything in them unless you specifically know what you’re doing. It’s a smart idea to turn this setting off when you’re done making changes.

Need to hide a folder yourself? We’ve covered how to hide folders in Windows 3 Quick & Easy Ways to Hide a Folder in Windows 7 Privacy is hard to come by these days. Whether you are sharing a computer or are generally suspicious of peers who occasionally have access to your computer, you may have the desire to store sensitive... Read More .

Image Credit: cunaplus via

Related topics: File Explorer, Windows Tricks.

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  1. Anonymous
    May 17, 2016 at 10:58 am

    If You Are Old Enough To Know DOS, You May Have Used A Legacy File Manager Called XTREE.

    There Is A Clone Called ZTREE - It Is Free To Try For 30 Days, And I Use It Many Times A Day.

    Depending On The OS, Either Of The File Managers Are A Must Have In My Hard Drives.