How to view hidden files in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP

How to View Hidden Files in Windows: Windows by default hides some files on your system, so you cannot view them when you open Windows Explorer. Most of the hidden files are system files, which are important for the proper computer operation and for that reason they are protected

by the operating system from unauthorized modification or deletion.

folder options


This tutorial shows how to enable the Windows hidden files view, in order to diagnose your system or to eliminate a malware program that uses this feature to hide itself from detection and removal.

How to enable the hidden files view in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista & XP OS

1. First of all, open Windows Control panel. To do that:

  • For Windows 10 & 8: Right-click on the Start image button & choose Control Panel.
  • For Windows 7 or Vista go to: Start > Control Panel.
  • For Windows XP go to: Start > Settings > Control Panel.

2. Then find and open Folder Options (File Explorer Options). To do that:

  • For Windows 8, 7, Vista: Click at the “View by” drop down menu (on top right) and change the view settings from ”Category” to “Small Icons”.
  • For Windows XP: Click on “Switch to Classic view” option on the left pane.

view hidden files


3. Open “Folder Options” & select the “View” tab:

  • For Windows 8, 7, Vista: under “Hidden files and folders” section, check the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option.
  • For Windows XP: under “Hidden files and folders” section, check the “Show hidden files and folders” option.

Note: If you want to display also the hidden “Operating System files”, then clear the “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” check box.

4. Press “OK” when finish and from now on you can view all the hidden files and folders on your computer. *

* All hidden files/folders are displayed with a transparent icon next to them to indicate that they are hidden.

enable hidden files view


Suggestion: After completing your job, restore “Hidden files” appearance to its default values, to avoid accidentally system modifications.

That’s all folks. Did it work for you? Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help others.

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