How To View Hidden Files

How To Enable "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" Option In Windows 10 & 7

Hidden files or hidden folders are the ones which are usually not shown to Windows users but they are there even if you do not see them. There are many hidden files and folders in Windows operating system and the system hides them because these files are not the ones that you should delete, change, move or anything else. Another simple reason for hiding files and folders is to make Windows system clutter-free. In other words, Microsoft does not wan to distract you with all of these "unnecessary" files and simply hides them from you.

In some cases users need to access some hidden files or folders and it is very easy to do so. However, users should remember that hidden files should stay hidden. Leaving them shown is not a bad thing, but you could accidentally delete some of them or do some changes to them, which could lead to system instability. If you need to view hidden files for some reason, we recommend you to hide them again when you are done with using them.

In this guide we are going to show you how to enable the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option in both Windows 10 & 7, simply follow our described steps with screenshots and you will be able to view hidden files in a few clicks.

show hidden files

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View Hidden Files In Windows 10

To enable the "Show hidden files" option in Windows 10 type "folder options" or "file explorer options" and click the "File Explorer Options" result.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 1

In File Explorer Options window find and click the "View" tab, then dins the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option under Advanced settings. Select it and click "Apply" to save the changes. Now all the hidden files, folders and drives will be displayed. Once you are done working with them, we recommend you to enable the "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives" option again.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 2

If you want, you can use the Command Prompt and its commands in order to view hidden files. Command Prompt is the input field in a text-based user interface screen, a command line interpreter application available in most Windows operating systems. It is used to execute entered commands. Most of those commands are used to automate tasks through scripts and batch files, perform advanced administrative functions, troubleshoot and solve certain kinds of Windows issues. To use Command Prompt, you must enter a valid command along with any optional parameters. Then it executes the command as entered and performs whatever task or function it's designed to perform in Windows. In this guide we are going to show you how to open Command Prompt and what commands to use in order to be able to see hidden files in a particular directory. To launch elevated Command Prompt (to run it as administrator) type "command prompt" in Search and right-click the "Command Prompt" result, select the "Run as administrator" option from the contextual menu.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 3

If you want to see all hidden files and hidden directories in the current directory (the one you have open/currently working with) type the "dir /ah" command and press Enter on your keyboard.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 4

If you want to see all hidden files in the current directory but you do not need the hidden subdirectories to be displayed, type the "dir /ah-d" command and press Enter on your keyboard.

show hidden files in windows 7 step 5

If you want all files and directories including hidden files and hidden directories of the current directory to be displayed, then type the "dir /a" command and press Enter on your keyboard.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 5

If you type and execute the "attrib" command, then you will see all files stored in the current directory with their attributes to the left of the directory path and the file name. The files that have "H" letter next to them will be the ones that are hidden files.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 6

The "attrib | more" command lets you to see more files if there are too many of them and you cannot see all of them at once.

show hidden files in windows 10 step 7

That's it, now you know how to enable and disable the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option in Windows 10.

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View Hidden Files In Windows 7

To view hidden files and folders or drives in Windows 7 go to Control Panel first. To open Control Panel click the "Start" menu and then click the "Control Panel" option.

show hidden files in windows 7 step 1

In Control Panel find the "Folder Options" and click it. If you see Control Panel's menu window differently, set it to view by "Large icons" in the top-right corner.

show hidden files in windows 7 step 2

In Folder Options window find and click the "View" tab, then dins the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option under Advanced settings. Select it and click "Apply" to save the changes. Now all the hidden files, folders and drives will be displayed. Once you are done working with them, we recommend you to enable the "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives" option again.

show hidden files in windows 7 step 3

If you want, you can use Command Prompt's commands for it as well. The same steps apply for both Windows 10 and Windows 7.

That's it, we hope this guide was useful and now you know what are the hidden files and folders, why are they hidden and how to view them. If you have any questions related to the topic - do not hesitate to leave a comment in our comment section below.

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Video Showing How To View Hidden Files:

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