How to see hidden files in Windows

Introduction

By following the steps below for each version of Windows you will be able to change the operating systems behavior so that you can see hidden and protected files. In this way you will have full control over your files.

  1. Intro
  2. Windows 95
  3. Windows 98
  4. Windows ME
  5. Windows NT
  6. Windows 2000
  7. Windows XP
  8. Windows Vista

Windows 95

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the View menu and then click Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the Show all files radio button and select it.
  6. Press the OK button and close the My Computer window.
  7. Now you can view all hidden files.

Windows 98

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the View menu and then click Folder Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the Show all files radio button and select it.
  6. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and close the My Computer window.
  7. Now you can view all hidden files.

Windows ME

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
  6. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide file extensions for known file types.
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  9. Now you can view all hidden files.

Windows NT

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the View menu and then click Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the Show all files radio button and select it.
  6. Press the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  7. Now you can view all hidden files.

Windows 2000

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
  6. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide file extensions for known file types.
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  9. Now you can view all hidden files.

Windows XP and Windows 2003

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled Display the contents of system folders.
  6. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide file extensions for known file types.
  8. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
  9. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  10. Now you can view all hidden files.

Windows Vista

To view hidden files follow these steps:

  1. Start from an empty desktop (all programs closed).
  2. Click on the Start button. This is the small round button with the Windows flag in the lower left corner.
  3. Click on the Control Panel menu option.
  4. When the control panel opens you can either be in Classic View or Control Panel Home view:

    If you are in the Classic View do the following:

    1. Double-click on the Folder Options icon.
    2. Click on the View tab.
    3. Go to step 5.

    If you are in the Control Panel Home view do the following:

    1. Click on the Appearance and Personalization link .
    2. Click on Show Hidden Files or Folders.
    3. Go to step 5.

  5. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
  6. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide extensions for known file types.
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  9. Now Windows Vista is configured to show all hidden files.
1 Comment
  1. techbloke01 says:

    I prefer to work with hidden files and folders shown. I used to use Windows 98 a great deal, and it took me awhile to find how to actually show them. If you’re doing system maintenance then it’s good to be able to see everything, including OS files, just so you know exactly what’s present in a folder.

    I also like to show file extensions, but maybe that’s just me.

    Reply
Leave a Reply




XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


two + 6 =