Last updated on October 14th, 2014
In some cases, the folder and file names are missing in Windows Explorer. In fact, the folder or file icons appear correctly, but their names are missing. This annoying problem can happen to all or to specific folders without an obvious reason and especially if you have selected the icon view (View > Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large Icons) instead of list, details, tiles or content view.
To resolve the “file or folder names not visible” problem, follow the steps below:
How to display missing folder & file names in Windows Explorer.
For Windows XP.
In Windows XP, the invisible names problem occurs when the display view is set to “Thumbnails”. To resolve this:
1. Open the folder where file & folder names are missing.
2. Go to “View” menu and select “Details”.
3. Now press & hold down the “SHIFT” key and while you do that, go to “View” menu and select “Thumbnails”. *
*. Another way to restore file and folder names back in Windows XP is to hold the “Shift” key while opening the folder where the folder/file names are invisible.
For Windows 7 or Vista.
In Windows 7 or Vista this problem commonly happens in “Pictures” folder. To resolve this problem, you have to uncheck the “Hide file names” option. To do that:
1. Navigate to the folder where the folder or file names are missing.
2. Right-click to an empty area and unselect the “View” > “Hide File Names” option.
Solution 2. Delete “desktop.ini” file.
If the above solution doesn't work, you have to delete the hidden “desktop.ini” file from every folder that has the invisible name(s) problem.
1. Enable the ‘Hidden files & folders’ view. To do that, go to to Windows Control Panel and:
- Open Folder Options.
- Click the View tab.
- Check to enable the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option.
- Click OK.
2. Delete the “desktop.ini” from the folder that has the invisible name problem.*
Advice: If you face the folder or file names missing problem on more than one folder, then you can easily find and delete all “desktop.ini” files from every folder if you perform a simple file search for all files named “desktop.ini”.