How to View Hidden Files on Windows 10/8.1

Last updated on February 20th, 2019

This tutorial contains instructions on how you can view the hidden and the protected system files in Windows 10, 8 & 7 operating systems. In Windows 10 & 8, as in previous MS operating systems, some files are hidden to avoid their accidental modification or deletion because most of them are system files

and they are important for the proper Windows operation. In the case that you want to show the hidden and the protected system files for any reason, then read this guide to learn how to do that.

How to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 10, 8 or 7 OS.

To view the hidden folders & files in Windows 10/8.1/7 OS, you have to enable the 'hidden items' view, by using one of the following methods:

Method 1. Enable Hidden Items View from Explorer's Menu.*

(* Applies only to Windows 10 & Windows 8.1)

1. Open Windows Explorer.
2. From the View menu, check the Hidden items box.

How to View hidden files windows 10/8

Method 2. Enable Hidden & Protected System Files View from Control Panel.

(* Applies to all Windows Versions)

The second -and classic- method to view the hidden and the protected operating system files on your Windows computer, is by using the 'Folder Options' in Control Panel. To do that:

1. Navigate to Windows Control Panel.

  • In Windows 7, go to Start > Control Panel
  • In Windows 10/8-8.1:

1. Simultaneously press the Windows image + S keys to open the search box.
2. Type control panel and then click the 'Control Panel item' in the results.

control panel

2. Set the View by: to Small Icons and then double click at File Explorer Options. *

* Note: In Windows 7 open Folder Options.

control panel - folder options

3.  At View tab, select the Show hidden files, folders and drives option and press OK.

show hideen files, folders windows 10-8

4. From now on you can view the hidden files on your Windows PC. *

* Note: If you want to view also the hidden and protected System files on your Windows computer, then at the above window, uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option and click OK.

TIP: When you finish your work, it is better to Hide again the system files, to avoid accidental modifications.

Show system files windows 10-8

That's it! Let me know if this guide has helped you by leaving your comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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