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Show hidden files, folders and extension in Windows

Created on  | Last modified on 

Summary

When searching or browsing in Windows Explorer, some files and folders may be hidden. This guide explains how to show hidden files and folders and file extensions.

Description

When searching or browsing in Windows Explorer, some files and folders may be hidden. The following steps contain everything you need to help you show hidden files and folders.

Resolution

Windows 11

  1. Press the Windows key  + E.
  2. Click View, then click Options.
  3. Click Change folder.
  4. Click Search options then click View.
  5. Ensure the following is true:
    Advanced settingsCheck box
    Don't show hidden files, folders, or drivesClear
    Show hidden files, folders, and drivesSelected
    Hide extensions for known file typesClear
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)Clear

    You may get a warning message when you clear this check box - click Yes to this warning.

    The settings should be the same as those outlined in the screenshot above.

  6. Click Apply then click OK.

A short video illustrating these steps is available on the Microsoft Support site.


Windows 10

  1. Press the Windows key + E.
  2. Click View, then click Options.
  3. Click Change folder.
  4. Click Search options then click View.
  5. Ensure the following is true:
    Advanced settingsCheck box
    Don't show hidden files, folders, or drivesClear
    Show hidden files, folders, and drivesSelected
    Hide extensions for known file typesClear
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)Clear

    You may get a warning message when you clear this check box - click Yes to this warning.

    The settings should be the same as those outlined in the screenshot above.

  6. Click Apply then click OK.

A short video illustrating these steps is available on the Microsoft Support site.


Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows key + E.
  2. Click View, then click Options.
  3. Ensure the following is true:
    Advanced settingsCheck box
    Don't show hidden files, folders, or drivesClear
    Show hidden files, folders, and drivesSelected
    Hide extensions for known file typesClear
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)Clear

    You may get a warning message when you clear this check box - click Yes to this warning.


    The settings should be the same as those outlined in the screenshot above.


  4. Click Apply then OK.


Windows 7

  1. Start > Computer > press Alt > Tools > Folder Options > View tab.
  2. Ensure the following is true:
    Advanced settingsCheck box
    Don't show hidden files, folders, or drivesClear
    Show hidden files, folders, and drivesSelected
    Hide extensions for known file typesClear
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)Clear

    You may get a warning message when you clear this check box - click Yes to this warning.

    The settings should be the same as those outlined in the screenshot above.

  3. Click Apply then OK.


Windows Vista

  1. Start > Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View tab.
  2. Ensure the following is true:
    Advanced settingsCheck box
    Do not show hidden files and foldersClear
    Show hidden files and foldersSelected
    Hide extensions for known file typesClear
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)Clear

    You may get a warning message when you clear this check box - click Yes to this warning.

    The settings should be the same as those outlined in the screenshot above.

  3. Click Apply then OK.

Windows XP

  1. Open My Computer > Tools > Folder Options > View tab.
  2. Ensure the following is true:
    Advanced settingsCheck box
    Do not show hidden files and foldersClear
    Show hidden files and foldersSelected
    Hide extensions for known file typesClear
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)Clear

    You may get a warning message when you clear this check box - click Yes to this warning.

    The settings should be the same as those outlined in the screenshot above.

  3. Click Apply then click OK.


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