How to access hidden files and folders on Microsoft Windows

What are hidden files and folders?

Files and folders that are not visible on your computer due to human interaction or importance in regards to Microsoft.

What are common hidden folders?

Microsoft Windows usually keeps data folders like ProgamData and AppData  hidden.

Why does Microsoft Windows have hidden files and folders?

Most hidden folders and files are common files and important in keeping your computer productive and safe from instances like accidental deletions or intrusions.

How to hide files and folders on Microsoft Windows

  • Right click a folder or file icon you wish to hide on your operating system.
  • Select “Properties
  • In the General Tab (Main Tab) under “Attributes” select the radio button for “hidden” (Pictured)

hide file windows

  • Select Apply, then select OK

Hiding Folders:
If you wish to only hide the folder, the main entrance to the files, etc. inside, but keep everything inside visible then select the first option “Apply changes to this folder only
If you wish to hide an entire folder and all files inside of it, select “Apply changes to this folder, sub folders and files

How to access hidden files and folders on Microsoft Windows

It’s very simple.

  • Access the Window’s start menu
  • In the search bar type “folder options
  • Type "Folder Options"

  • Press Enter or Click the Folder Options folder in the query
  • Select the “View” tab
  • Under “Hidden files and folders” select the radio button which says “Show hidden files, folders, and drives
  • Show Hidden Files And Folders

  • Click the Apply button on the bottom of the window, then click OK

All hidden files and folders on Windows are now visible. To hide files and folders again, follow the same steps but select “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives.”
You can tell which files and folders are supposed to be hidden due to a difference in transparency. (Pictured)hidden windows file

Here is a video example of how to show all hidden Window’s files and folders

Sean Doyle

Sean Doyle is a tech author and engineer with over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity, privacy, malware, Google Analytics, online marketing, and other topics. Sean's content has been featured in numerous publications.