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

7 Responses

  1. Cheryl TeWinkel says:

    I’ve done that a gazillion times & still can’t get all my picture folders. They show up in File Explorer but I can’t copy/paste them from there.

  2. R.L. Medina says:

    Thank you very much, Friends! I was able to recover a much appreciated folder containing old family pics!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so so much for this. I have been waging a war against some text-link virus and yours was the only place that told me how to do everything with a fine-toothed comb and also wrote it all up as if you were speaking to a child 😀 You rock, thanks for all your work. Say hi to the bookstore in thousand oaks for me!

  4. dana hansen says:

    Thanks!!! My system restore would not remove the problem, I could not access the Internet to download another solution. I searched “Fake FBI $200” and found your wonderful site. Using your very exacting instructions I was able to remove the virus and access the Internet and download an updated antivirus program, you saved my computer!!!

  1. September 20, 2012

    […] Live Platinum Security installs into App Data, which is a hidden Windows file. To learn how to access hidden Windows files, click here. […]

  2. October 22, 2012

    […] The files that the Canadian Police Cybercrime Investigation Department ransomware virus will be random but always located in %AllUsersProfile%, %AppData%, and %Temp% folders. Application Data (%AppData%) by default is a hidden Window’s folder. To learn more about how to show hidden files, folders, and drives pleaseclick here. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.