Windows operating system has lot of system files and deleting them accidentally will result the PC from stop working. In order to avoid this Windows has a default feature to hide or show important files. You can also hide your personal files to prevent others viewing them. Remember whether it is a system file or your personal file, you can hide them but it is very easy for anyone to unhide and view. So, if you don’t want others to view your content then consider protecting with password instead of simply hiding. In this article let us learn how to view the hidden files in Windows 10, 8 and 7.
View Hidden Files in Windows 10 and 8
There are two methods you can view the hidden files in Windows 10 and 8.
Method 1 – Using Menu Option
First method works when you want to view the hidden files in a particular folder.
- Open the folder you want to look for the hidden files. In our case, we are going to look for some default hidden files in C drive.
- When you are inside the folder, go to the top of the File Explorer and click on “View” tab.
- Now enable the check box for “Hidden items” option as shown below.
- You will be able to see all hidden folders and files in Windows.
Method 2 – Using Folder Options Dialog Box
This is a generic option, you can enable to view the hidden files from “Folder Option” dialog box.
- Press “Win + E” keyboard shortcuts to open File Explorer and go to “View” tab from the menu.
- Click on “Options” menu dropdown and choose “Change folder and search options”.
- It will open the “Folder Options” dialog box.
- Go to the “View” tab and look for “Hidden files and folders” section.
- Turn on the “Show hidden files, folder and drives” option
- Click “Apply” button to save your changes.
- Now, you will be able to see all hidden files in Windows.
View Hidden Files In Windows 7
The process for viewing hidden files is bit different in Windows 7.
- Open the folder in which you want to view the hidden files.
- Click on the “Organize” button at the top and then click “Folder and Search options”.
- It will open the “Folder Options” dialog box and go to “View” tab.
- Under the “Advanced setting” section, click on “Show hidden files, folders and drives”.
- Click “Apply” button and then “OK” to save your changes.
- Now, you will see all the hidden files and folders when you open File Explorer.
- In all the methods when you enable the option, Windows will show hidden files in all the folders on your computer.
- You can toggle the option to show or hide the hidden files.
- After viewing the hidden files, we strongly recommend you to disable the option. This will help to avoid you or someone wrongly deleting the system files and cause data loss.
Hiding Files and Folders in Windows 10 / 8 / 7
The above methods will show or hide the files already in hidden status. Now that you may wonder how to set your personal file / folder status to hidden in Windows? It’s very easy by following the below instructions.
- Right click on the file or folder and open “Properties” dialog box. You can also highlight the file / folder and press “Alt + Enter” shortcut keys to open “Properties” dialog.
- Go to “General” tab and enable the “Hidden” checkbox against “Attributes” section.
- Click on the “Apply” button and then “OK” to save your changes.
- Now the file will disappear and hide from your view, if you have set not to display the hidden files by default.
Hiding Folders with Files and Subfolders
If the folder you want to hide contains many files and subfolders, then you need to also hide all the files / subfolders inside.
- Right click on the required folder and choose “Properties” option.
- Select “Hidden” attribute and click on “Apply” button.
- Now, Windows will prompt you to confirm whether you want to hide only the folder or all files and subfolders inside the folder as well.
- Choose “Apply changes to this folder, subfolder and files” option to hide the entire content inside the folder.
Hope this article helped you to understand how to hide the files and view the hidden files. However, as mentioned, simply hiding your confidential files is not secure and good idea. Find a proper password management tool and set a complex password for the data you want to protect from other users on your computer.