View Hidden Files on Windows: In order to protect important system files from being deleted or modified, Windows, by default, hides certain files in your File Manager. Sometimes, the user might end up deleting the system files which could result in damage to the system. Therefore, Windows hides several system files when you go into the File Manager and explore your storage space. As a result, you’ll only see files or folders that you have created or downloaded from the Internet.
If you’re a tech savvy or a geek, chances are, you might want to view all the files including the hidden ones. There may be a lot of reasons why you wish to view hidden files, whatever the reason may be, viewing hidden files or folders on Windows is quite easy and simple if you know the method. In this article, you will learn how to view and access hidden files / folders on Windows 7/8/10.’
How To View Hidden Files & Folders On Windows PC / Laptop
There are multiple ways to view and access the information stored in the hidden files or folders. If your intention is to just to view the hidden files or folders, then you don’t need any third-party applications. Here is the most efficient and easiest way to access hidden files on your Windows PC.
View Hidden Files
- Click on the “Windows” icon located on the bottom right side on your desktop.
- Type “The PC” application in the search box and open it up from the search results.
- On the next screen, you will see all the drives of your computer or laptop located in one place.
- Select the drive that has the hidden files you’re looking for and open it up to proceed.
- Once you’re inside the drive, locate the “View” option in the top toolbar menu.
- Click on the “View” option and make sure to check mark the “Hidden Items” option box.
- After the “Hidden items” box has been checked, you will see all the hidden files or folders in the drive.
Please keep in mind that as long the hidden files option box is check marked, you’ll continue to see the hidden files or folders that are inside the particular drive you have selected. Moreover, you can differentiate a hidden file or folders from other files in the drive.
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The icon of the folder or file will be a little more transparent compared to others if it has been hidden inside the drive.
How To View Protected File On Windows
By default, Windows has two types of hidden files, one is normally hidden files and the other one system protected hidden files. Modifying or deleting the former type of files won’t be much of a problem, but deleting the latter type of files can cause damage to the system.
If you still wish to view protected files on your Windows PC, then here are the steps to follow.
- Open up the File Manager or “The PC” application by going into the Windows menu.
- Navigate to the “View” tab and click on the “Options” located at the top.
- In the next window, move to the “View” tab and select the “Hide protected operating system files”.
- Checkmark the aforementioned option and select the “OK” option if prompted.
Doing so will give you access to all system protected files that were hidden earlier.
How To Create Hidden Files Or Folders On Windows PC
As a user, you can also create hidden files or folders on your Windows, which cannot be accessed or viewed normally. This is a very useful method if you share your PC with others regularly and don’t want them to know about certain files stored on your PC. Go ahead and follow these steps to instantly hide any files or folders on Windows PC.
- Go to your File Manager or open up “The PC” application from the Windows Menu.
- On the next screen, open up a drive that has the files or folders which you want to be hidden.
- Inside the drive, select any file or folder that you wish to hide and right click on it.
- Click on the “Properties” option and wait for a new window to show up on your screen.
- Under the “General” tab, find the “Hidden” box located on the bottom of the window.
- Check mark the “Hidden” option box and confirm the changes by clicking on the “OK” option.
The selected file or folder is now hidden, meaning, you won’t see the file or folder when you open up the drive. In order to view the hidden file, you will have to check the “Hidden Files” option box under the View tab from the upper toolbar.
Hopefully, the guide helped you in viewing and accessing the hidden files or folders on your Windows PC. If you ever wish to hide these files again, then all you need to do is to “uncheck” the “Hidden Items” option box under the View tab. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions or doubts on hidden files or folders on Windows.