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How Do I Show Hidden Files in Microsoft Windows®

September 23, 2011  |  Difficulty: Medium

How to configure folder options to view hidden files and folders

Operating systems normally keep their system files and folders hidden. This is to prevent the user from attempting to change settings and preferences in any other way than via the user’s interface. But sometimes it is necessary to change some values in the hidden files or to remove them. By following the instructions below, you will be able to configure folder options to view hidden files and folders.

Instructions for Windows® XP:

  1. Click on the “Start” button and then open “My Computer.”
  2. In the main navigation bar, go to “Tools > Folder Options”
  3. Switch to the “View” tab.
  4. In the “Advanced Setting”, locate the “Hidden files and folders” and expand it.
  5. Choose the “Show hidden files, folders” radio button.
  6. Click on the “OK” button.

Instructions for Windows Vista® and Windows® 7:

  1. Click on “Start” and then open “Computer.”
  2. In the main navigation bar, go to “Organize > Folder and search options“
  3. Switch to the “View” tab.
  4. In the “Advanced Setting”, locate the “Hidden files and folders” and expand it.
  5. Choose the “Show hidden files, folders and drives” radio button.
  6. Click on the “OK” button.

Tips and tricks:

  • If you are filling the path, you can use the copy/paste function to insert the location.
  • To set the hidden parameter for any file and folder, set the “Hidden” attribute in properties.

Warnings:

  • Be very careful when changing system files as doing this may cause instability of the operating system or applications.

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