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Show hidden files in Windows


Introduction
By default Windows hides certain files from being seen with Windows Explorer or My Computer. This is done to protect these files, which are usually system files, from accidentally being modified or deleted by the user. Unfortunately viruses, spyware, and hijackers often hide there files in this way making it hard to find them and then delete them.

By following the steps below for each version of Windows you will be able to change the operating systems behavior so that you can see hidden and protected files. In this way you will be able to delete or replaces files for troubleshooting purposes.


Windows 95

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows 95 follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Select the "View" menu and then click "Options".
  4. After the new window appears select the "View" tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the "Show all files" radio button and select it.
  6. Press the OK button and close the My Computer window.
  7. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Windows 98

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows 98 follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Select the "View" menu and then click "Folder Options".
  4. After the new window appears select the "View" tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the "Show all files" radio button and select it.
  6. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and close the My Computer window.
  7. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Windows ME

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows ME follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Select the "Tools" menu and click "Folder Options".
  4. After the new window appears select the "View" tab.
  5. Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  6. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types".
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  9. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Windows NT

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows NT follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Select the "View" menu and then click "Options".
  4. After the new window appears select the "View" tab.
  5. Scroll down until you see the "Show all files" radio button and select it.
  6. Press the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  7. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Windows 2000

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows 2000 follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Select the "Tools" menu and click "Folder Options".
  4. After the new window appears select the "View" tab.
  5. Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  6. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types".
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  9. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Windows XP

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows XP follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Select the "Tools" menu and click "Folder Options".
  4. After the new window appears select the "View" tab.
  5. Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled "Display the contents of system folders".
  6. Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide file extensions for known file types".
  8. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  9. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  10. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.


Windows Vista

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows Vista follow these steps:

Method 1

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Click on "Organize" tab from top.
  4. Click "Folder and Search Options" from menu and click "View" tab.
  5. Now in Folder Options View tab Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  6. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide extensions for known file types".
  7. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button.


Method 2

  1. Click on the "Start" button.
  2. Click on "Control Panel" from start menu options.
  3. When the "Control Panel" opens you can be either in "Classic View" or "Control Panel Home view":
    If you are in the "Classic View" do the following:
    1. Double-click on the Folder Options icon.
    2. Click on the "View" tab.
    If you are in the "Control Panel Home view" do the following:
    1. Click on the "Appearance and Personalization".
    2. Click on "Show Hidden Files or Folders".
  4. Now in Folder Options View tab Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  5. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide extensions for known file types".
  6. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  7. Press the Apply button and then the OK button.


Windows 7

To enable the viewing of Hidden files in Windows 7 follow these steps:

Method 1

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  3. Click on "Organize" tab from top.
  4. Click "Folder and Search Options" from menu and click "View" tab.
  5. Now in Folder Options View tab Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  6. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide extensions for known file types".
  7. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button.


Method 2

  1. Click on the "Start" button.
  2. Click on "Control Panel" from start menu options.
  3. When the "Control Panel" opens you can be either in "Classic View" or "Control Panel Home view":
    If you are in the "Classic View" do the following:
    1. Double-click on the Folder Options icon.
    2. Click on the "View" tab.
    If you are in the "Control Panel Home view" do the following:
    1. Click on the "Appearance and Personalization".
    2. Click on "Show Hidden Files or Folders".
  4. Now in Folder Options View tab Under the "Hidden files and folders" section select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files and folders".
  5. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide extensions for known file types".
  6. Uncheck the checkmark from the checkbox labeled "Hide protected operating system files".
  7. Press the Apply button and then the OK button.