How to show hidden files in Windows

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 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 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 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 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 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 and Windows 2003

To enable the viewing of Hidden files 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 check mark in the check box 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 check mark from the check box labeled Hide file extensions for known file types.
  8. Remove the check mark from the check box 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 follow these steps:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Click on the Start button. This is the small round button with the Windows flag in the lower left corner.
  3. Click on the Control Panel menu option.
  4. When the control panel opens you can either be 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.
    3. Go to step 5.

    If you are in the Control Panel Home view do the following:

    1. Click on the Appearance and Personalization link .
    2. Click on Show Hidden Files or Folders.
    3. Go to step 5.

  5. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
  6. Remove the check mark from the check box labeled Hide extensions for known file types.
  7. Remove the check mark from the check box labeled Hide protected operating system files.
  8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
  9. Now Windows Vista is configured to show all hidden files.

Conclusion

Now that you know how to see all hidden files on your computer, malicious programs such as viruses, spyware, and hijackers will no longer be able to hide their presence from you or people helping you.

~ by bestbooter on June 23, 2009.

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