Hidden files and folders is missing or not working in Windows 10/8/7

We know that the Windows operating system contains some files and yet other system files and folders which are hidden by default. These are hidden so that the end-user does not by chance end up deleting or modifying their contents as they are required by the system to function properly. But there may be times, when you may need to show these hidden files and folders.

To show these hidden files and folders, type File Explorer Options in Windows 10 or Folder Options I earlier versions, in start search and hit Enter to open the window. Under the View tab, check the Hidden files, folders and drives check box. If you need to also show the system protected hidden files and folders too, uncheck the Hide protected operating system files  option.

Show hidden files and folders option missing

Click Apply and exit. The hidden files and folders will now be visible.

Show hidden files and folders option missing

If you find that in your Windows, when you open your File Explorer Options earlier called Folder Options, via Windows Explorer > Organize > Folder & Search Option > Folder Options > View > Advanced Settings, the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives option is missing, then here is a Registry hack you can try, to enable it.

Create a system restore point first. Then type regedit in Windows start search box and hit Enter. Navigate to the following key:


hidden files and folders missing

In the right pane, right click on Type and select Modify. Here Change Value Data to “group” without the inverted commas.

Click OK > Exit.

Hope this helps. If this doesn’t help, then Windows 10/8.1 users may download and apply this registry fix. Alternatively Windows 7, Windows Vista users could  use our freeware FixWin to fix this issue. You will find the fix under its Explorer section.

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. At first, I was thinking to myself: “Who, who has ever used Windows before, doesn’t already know this?” But that was an arrogant thought, of course. I shouldn’t project onto others my knowledge of Windows.

    I’ll tell you one thing about it that really *IS* useful, though, and that’s the registry fix. Er… I mean… don’t get me wrong, the first part — just the setting — is useful; but even the experienced users can benefit from the registry hack if the items are missing from the settings area…

    …which brings me to a question: Is that a common problem in Win8? Something as basic as that setting simply not showing-up; and, therefore, needing a registry hack to fix it? Does Win8 (or some vendors pre-installing it on their machines) turn that off by default or something?

    Just curious.

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
    Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.

  2. This problem occurs, in case (a) the registry settings has been somehow corrupted or (b) the computer is infected with malware, and the malware changes or blocks this setting to stay hidden from the human eye. This was a more frequent problem in the earlier versions on Windows, and may not be so common now. If this happens, then this is a way to fix it.

  3. Yes, I’ve seen the folder options menu, itself, disappear because of malware. What I meant was that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen just those items from it disappear. In my experience, it’s the whole folder options settings dialog that malware sometimes makes disappear. That’s, in part, why fixing that particular problem is one of the things that tools like SuperAntiSpyware can do.



    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

    Veritas nihil veretur nisi abscondi.
    Veritas nimium altercando amittitur.

  4. Fritz Knobel

    Some folders are still invisible. For example I could see c:windowssystem32driversetc only if I entered the complete path in the address bar.

  5. AlokSan

    I have found a solution which you can try and fix this issue as i too had this

    go to : droidmonk.blogspot.in
    please reply if it did not work for you. iam sure it would work.

  6. You will be able to see all if you have allowed both, hidden files, folders and drives, as well as protected operating system files to be shown

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