How to show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 10

In this post, we will see how to show Hidden Files, Folders & Drives along with Protected operating system filesĀ  in Windows 10/8/7, via File Explorer Options in the Control Panel.

show hidden files

Show Hidden Files & Folders

To do this, you will have to open the Control Panel and the select the File Explorer Options. File Explorer Options is referred to as Folder Options in Windows 8.1/7.

To show Hidden Files, Folders & Drives on your Windows 10 computer:

1] Open File Explorer Options

2] Click on the View tab

3] Under Hidden Files & Folders, select the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives option

4] Click on Apply and Exit.

Unhide Protected operating system files

If you wish to unhide and show the Protected operating system files, you need to uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) setting, and click Apply.

There is another way. You can use attrib.exe to change File Attributes, and/or show the hidden files.

If you wish to, you can also list all the hidden files & folders on your Windows computer.

BONUS TIP: If you find that the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives option is missing, then this registry tweak is sure to help you. Alternatively, you could use our freeware FixWin to fix this problem. You will find the fix under its Explorer section.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, 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.