windows view files folder

Showing the hidden files and folders in Windows

By default, Microsoft Windows 10 hides certain files from view when you search them on your hard disk. This protects important files from being deleted so the system is not damaged. If you are the geeky type, you will want to have the ability to see all files all of the time.

Below, you can see two ways of showing the hidden files/folders.

First way: Through Control Panel

Follow these steps to show hidden files through the control panel.

Step 1:

Open Windows 10 Control Panel.

You may open the control panel through the Start menu.

Click the Windows icon to bring up the Start menu, then find the Windows System folder and click on to expand it, so you will see the Control Panel.

windows control panel

Additionally, you can right click on the Control Panel and select Pin to start alternative to pin Control Panel to Start menu for easier access.


Open the Run command box with Win + R, then type in control and then click on OK.

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windows run

Step 2:

Click on the Appearance and Personalization > File Explorer Options.

Step 3:

Following the “File Explorer Options” dialog opens, choose the View tab, find the “Hidden files and folders” under the “Advanced settings” section, and choose the “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” option.

Finally, click Apply to apply the settings.

windows view files folder

Second way: Display Hidden Files on Windows 8 and 10

This option is readily available in File Explorer on Windows 8 and 10.


Select the Start button, then select File Explorer.

windows file explorer


Click on the “View” tab on File Explorer’s ribbon and click on the “Hidden items” checkbox from the Show/hide section.

The File Explorer will instantly reveal hidden files and will remember this setting until you change it.

windows file show