Windows 10 Show Hidden Files

Hidden files, folders, and drives do not show by default in Windows 10, protected system files can be visible if only enabled in Settings Panel. This protects important files from being deleted so that the system isn’t damaged. It’s recommended to not modify or delete hidden files since these are usually app and system files, and is why they do not show in File Explorer by default.

When you set to show hidden files, folders, and drives, they will appear dimmed to indicate that they are hidden items. This tutorial will show you how to show or don’t show hidden files, folders, and drives for your account in Windows 10.

What is Hidden Files?

The Hidden files are the files that reside in your computer system, but does not appear when you search or explore. It is basically used to prevent an unauthorized user to view or modify your files and to prevent from deleting your important data accidentally.

Windows introduces this feature in order to hide files and folders from an unauthorized users. After using this feature no one is able to read or modify these files. Although sometimes, if you may want to modify or delete any file from the hidden folder then you can go through this article where you will learn, how to show hidden files in Windows 10, by implementing the steps as explained below.

Show Hidden Files in File Explorer Options

Open File Explorer Options in File Explorer Ribbon - while in File Explorer, click/tap on the View tab, and click/tap on Options in the ribbon.

Open View Tab in File Explorer

Click the View tab, and then you should select “Show hidden files and folders” in the list. If you are trying to get into the Windows directories, you might want to also remove the checkbox from “Hide protected operating system files” as well.

Show Hidden Files in File Explorer

Show Hidden Files in File Explorer Ribbon

While you have File Explorer open, click/tap on the View tab, and check (show) or uncheck (hide) the Hidden items box in the ribbon for what you want.

Show Hidden Files in File Explorer Ribbon

Show Hidden Folders Via Registry

  1. Hold the Windows Key and press “R” to bring up the Run dialog box.
  2. Type “regedit“, then press “Enter“.
  3. Navigate to the following location at HKEY_CURRENT_USER tree:

    Software / Microsoft / Windows / CurrentVersion / Explorer / Advanced

  4. Set the value for “Hidden” to “1” to show hidden files, folders, and drives. Set the value to “2” to not show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  5. Set the value for “ShowSuperHidden” to “1” to show protected operating system files. Set the value to “2” to not show protected operating system files.
Hidden Files in Windows 10

That’s all there is to it! Now you’ll be able to see all the files and folders on your system that are normally hidden. I recommend “hiding” the hidden items again after you have finished the task at hand. The reason Windows hides certain items in the first place it to prevent them from being accidentally deleted.