There are many files on your computer that you don’t see in File Explorer because they are hidden for certain reasons. To protect important system files from being deleted, Windows 10 hides these files from your view by default. While Microsoft does this to protect your system, you can still make hidden files visible and access them in File Explorer. We have sourced three ways that you can use to show hidden files on Windows 10.
How to Show Hidden Files on Windows 10 Using File Explorer
If you want to make all your hidden files visible on Windows 10, the easiest solution is to use the File Explorer utility. Simply use the steps that have been provided below:
- Click on the Windows logo at the bottom-left corner of your screen and input “File Explorer” (without the quotes) in the Search box.
- Select and launch File Explorer from the results.
- In the File Explorer window, navigate to the View tab.
- Locate the Show/hide section and select the Hidden items option which is deselected by default.
- After it’s enabled, the hidden files will become available on your computer.
P.S. If you ever want to disable these files on your computer again, simply go back to Step 4 above, then unselect the Hidden items box.
Use Control Panel to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Windows 10
You can also use the Control Panel to make hidden files and folders visible in Windows 10. Follow the steps that have been provided below:
- Click on the Windows logo at the bottom-left corner of your screen and input “Control Panel” (without the quotes) in the Search box.
- Select and launch the Control Panel app from the displayed results.
- Use the View by option at the top right to browse categories by Large icons.
- Scroll and click on the option that says File Explorer Options.
- In the File Explorer Options window, navigate to the View tab.
- Find the option that is labeled as Show hidden files, folders, and drives, then tick the box.
- Click on Apply, then on OK.
If you ever want to hide these files again, simply find your way to Step 6 above, locate the option that says Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives, then tick the box and apply changes.
How to Enable Hidden Files on Windows 10 Using the Registry Editor
If you’re looking for how to unhide files in Windows 10, you can use the Registry Editor to make all your hidden files available in File Explorer. Here is how:
- Use the Windows + R shortcut to launch the Run box.
- Input “regedit” (no quotes) in the box and hit the Enter key.
- Navigate to the following path:
- Navigate to the right side of your screen, scroll through the available options and you’ll find one that is labeled as Hidden.
- Double-click on it to open.
- By default, the entry has a value of 2 which makes your hidden files unavailable. To show hidden files on your Windows 10 computer, change the value to 1 and click on OK.
If you ever want to hide these files and folders again, simply go back to Step 6 above and change the entry value from 1 back to 2.
A bit of modification to your core files can cause your entire system to breakdown. So, these system files are hidden by default. Nonetheless, many reasons would make a person want to access hidden files. It could be that you’re trying to check if you have virus-infected files or you may use hidden folders as a way to store your private data from everyone that accesses your computer. It’s really up to you.
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If you have any questions or comments about hiding and unhiding files in Windows 10, don’t hesitate to drop them in the comment box below.