How to Show Hidden Files on Windows 11

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With a fewer clicks, each will beryllium revealed.

The Task Bar connected a Windows 11 PC.Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek

Key Takeaways

  • Show hidden files and folders connected Windows 11 easy by clicking nan View fastener successful File Explorer and selecting Show > Hidden items.
  • You tin besides show hidden items by opening File Explorer and navigating to Options > View > "Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives."
  • To show protected operating strategy files, unfastened File Explorer, click Options, spell to nan View tab, and uncheck "Hide protected operating strategy files (Recommended)."

Windows 11 handles hidden files and folders almost identically to versions of Windows that came earlier it: pinch special record flags. Showing these hidden files successful File Explorer is easy. Here's how.

There are really aggregate ways to show hidden files and folders connected Windows 11, but we'll locomotion you done nan champion methods to make it easier.

First, motorboat File Explorer by opening Start and searching for "File Explorer," aliases by clicking nan File Explorer icon successful your taskbar if it's pinned there.

On Windows 11, click nan File Explorer icon successful nan taskbar.

Once you person File Explorer open, you tin proceed pinch nan adjacent step.

To show hidden files connected caller versions of Windows 11, you tin simply click nan View fastener connected nan File Explorer toolbar and past prime Show -> Hidden items from nan menu.

show hidden files connected windows 11

You'll instantly beryllium capable to commencement seeing regular hidden files this way. You won't, however, beryllium capable to spot protected operating strategy files. To spot those, support reference below.

Show Hidden Files connected Windows 11 Using Options

When File Explorer opens, click nan ellipses (three dots) fastener successful nan toolbar adjacent nan apical of nan window. In nan paper that appears, prime "Options."

Click nan three-dot paper icon successful File Explorer.

In nan "Folder Options" model that opens, click nan "View" tab. In nan "Advanced Settings" list, find nan "Hidden Files and Folders" option. Using nan power buttons, prime "Show hidden files, folders, and drives." Then click "OK" aliases "Apply" astatine nan bottommost of nan window.

Hidden files and folders will instantly go visible successful File Explorer and connected your desktop. When you spot them, their icons will person a somewhat translucent aliases faded appearance.

A hidden files connected Windows 11.

If you want to hide them again later, usage "Options" successful File Explorer to unfastened Folder Options again, click "View," prime "Don't show hidden files, folders, aliases drives," and click "OK."

How to Show Protected Operating System Files successful Windows 11

In Windows, there's different type of hidden file: a system file, which is hidden and protected by default to support your operating strategy moving properly. If you'd for illustration to spot this type of hidden file, unfastened File Explorer, click nan "three dots" fastener successful nan toolbar, past prime "Options."

In nan Folder Options window, click nan "View" tab, past scroll down successful nan "Advanced Settings" database and uncheck "Hide protected operating strategy files (Recommended)."

Unhide protected strategy files connected Windows 11.

As soon arsenic you click nan cheque box, a caller dialog model will unfastened that warns you astir nan dangers of revealing protected operating strategy files.

You are astir to uncover delicate operating strategy files. If you move aliases delete hidden strategy files, it could break your Windows 11 installation aliases perchance origin information loss. So proceed pinch utmost caution.

If you cognize what you're doing and are consenting to judge nan risks, click "Yes."


Then adjacent nan Folder Options model by pressing "OK." As pinch nan hidden files revealed successful nan conception above, protected operating strategy files will look translucent connected your desktop and successful File Explorer.

When you're done pinch your task, it's usually a bully thought to hide your protected operating strategy files again. To do that, unfastened Folder Options arsenic shown above, click nan "View" tab, past spot a checkmark beside "Hide protected operating strategy files (Recommended)" and click "OK." Good luck!

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