Show hidden files in Windows 7

Windows hides some critical files from the normal so that accidental damage to the files can be avoided. Learn how to change the file explorer settings to view and show hidden files.

How to display hidden files in Windows 7 Operating System

All of the Microsoft operating systems hide some system files from being seen when the user explores his computer. This is for the security reason, so that these files are not deleted accidentally by the user.

Windows 7 Operating System also hides certain system files so that these files are not visible to the user when exploring the computer. These hidden files are Windows 7 System files which could cause problem with proper operation of the computer if deleted.

But it is possible for a user to view the hidden files or set some files as hidden files just by enabling the hidden attributes for a particular file or a folder's properties. Some times it is required to view the hidden files on the computer. Follow the given steps below to view hidden files in Windows 7.

  • First close all the programs that are running
  • Now click on the Start button which is located at the lower left corner of your screen
  • Now click on the Control Panel menu option.
  • When the control panel opens, you will see a screen which is similar to the one shown below

  • Control Panel in Windows 7
  • Now click on the Appearance and Personalization link
  • Now you will see the Appearance and Personalization Control panel as shown below

  • Appearance and Personalization Control Panel in Windows 7

  • Now you have to click on the option "Show hidden files and folders" as shown above by the red arrow.
  • Select the radio button labeled "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" under the Hidden files and folders section.
  • Next you have to remove the check mark from the check box labeled "Hide extensions" for known file types
  • Next you have to remove the check mark from the check box labeled "Hide protected operating system files"

  • Once you do this, the folder options screen should look similar to the one shown below.

    Folder Options in Wndows 7

    Now press the Apply button and OK button. After this you will be able to view all the hidden files. This article is written with Windows 7 in mind, but the same concept will work for other versions of Windows, including Windows 8.

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    Author: Shaikh Izaj Ahmed20 Jun 2010 Member Level: Silver   Points : 2

    Good one the folder options is a very useful one for every one to see the hidden files and to set all the folders for same options, It was very easy in Windows XP it is available on tools on the menubar.

    This guide will definetely help all the Windows 7 users to get the folder options to do the things what they are to.

    Author: Tony John14 Nov 2012 Member Level: Gold   Points : 1

    Even though it is not very complex to show the hidden files, if you don't know how to do it, it can be a pain to find the option. For me, it was easier to Google it and get it from your article than searching in my Windows to figure out how to see the hidden system files. Thanks for the article.

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