6 ways to show hidden files in Windows 10

Windows 10 offers an option to show hidden files and files that you don’t see by default. When you enable this option, File Explorer will start displaying all the files.

Today this article will guide 6 ways Show hidden files in Windows 10 so you can view hidden files and folders in both File Explorer as well as command line tools like PowerShell and Command Prompt.

How to show hidden files in Windows 10 with File Explorer

File Explorer is a toolbar that manages and organizes files and folders on the drive. There are many interesting features that you may not know, one of which is how to open or show hidden files in Windows 10.

  • Open menu Start, find and select This PC in search results.
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  • Select tab View at the top of the This PC window.
  • On the right side of your screen, enable the checkbox Hidden items.
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  • File Explorer will show hidden files and folders on your computer.
  • To hide files and folders again, uncheck Hidden items in File Explorer.

How to show hidden files in Windows 10 using Control Panel

You can show hidden files in Windows 10 using the options in Control Panel.

  • Menu Access Start, find and select Control Panel in the displayed results.
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  • In Control Panel, at menu View by choose Category.
  • Select option Appearance and Personalization.
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  • Choose Show hidden files and folders in File Explorer Options.
How to show hidden files in Windows 10 using Control Panel - Figure 3
  • You are now in the tab View of the File Explorer Options window. Here, select the option Show hidden files, folders, and drives. Choose Apply then choose OK.
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  • Windows File Explorer will now show all hidden files and files on the computer.
  • To hide hidden items, select the option Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives. Choose Apply then choose OK.
How to show hidden files in Windows 10 using Control Panel - Figure 5

How to show hidden files in Windows 10 with Settings

Windows 10’s Settings app also includes an option to show hidden content on PCs.

To use this method:

  • Press Windows + I to launch Settings app or search and select Settings in the menu Start.
  • Choose Update & Security.
How to show hidden files in Windows 10 with Settings - Picture 1
  • Choose For developers from the left menu bar.
  • Scroll to options Change settings to show hidden and system files. Choose Show settings.
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  • Enable option Show hidden files, folders, and drives. Then choose Apply and choose OK to save settings.
How to show hidden files in Windows 10 with Settings - Picture 3

How to show hidden files on Windows 10 with the PowerShell command

PowerShell is also one of the features to help users show hidden files in Windows 10, change Windows 10 system settings with commands.

  • Click Start or the Windows icon in the bottom left and type PowerShell. Choose Windows PowerShell from search results.
How to display hidden files on Windows 10 with PowerShell commands - Figure 1
  • In the PowerShell window, type CD, enter a space, then enter the full path of the folder containing the hidden files. For example, if the hidden files are in a folder named MyDocuments above desktop, you use the following command instead USER with your username. Then press Enter.
    cd C:UsersUSERDesktopMyDocuments
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  • Type dir -force and press Enter. This will reveal your hidden files and folders.
How to display hidden files on Windows 10 with the PowerShell command - Figure 3
  • If you are not sure which folder contains hidden files, type CD, enter a space, enter the full path of the folder where the subfolders can contain hidden files and press Enter. Then run this command:
    dir -recurse -force
How to display hidden files on Windows 10 with the PowerShell command - Figure 4
  • Items hidden in the selected folders and subfolders will appear in the PowerShell window.

Note: this method only shows hidden files in the PowerShell window; it doesn’t show hidden items in File Explorer.

Show hidden files on Windows 10 with Windows Command Prompt

Another way to see the list of hidden files and folders is to use Command Prompt. Follow the steps below:

Refer:

  • Press Windows to open the menu Start, search and select Command Prompt in search results.
Show hidden files on Windows 10 with Windows Command Prompt - picture 1
  • Import CD, enter a space, and then enter the full path of the directory where the hidden files are stored. Then press Enter .
  • Import dir /ah to view a list of hidden files and folders.
Show hidden files on Windows 10 with Windows Command Prompt - picture 2
  • If you don’t know which folder contains hidden files, you can run a hidden file scan on the home directory. This will scan all subfolders in that main directory. To do this, type CD, enter a space, enter the full path of the directory and press Enter. Then run the following command:
    dir /ah /s
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  • The Command Prompt window now lists hidden items from the specified folder and subfolders.

The above method does not make any changes to File Explorer preferences and only lists hidden files.

How to show hidden files in advanced Windows 10

There are certain operating system files that will not appear even if you enable the hidden files option in File Explorer. Follow the steps below to enable a separate option to view these hidden operating system files:

  • Press Windows to open the menu Start, enter and select Show hidden files in search results.
How to show hidden files in advanced Windows 10 - picture 1
  • Move to Change settings to show hidden and system files then choose Show settings.
  • Scroll down Hide protected operating system files (Recommended). Uncheck this option.
How to show hidden files in advanced Windows 10 - picture 2
  • Choose Yes if a warning pops up. Then choose Apply, then select OK .

Conclude

Above are 6 ways to show hidden files in Windows 10, help find and view hidden folders and hidden files on the simplest and most effective computer in 2021.

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