How To View Hidden Files And Folders

How to make hidden files and folders (including system files) visible in Win XP and Vista

Something that I’ve never cared for is the fact that by default, Windows hides certain files and folders from view. I understand that the reason is to keep the curious but uninformed from accidentally deleting or otherwise changing important system files.

Personally I prefer to be able to see them and since I do know better than to change or delete something unless I’ve first made a backup AND have a reasonable idea of what I’m doing before I do it. Therefore one of the first things I do when (re)installing Windows is to make the hidden files and folders visible.

In Windows XP it’s easy enough:

1. Open “My Computer” click Tools | Folder Options
2. click the “view” tab
3. Make sure that the following are selected:

Display file size information in folder tips
Display simple folder view in Explorer’s Folders list
Display the contents of system folders
Display the full path in the address bar
Display the full path in the title bar
Show hidden files and folders

4. Click “Apply” and then “OK” and you’re done.

For Windows Vista it’s a bit different (Curse you Microsoft!)

1. Click on the Start button in the left corner (or hit the Windows key on your keyboard)
2. Open the Control Panel and then Click Folder Options
4. Click on the View tab
5. Select Show hidden files and folders
6. De-Select Hide protected operating system files
7. Click OK and you’re done.

[Tags]xp, vista, hidden files, show hidden files, unhide hidden files, how-to, Windows, system administration, help[/tags]

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