How Do I Show Hidden Files In Windows 10

Generally, you have to set Windows 10 to show hidden files¹. Why? Because by default, Microsoft hides certain files from users like you and me. This protects important files from being deleted so that the system isn’t damaged. So, how do I see hidden files? In this article, we teach you how to show hidden files on Windows 10.

show hidden files windows 10

Here's a view of the setting that reveals hidden files in Windows 10

Show Hidden Files Via File Explorer

  • Firstly, click/Tap the Windows start button.
  • Then, search for/select File Explorer.
  • Then, click/tap the view tab (see image).
  • Lastly, check the “Hidden items” checkbox to view hidden items.

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Find Hidden Files Via Control Panel

  • Firstly, click/tap the “Start” button, then select/search for “Control Panel".
  • Then, navigate to “Appearance and Personalization".
  • Then, select “File Explorer Options".
  • Here, click the “View” tab.
  • Lastly, scroll to and change the “Hidden files and folders” setting to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives".

Additionally, you may want to uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” box. However, this step is not necessary for most users. Check the image below for a visual representation of the above steps.

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find hidden files on windows 10

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See Hidden Files Using Registry Editor

  • Firstly, hold the Windows Key and press “R” to open the Run dialog box.
  • Then, type “regedit“, and hit “Enter“.
  • In the interface that appears, navigate to:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    • Software
    • Microsoft
    • Windows
    • CurrentVersion
    • Explorer
    • Advanced
  • Set the value for “Hidden” to “1” to show hidden files, folders, and drives. Set the value to “2” to not show hidden files, folders, and drives.
  • Set the value for “ShowSuperHidden” to “1” to show protected operating system files. Set the value to “2” to not show protected operating system files.

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