Windows 11: viewing hidden files and folders

How to

Hidden files and folders are not displayed in File Explorer by default. Here is how to unhide and view hidden files in Windows 11 .

Windows automatically hides some files and folders related to the operating system.

Hidden files and folders can be hidden when needed by selecting the “Hidden” property in the file/folder properties dialog.

Hidden files and folders do not appear in the search results of File Explorer, Desktop, and Start Menu. As you can guess, making files and folders invisible is one of the most popular, but insecure, data protection methods for many Windows users.

To see hidden files, you must first hide them. The good news is that Windows makes it easy to show hidden files and folders. Just select the option and you are done.

Here is how to view or preview hidden files and folders in Windows 11 operating system without any delay.

Contents. Drives in Windows 11

To view hidden files and folders in Windows 11, you must enable the “Hidden Items” option in File Explorer. Here is how to do it.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on ” View “.
  3. Go to the ” View ” menu.
  4. Select ” Hidden Items “.
  5. This will detect and display hidden files and folders.

Detailed instructions:

First, launch File Explorer with the “Windows key + I” key binding. You can also click the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.

Once File Explorer is open, click on the “View” option. Then select “Hidden items” from “View”.

This will immediately allow you to view and preview hidden files and folders.

Select “View > Show > Hidden Items” in the File Explorer to hide them again.

Viewing Protected Operating System Files

For some critical system files, Windows hides them with an additional layer of protection. To hide these protected system files, you must disable the “Hide protected operating system files” option.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on the ” More ” icon.
  3. Select ” Options “.
  4. Go to the ” View ” tab.
  5. Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option .
  6. Click on ” So ” in the “Warnings” window.
  7. Click ” OK ” in the main window.
  8. In this you can see the hidden protected system files .

Detailed instructions:

Launch File Explorer with the key combination “Win + I”. You can also click on the File Explorer icon on the taskbar or find it in the Start menu.

Click on the “More” option (three vertical dots) and click on “Options”. This will open the “Folder Options” window.

Next, open the “View” tab. Locate and uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” checkbox.

Windows will display a warning message.

Finally, click the “OK” button in the main window.

The protected operating system files will now be visible. To hide them again, check the “Hide protected operating system files” checkbox.

Shortcut to show hidden files

It is possible to use AutoHotKey to show hidden files with a keyboard shortcut. Here is a simple procedure.

If you do not have AutoHotKey installed, please install it –

First, right click on the desktop and select “New > Text Document”. Create a new text file.

Open the text file. Paste the following code into it and press the keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+S” or select “File > Save”.




Rename the text file “HideUnhideFiles.ahk”. Extension .txt to .ahk .

Replace with

and the file name can be anything.Double-click on the newly created AHK file. This action will start the AutoHotKey script and run silently in the background. It will appear in the taskbar.

Press the shortcut key “Ctrl+H” while the script is running to show the hidden file. Press the shortcut again to hide it. Simply put, use the hotkey to switch between hidden files.

That’s it. It is very easy to show hidden files and folders in Windows 11.

We hope this simple and easy guide to working with Windows will help you.

YouTube video: Windows 11: Viewing Hidden Files and Folders

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