We can easily hide any file or folder using in-built Windows feature. Now to view / show hidden files and folder or to unhide them – you need to turn ON view hidden files and folder option. Procedure to turn ON unhide files and folder option feature is different in Windows 7, Vista and XP operating system. Nevertheless, you can use enable option to view hidden files and folders on your Windows based computer whether you have XP, Vista or 7 operating system.
See hidden files, folders on Windows 7 (& Vista)
1. On your Windows 7 PC click Start and then click Control Panel option. In the Control Panel, make sure ‘Category’ option is selected from drop down box next to “View by”.
2. Then click on ‘Appearance and Personalization” option. You will see number of options on next screen, look for ‘folder options’.
3. Click ‘show hidden files and folders’ option under the ‘folder options’ section. This will open Folders Options window.
4. In that window, click to select ‘show hidden files, folders and drives’ option. Then click Apply and click OK button. From now on, all hidden files and folders will be visible on your Windows 7 computer.
If you want to turn off this feature and hide files and folders set to ‘hidden’ – repeat steps 1 to 3 and select option ‘Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives’ option.
Video: Unhide hidden files, folders & drives on Win 7 PC
See hidden Files & Folders on Windows XP
1. Double click on My Computer icon or press Win+E keys to open Windows Explorer window. Click menu option Tools, then click on Folder options. In new window, click on view tab.
2. Select ‘Show Hidden Files & Folders’ option. Click on Apply and OK. Now you will see hidden files and folders with faded icons. Right click on file and folder with faded icon or display, uncheck hidden option and click on apply. Now specific file or folder is NOT hidden and is like normal folder or file in Windows.
This article has been updated on July 08, 2011. It was originally published on Jan 18, 2009.