Show Hidden Files in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

Show Hidden Files Folders Windows


Complete guide on how to show hidden files in Windows. By following these instructions you can show hidden files and folders that can not be viewed even in Windows File Explorer. Best ways to show hidden files and folders in Windows:

  1. Show Hidden Files With Folder Size
  2. Show Hidden Files in Windows File Explorer
    1. Windows 11
    2. Windows 10
    3. Windows 8
    4. Windows 7
  3. Show Hidden File Extensions

Show Hidden Files With Folder Size

Managing disk space efficiently is crucial for maintaining a well-organized and smoothly-running computer system. One of the significant challenges users face is uncovering hidden files and folders that can consume valuable disk space without being easily detectable. Windows offers some basic options to display hidden files and folders. Unfortunately, these settings often fall short of providing a comprehensive view. Enter Folder Size, a powerful and free disk space analyzer that goes beyond the limitations of standard file explorers.

Show Hidden Files and Folders

Show Hidden Files and Folders

The Limitations of Windows File Explorer

In Windows, you can enable settings to show hidden files and folders. However, even with all options enabled, many critical system files and folders remain elusive. These hidden files can include system backups, hidden volumes, and System Volume Information, which are essential for system restoration and other functions. Unfortunately, Windows File Explorer does not list these items, leaving users in the dark about their disk space distribution.

How Folder Size Solves the Issue

Folder Size addresses this problem head-on by providing a complete and detailed view of your disk space. Here’s how Folder Size can transform your disk space management experience:

  1. Comprehensive Visibility: Unlike Windows File Explorer, Folder Size lists all hidden files and folders, including those typically hidden by the operating system. This includes System Volume Information, hidden volumes, and backups, ensuring nothing is left out of your analysis.
  2. Detailed Disk Space Analysis: Folder Size breaks down disk space usage in an easy-to-understand format, showing you exactly where your disk space is going. This detailed analysis helps in identifying large, unnecessary files that can be deleted to free up space.
  3. User-Friendly Interface: The tool features an intuitive interface that makes navigating through your files and folders a breeze. You don’t need to be a tech expert to use Folder Size effectively.
  4. Extra Features for Free: Folder Size is not just a disk space analyzer. It comes with a suite of extra features that enhance its utility:
    • Customizable Reports: Generate reports that provide insights into disk space usage, helping you make informed decisions about file management.
    • File Type Analysis: Categorize and analyze files by type to see which file types are taking up the most space.

Steps to Use Folder Size

Using Folder Size is straightforward. Here’s a quick guide to get you started:

  1. Download and Install: Download Folder Size from the official website and install it on your computer.
  2. Launch the Application: Open Folder Size and click Run As Administrator and select the drive or folder you want to analyze.
  3. Run the Scan: Start the scan to let Folder Size analyze your selected drive or folder.
  4. Review the Results: Once the scan is complete, review the detailed breakdown of your disk space usage. Use the insights provided to delete unnecessary files and optimize your storage.


For users seeking a comprehensive solution to manage disk space effectively, Folder Size is an invaluable tool. By revealing all hidden files and folders, it provides a clear and complete picture of your disk space distribution. With additional features like customizable reports and duplicate file finding, Folder Size stands out as more than just a disk space analyzer—it’s a complete file management solution available for free.

Download Folder Size today and take control of your disk space like never before.

Show Hidden Files in Windows Files Explorer

Microsoft Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer from the taskbar.
  2. Select View Show Hidden items.
Show Hidden Files and Folders Windows 11

Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 11

MS Windows 10

  1. In the search box on the taskbar, type “show hidden files” and select “Show hidden files” from the search results.
  2. Under File Explorer, click the highlighted “Show settings” link next to “Change settings to show hidden and system files.”
  3. In the Advanced settings, select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives,” and then click OK.

Windows 8.1

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and select Search (or if using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and select Search).
  2. Type “folder” in the search box and select “Folder Options” from the search results.
  3. Select the View tab.
  4. Under Advanced settings, select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives,” and then click OK.

For Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button, then go to Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization.
  2. Select “Folder Options” and then the View tab.
  3. Under Advanced settings, select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives,” and then click OK.
Show Hidden Files in Windows

Show Hidden Files in Windows

Show Hidden File Extensions

File extensions play a crucial role in identifying the type of file you’re dealing with. Extensions like .txt for text files, .jpg for images, and .exe for executable files inform both the user and the operating system about how to handle these files. However, by default, Windows hides these file extensions, which can sometimes lead to confusion and even security risks. Here’s why showing hidden file extensions is important and how you can enable this feature on your system.

Why Showing File Extensions is Important

  1. Enhanced Security: Hidden file extensions can be exploited by malware. A common trick used by malicious software is to disguise executable files as harmless documents or images. For example, a file named photo.jpg.exe might appear as photo.jpg if extensions are hidden, tricking the user into thinking it’s an image file when it’s actually an executable.
  2. Better File Management: When you can see the file extensions, it’s easier to manage your files. You can quickly identify and sort files by type, making it easier to find what you’re looking for and ensure files are opened with the correct application.
  3. Avoiding Mistakes: If you’re renaming a file and the extension is hidden, you might accidentally change the extension, rendering the file unusable. For instance, renaming document.pdf to document without realizing you’ve removed the .pdf extension can cause issues.

How to Show Hidden File Extensions in Windows

For Windows 10 and Windows 11

  1. Open File Explorer: Click on the File Explorer icon in the taskbar or press Win + E.
  2. Access Folder Options:
    • In File Explorer, click on the “View” tab at the top.
    • Click on “Options” to open the Folder Options dialog.
  3. Show Extensions:
    • In the Folder Options dialog, go to the “View” tab.
    • Scroll down to find the option labeled “Hide extensions for known file types”.
    • Uncheck this box and click “OK”.
Show File Extensions Windows 11, 10

Show File Extensions Windows 11, 10

Windows 8.1

  1. Open File Explorer: Swipe in from the right edge of the screen and tap “Search”, or point to the upper-right corner with your mouse and select “Search”.
  2. Search for Folder Options: Type “folder” into the search box and select “Folder Options” from the results.
  3. Show Extensions:
    • In the Folder Options dialog, go to the “View” tab.
    • Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types” and click “OK”.

Microsoft Windows 7

  1. Open Control Panel: Click on the Start button and select “Control Panel”.
  2. Access Folder Options: Navigate to “Appearance and Personalization” and then click “Folder Options”.
  3. Show Extensions:
    • In the Folder Options dialog, go to the “View” tab.
    • Uncheck “Hide extensions for known file types” and click “OK”.
Show Hidden File Extensions

Show Hidden File Extensions


Displaying file extensions is a simple yet effective way to improve your file management and security practices. By making this small change, you can avoid many common pitfalls associated with hidden file extensions, such as accidental file type changes and malware infections. It’s a quick adjustment that provides significant benefits, helping you to better understand and manage your files. Take a moment today to enable this setting and make your computing experience safer and more efficient.

FAQ: Showing Hidden Files in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

1. How can I view hidden files?

To view hidden files, go to File Explorer, click on the “View” tab, and check the “Hidden items” box.

2. What is the shortcut to show hidden files?

Press Windows + E to open File Explorer, then press Alt + V + H to quickly show hidden files.

3. How to see hidden files in CMD?

Open the Command Prompt and type dir /a:h to list hidden files in the current directory.

4. How do I show hidden files in Finder?

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Press Cmd + Shift + . to toggle hidden files on and off.

5. How to attrib hidden files?

In Command Prompt, use attrib -h filename to unhide a file.

6. What is the shortcut key for hiding?

Use Ctrl + Shift + H in some file managers, but it’s specific to the software you’re using.

7. How do you show hidden Windows?

In File Explorer, go to the “View” tab, and check “Hidden items” to show hidden files and folders.

8. What is the hidden file symbol?

Hidden files are often displayed with a slightly faded or transparent icon compared to regular files.

9. How do I view hidden files in Google Files?

In the Google Files app, go to the settings and toggle on the option to show hidden files.

10. Can Folder Size show hidden files and folders?

Yes, Folder Size can display all hidden files and folders, including system files, hidden volumes, and backups, providing a more comprehensive view than File Explorer.

11. What are the benefits of using Folder Size to show hidden files and folders?

Folder Size provides a detailed analysis of your disk space, showing all hidden files and folders that are not listed in File Explorer. This includes system files, hidden volumes, and backups, helping you to manage your storage more effectively.

12. Are there any risks in showing hidden files and folders?

Yes, hidden files are usually hidden for a reason, such as being critical system files. Be cautious when modifying or deleting these files, as it can affect system stability. Always ensure you understand the purpose of a file before making changes.

5 thoughts on “Show Hidden Files in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

  1. TechGuru89

    Wow, this article is a lifesaver! I’ve been struggling with managing my files because I couldn’t see the file extensions. The step-by-step guide made it so easy to enable hidden file extensions in just a few minutes. Now I can see exactly what file types I’m dealing with, which is crucial for my tech projects. No more guessing games or accidental file mishandling. This has really improved my workflow and file organization. Thanks for the clear and concise instructions, MindGems! You’ve made my tech life so much easier.

  2. JaneDoe2024

    Thanks for the detailed steps! I never realized how important it was to show file extensions until I read this article. It’s definitely helped me avoid some big mistakes, like accidentally opening suspicious files. I followed the instructions and now I can easily see all the extensions, which is super helpful for my work. This guide was straightforward and easy to follow, even for someone like me who isn’t very tech-savvy. This has given me more control over my files and peace of mind. Great job!

  3. CodingNinja

    Great post! Enabling file extensions has made my file management so much easier and more secure. As a programmer, it’s vital to know the exact file types I’m working with, and this guide helped me do just that. The steps were clearly outlined and easy to follow, and I appreciated the detailed explanations. This article has not only helped me avoid potential errors but also increased my productivity. I can now quickly identify and manage my code files without any confusion. Keep up the good work, MindGems!

  4. PhotoFanatic

    Super helpful guide! I followed the steps and now I can finally see all my file extensions. This has been a game changer for organizing my photos. As a photographer, it’s essential to differentiate between RAW files, JPEGs, and other formats, and this article provided a clear and effective way to do that. The instructions were easy to understand and implement. I feel much more organized and in control of my photo library now. Thanks for such a useful and practical article!

  5. SafeSurfer

    This article makes it so easy to show hidden file extensions. I feel much safer knowing I can now spot potential malware at a glance. The instructions were clear and straightforward, which made the process simple to follow. Being able to see file extensions helps me quickly identify suspicious files and avoid any potential security threats. This has definitely enhanced my overall computer safety. Thanks for sharing such valuable information, MindGems! This is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their file management and security.

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