Overview – Show Hidden Files in Windows 11
It appears that you want to tweak some System Settings but you are unable to access some files.
There is a probability that those files are hidden by default.
Windows hide many files and folders by default, preventing users from deleting or modifying the built-in system files.
By the end of this article, you will be able to show hidden files in Windows 11:
Points to Remember Before Configuring the Hidden Files in Windows 11
If you change the configuration and default settings/values of hidden files in Windows, it’s highly possible that the system could become unstable. That’s why such files are kept hidden from the users.
Points to Remember before Configuring Hidden Files:
It’s important to create a system backup before configuring hidden files. If any system file is misconfigured, then you will experience some functionality issues while using the device such as untimely shutdowns, boot issues, etc.
How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11 with ‘This PC’ or ‘File Explorer’
Since this method requires “This PC” App in Windows, you can refer to our article to enable This PC in Windows 11.
Alternatively, you can use File Explorer App in Windows 11 as well.
Step #1: Open ‘This PC’ App.
Step #2: Click on the Horizontal Menu (also called Meatballs Menu) on the Top Bar.
Step #3: Select the ‘Options’ button from the dropdown menu. The Folder Options appear in form of a popup.
Step #4: Select the ‘View’ tab from the top bar. Check the ‘Show Files, Folders and Drives’ option under Hidden Files and Folders section and press the “Apply” button.
How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11 with Control Panel
Step #1: Go to ‘Control Panel’ from the Start Menu.
Step #2: Search for ‘File Explorer Options’ in the search bar.
Step #3: The File Explorer Options appears in form of a popup. Select the “View” tab from the top bar.
Step #4: Check the ‘Show Files, Folders and Drives’ option under Hidden Files and Folders section.
Step #5: Scroll and uncheck the ‘Hide Empty Drives’, ‘Hide extensions for known file types’, ‘Hide folder merge conflicts’, ‘Hide Protected Operating System Files’ option under Hidden Files and Folders section.
How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11 with Command Prompt and Powershell
Note: Instead of using Command Prompt, you can use Windows PowerShell as well, the steps will remain the same.
Step #1: Search for ‘Control Panel’ in the Start Menu and run it as administrator.
Step #2: Type: attrib -h -r -s /s /d C:\*.*, and replace the drive letter with same drive letter in your PC. You will find the drive letter in the system drive partition in File Explorer or ‘This PC’ App.
Let’s understand the Command: attrib -h -r -s /s /d C:\*.*
-h: Hidden Files attribute to Show Hidden Files.
-r: Read-Only File attribute to modify the file once visible.
-s: System File Attribute
/s: Attribute to match files in the directory including all sub-directories.
/d: Attribute matching files in the directory only.
C: Main Drive Partition, varies as per the device.
How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11 with Registry
Step #1: Type ‘Registry Editor’ in the Start Menu and Open it.
Step #2: Navigate to the Target Registry Key with left sidebar: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
Step #3: Double click the ‘Hidden’ name with type: ‘REG_DWORD’ and set its value data from ‘2’, i.e, the default value, to ‘1’ with Hexadecimal value as the base. Press the “OK” button.
This will show Hidden Files, but not related to Windows. Follow the next step to enable in-built OS configuration hidden files.
Step #4: Double click the ‘ShowSuperHidden’ name with type: ‘REG_DWORD’ and set its value data from ‘2’, i.e, the default value, to ‘1’ with Hexadecimal value as the base. Press the “OK” button.
This will show Hidden Files of Windows OS.
You can go through all the methods to show and hide files on your system and choose which method works best and is easy for you.
We have discussed all possible ways to show hidden files in Windows 11.
#1: Unhide the hidden files with ‘This PC’ app.
#2: Show hidden files with Control Panel.
#3: Show hidden files with Command Prompt and Powershell.
#4: Show hidden files with Registry Editor.
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