Windows has two types of files: normal files and hidden files. Hidden files are typically system files that your computer uses to run properly. They can also have been set as hidden by you or another user.
Typically, you shouldn’t need to view or change hidden files. However, if you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem with your computer, you may need to access them. This guide will show you how to show hidden files in Windows 11.
Using View options
- Click Windows + E to open File Explorer.
- Click the View tab on the Ribbon.
- Head to Show, then select Hidden items. Your hidden files will be visible in File Explorer.
Using Folder Options
- Click Windows + E to launch File Explorer.
- Press the three dots button at the top of the window.
- Click Options.
- Go to the View tap.
- Under the Hidden files and folders section, check Show hidden files, folders, and drives, then click OK. Your hidden files will now be visible.
- Click on the Start menu and select Settings.
- Go to Privacy & security > For developers.
- Under the File Explorer section, click Show settings next to Change settings to show hidden and system files.
- Under the Hidden files and folders section, check Show hidden files, folders, and drives, then click OK.
Using Command Prompt
- Click Start and type “cmd.” Right-click Command Prompt from the results and select Run as administrator.
- Type cd followed by a space, paste the directory’s path where you want to list all files, then press Enter.
- Type dir /ah then press Enter. This will list all hidden files in the specified directory.
Back in 1966 when I was born, technology as we know it today was drastically different. In my lifetime, I witnessed the word of computing change from the giant ENIAC machine, to the supercomputers of today.
Since a young age, I have been obsessed with technology, and it was only natural that I continued my career path to study computer science. I graduated from NYU Computer Science in 1990.
I went on to work for IBM as a software engineer where our team pioneered a what would later become IBM Cloud. From 2001, I worked as an IT recruiter for one of the top tech firms.