How to View Hidden Files and Folders on Windows 10

There are times when we get a path mentioned on the internet however couldn’t access them as they remain hidden or invisible. In general, Windows hide all of the essential files and folders which are somehow related to the OS.

This is to ensure no users accidentally delete or modify the core files. In this post, we will discuss three different ways to make hidden files and folders show up on Windows 10 PC.

To unhide files and folders inside some specific folder, use the Windows File Explorer. Otherwise, you may use either system settings or registry tweaks to make all files and folders visible on the computer. You can easily recognize the hidden ones as they appear slightly dim in color. Let’s explore –

How to create a hidden share folder on Windows 10

Why are some files or folders hidden in Windows 10?

By default, the files or folders that you rarely require opening or work with remain hidden on Windows 1o. With no user interference to such files, your device will continue running smoothly and efficiently. 

Apart from this, users also make some files hidden when they don’t want others to look into their personal data. 

Ways to Access the Hidden Files and Folders on Windows 10

To view hidden files and folders on Windows 10 PC, use any one of the following methods –

1. Using System Settings

This is the easiest method of all and one may use this to make all hidden files and folders visible. Let’s begin – 

  • Press the Windows key and type “hidden” on the search bar.

Search UI

  • Click the top result i.e. “Show Hidden Files” under system settings.
  • On the next screen, hit “show settings” next to “change settings to show hidden and system files“.

Windows Settings UI

  • When the File Explorer Options window comes into view, turn on the radio button next to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives“.

Hidden Files and Folders

  • At last, tap Apply then OK to implement the above changes.
  • You may now head over to any folder on the computer and view the hidden files inside. 

2. Via Windows Explorer

If you know specifically a folder that contains hidden files or folders, you may use Windows Explorer to access them. All you need is to open that folder and click the View tab. Next, tick the checkbox left to “Hidden items” on the navigation pane. See the Snapshot below –

View Hidden Files and Folders on Explorer

Note: In case you don’t know where does the hidden files or folders exist, this method is of no use then. However, you may continue with the remaining ways. 

3. Via Registry

You may view the hidden files and folders using the Registry editor as well. Here’s how to use the registry –

  • Jointly press Win + R to launch the Run command.
  • Type “regedit” at the void and press Enter
  • When the UAC window comes into view, hit Yes.
  • Next, reach out to the following path expanding the arrows on the left pane –

Hidden Files and Folders via registry

  • Scroll down and click twice on the Hidden file. Subsequently, put “1” at the value data field instead of “2”.

Note: To make the hidden files and folders invisible, follow the above steps and put back “2” on the value data.

How can one locate all hidden files or folders at once?

If you had gone through the 3 methods discussed above, this is certainly not possible with either File Explorer or the Registry method.

  • File Explorer: You must know the path where exactly the hidden files lie.
  • Registry: This makes all the hidden files appear like normal ones. 

However, if you have noticed the first way, this doesn’t transit the hidden files to the regular ones. Again, proceeding this way doesn’t require you to know the exact path.

As in this method, you have gone for the setting – “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”, there is a possibility of finding all hidden files at ease. Before you go and locate hidden files, you must know there is a basic difference in the folder/file color when compared to regular files or folders.

“The hidden ones appear faintish yellow in color.”


  • Now that you know the key difference, press Win + S.
  • Type “Hidden” on the search bar and wait till all hidden files start appearing on the Start Home.


This way is quite tedious and may annoy you as well. However, if you desperately need to find the hidden files or folders, do the following –

  • Open File Explorer, and manually browse to different paths.

That’s it, if you have any queries or suggestions, let us know in the below comment section. 

Soni Aryan

Soni Aryan

Soni Kumari is a tech enthusiast known for her expertise in how-to type topics and Windows troubleshooting articles. She loves exploring how to do things or tweaks in Android, iPhone, and other operating systems.

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