How to see hidden files and folders

see-hidden-files Good day.

On the disk, in addition to the 'regular' files, there are also hidden and system files, which (as conceived by the developers Windows) should be invisible to novice users.

But sometimes you need to put things in order among such files, and in order to do this, you must first see them. In addition, any folders and files can be hidden by setting the appropriate attributes in the properties.

In this article (mostly for novice users), I want to show you some simple ways to quickly and easily see hidden files. In addition, using the programs listed in the article, you will be able to organize well and put things in order among your files.

Method number 1: setting the explorer

This method is suitable for those who do not want to install anything. To see hidden files in Explorer, you just need to make a few settings. Let's look at an example Windows 8 (in Windows 7 and 10 it is done the same way).

First you need to open the control panel and go to the 'Appearance and Personalization' section (see Figure 1).

Figure:  1. Control panel

Figure: 1. Control panel

Then, in this section, open the link 'Show hidden files and folders' (see Fig. 2).

Figure:  2. Design and personalization

Figure: 2. Design and personalization

In the folder parameters, scroll the list of options to the end, at the very bottom, put the switch on the item 'Show hidden files, folders and drives' (see Fig. 3). We save the settings and open the required disk or folder: all hidden files should be visible (except for system files, to display them, you must uncheck the corresponding item in the same menu, see Fig. 3).

Figure:  3. Folder options

Figure: 3. Folder options

Method number 2: installing and configuring ACDSee


Official website:

Figure:  4. ACDSee - main window

Figure: 4. ACDSee – main window

One of the most famous programs for viewing pictures, and in general multimedia files. In addition, the latest versions of the program allow not only conveniently viewing graphic files, but also working with folders, videos, archives (by the way, archives can be viewed without extracting them!) And, in general, with any files.

As for the display of hidden files: everything is quite simple here: the 'View' menu, then 'Filtering' and the link 'Additional filters' (see Fig. 5). You can also use the shortcut keys: ALT + I.

Figure:  5. Enabling the display of hidden folders and files in ACDSee

Figure: 5. Enabling the display of hidden folders and files in ACDSee

In the window that opens, you need to check the box as in Fig. 6: 'Show hidden files and folders' and save the settings made. After that, ACDSee will start displaying all the files that will be on the disk.

Figure:  6. Filters

Figure: 6. Filters

By the way, I recommend that you read the article about programs for viewing pictures and photos (especially for those who don't like ACDSee for some reason):


Viewer programs (photo viewer) –

Method number 3: Total Commander

Total Commander

Official website:

2015-10-11 15_01_12-cmd

I could not ignore this program. In my opinion, this is one of the best tools for working with folders and files, much more convenient than the built-in explorer in Windows.

The main advantages (in my opinion):

  • – works an order of magnitude faster than the conductor;
  • – allows you to view archives as if they were regular folders;
  • – does not slow down when opening folders with a large number of files;
  • – huge functionality and capabilities;
  • – all options and settings are conveniently 'at hand'.

To see hidden files – just click on the exclamation mark icon in the program bar 2015-10-11 15_02_45-icon .

Figure:  7. Total Commander is the best commander

Figure: 7. Total Commander is the best commander

This can also be done through the settings: Configuration / Content of panels / Show hidden files (see Fig. 8).

Figure:  8. Parameters of Total Commander

Figure: 8. Parameters of Total Commander

I think that the above methods to start working with hidden files and folders are more than enough, and therefore the article can be completed. Good luck?

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