How to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 11

In this post, you’ll see:

  • How to Show Hidden Files and Folders
  • How to Show or Hide Protected Operating System Files in Windows 11

Here, I’m using Windows 11. Let’s get started.

How to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 11

Windows 11, by default, has hidden files and folders. If you wish, you can view them and hide them back.

Here, you’ll see three diverse ways to display hidden files and folders in Windows 11. Let’s see what they are.

Method #1

Open the File Explorer by pressing this keyboard shortcut: Windows + E.

Hit the View beside the three horizontal dots at the top. Hover your mouse over “Show.”

Click on “Hidden items” which is beneath “File name extensions.” A checkmark beside it means it is enabled.

That’s all.

You can now see the hidden files and folders on your PC. Not only that, but you can also see hidden drives of your PC.

Note: If you want to hide them, follow the steps above.

Method #2

Open File Explorer Options.

Navigate to the “View” tab.

Select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.” You can find this one above Hide empty drives.

Click the “OK” button.

That’s it.

You can now see the hidden files and folders on your computer. Not only that, but you can also see hidden drives of your computer.

How to Hide Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives

Go to the “View” tab of File Explorer Options.

Select “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives.”

Click the “OK” button.

That’s it.

Method #3

Launch the Registry Editor. Before proceeding, I recommend taking a backup of the Registry.

Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced.

Locate Hidden in the right pane and double-click it.

In the Value data field, provide 1 (to show) or 2 (to hide).

Hit the OK button.

That’s all.

How to Hide or Show Protected Operating System Files

Protected operating system files are hidden system files and folders.

If you wish to unhide them, follow these steps:

Open Windows 11 File Explorer Options. Follow these steps to complete this task: Open Run by pressing Windows + R. Type control folders and press Enter.

Navigate to the “View” tab.

Select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.” Keep in mind, you can only see the protected operating system files when you select this option.

Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” option. You can find this one between “Hide folder merge conflicts” and “Launch folder windows in a separate process.”

Click “Yes” on the confirmation pop-up.

Click the “OK” button.

How to Hide Protected Operating System Files

Go to the “View” tab of File Explorer Options.

Check “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).”

When the above step is performed, only protected operating system files are hidden. However, normal hidden items are still displayed.

Select “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives” if you wish to hide those items.

Click the “OK” button.

That’s all.

Here’s an alternate method:

Launch the Registry Editor. Before proceeding, I recommend taking a backup of the Registry.

Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced.

Locate ShowSuperHidden in the right pane and double-click it.

In the Value data field, provide 1 (to show) or 0 (to hide).

Hit the OK button.

That’s all.