How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our article on how to show hidden files in Windows 11! In this article, we will be discussing the steps you can take to see hidden files on your computer. Hidden files are essential to the functioning of your system, and sometimes you may need to access them for troubleshooting or customization purposes. However, finding hidden files in Windows 11 can be confusing, especially if you are new to the operating system. Don’t worry though; we’ve got you covered! Read on to discover how to unhide files on your Windows 11 computer.

Step by Step Guide to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11

Step 1: Open File Explorer

The first step to uncover hidden files on Windows 11 is to launch the File Explorer app. You can do this by clicking on the File Explorer icon on your taskbar or by hitting the Windows key + E on your keyboard. Once the app is open, you should see a list of your folders and files.

Step 2: Navigate to the “View” Tab

Once you are in File Explorer, navigate to the “View” tab located in the menu bar at the top of the screen.

Step 3: Select the “Options” Button

Next, you need to click on the “Options” button located on the right-hand side of the “View” tab. This will open a new window where you can customize your folder settings.

Step 4: Click on the “Change folder and search options” button

In the “Folder Options” window, you will see a button labeled “Change folder and search options.” Click on this button to continue.

Step 5: Go to the “View” tab

Next, select the “View” tab to reveal your advanced settings options.

Step 6: Choose the option to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”

Scroll down to the “Advanced settings” section, and find the option that says “Hidden files and folders.” From there, select the option to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.”

Step 7: Uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”

While you are still in the “Advanced settings” section, make sure to uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files” option. This will ensure that you can see all the files on your computer, including essential system files.

Step 8: Apply Settings

Once you have changed your folder settings to reveal hidden files and uncheck “Hide protected operating system files,” click on the “Apply” button to save your changes.

Step 9: Click “OK”

After you click on the “Apply” button, you will be prompted to confirm your changes. Click on the “OK” button to finalize your update.

Step 10: Navigate to the Folder Containing Hidden Files

Now that you have revealed hidden files, you can navigate to the folder containing the files you want to access.

Step 11: Find the Hidden Files

Once you are in the folder, you should be able to see any hidden files that were previously concealed.

Step 12: Access the Hidden Files

To access the hidden files, double-click on the file or select them with your cursor to open them.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Tip 1: Use the Search Function

If you have trouble locating a hidden file, use the search function in File Explorer. This will allow you to search for the file by name or content.

Tip 2: Be Careful When Editing Hidden Files

Editing hidden system files can have unintended consequences, so make sure to be cautious when making changes to these files.

Tip 3: Use a Third-Party Tool

If you are uncomfortable using the built-in tools in Windows 11, you can consider using a third-party tool to reveal hidden files. Be sure to download any software from a reputable source to avoid malware or viruses.

Tip 4: Show Hidden Files Temporarily

If you only need to access hidden files temporarily, consider hiding them again once you are done. To do this, revisit the “Folder Options” menu and choose the option to “Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives.”

Tip 5: Don’t Change File Attributes

Changing file attributes can also have unintended consequences. If you must change an attribute, such as read-only or hidden, make sure to understand the implications fully.

Tip 6: Keep Your System Clean

To reduce the risk of hidden system files causing errors, make sure to keep your system clean and free of corrupted files.

Tip 7: Use Caution When Downloading Files

Files downloaded from the internet can contain malware or viruses that can cause havoc on your system. Make sure to download files only from trusted sources.

Tip 8: Keep Your System Up to Date

Keeping your system up to date with the latest updates and patches can help prevent errors and issues that may cause hidden files to appear.

Tip 9: Use Antivirus Software

Using antivirus software can help protect your system from malware and viruses that can cause hidden files to crop up.

Tip 10: Seek Professional Help If Necessary

If you are unsure about how to view hidden files safely or have encountered issues related to hidden files, consider seeking professional help from an IT expert. In conclusion, showing hidden files in Windows 11 is an essential skill that can come in handy when troubleshooting or customizing your system. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can quickly and easily uncover any hidden files on your computer. Remember to be cautious when editing or changing files and keep your system clean and up-to-date to avoid errors and system issues.

Showing Hidden Files in Windows 11


1. Access to system files: Users who need to access system files can easily do so by displaying hidden files.

2. Recover lost files: Hidden files may contain important information that is lost or accidentally deleted. By revealing hidden files, users can recover their deleted data easily.

3. Increased control: Uncovering hidden files can provide more control over the operating system configuration and settings.

4. Better troubleshooting: Hidden system files may be the root cause of certain issues. Displaying them can help in troubleshooting and solving problems more efficiently.

5. Eliminate malware: Certain malware files can hide in the system, and displaying hidden files can reveal and eliminate these malicious files.

6. Easy customization: Users can customize their operating system more efficiently with access to hidden files.

7. Security: Displaying hidden files can increase overall computer security.

8. Compatible with Windows: The option to show hidden files has been present in all versions of Windows, including Windows 11.

9. Precise file management: Accessing hidden files allows for precise and organized file management.

10. Useful for programmers and developers: Programmers and developers may need to access hidden files to configure or modify the system.


1. Risk of deleting important files: Users may accidentally delete important files while accessing hidden files.

2. Complexity: Displaying hidden files may make the operating system appear more complex, which can be intimidating for some users.

3. Security risks: Displaying hidden files may expose sensitive system files, which can compromise the security of the computer.

4. Inadvertent changes: Accessing hidden files may lead to inadvertent changes to system settings or configurations.

5. Slow system performance: Constantly accessing hidden files may slow down system performance, especially on older hardware.

6. Confusing for novice users: Users who are not familiar with system files may find accessing hidden files confusing.

7. Risk of malware: Accessing hidden files may expose the system to malware infections if users are not careful.

8. Unintentional modifications: Modifying certain hidden files or settings without proper knowledge can lead to system issues or crashes.

9. Risk of system instability: Deleting or modifying certain system files can cause system instability or crashes.

10. Overwhelming file management: Accessing hidden files can sometimes lead to overwhelming file management, making it difficult to navigate and organize.


1. What are hidden files?

Hidden files are files or folders that are not visible or accessible by default in the Windows operating system. They are usually hidden for system use or security reasons.

2. Why would I need to show hidden files?

You may need to show hidden files for various reasons, such as troubleshooting issues, accessing system files, or viewing hidden folders that contain important data.

3. How can I show hidden files on Windows 11?

You can show hidden files on Windows 11 by following these steps:
1. Open File Explorer
2. Click on the “View” tab
3. Check the “Hidden items” box
4. Hidden files and folders should now be visible

4. Can I hide files again after showing them?

Yes, you can hide files again after showing them by following the same steps and unchecking the “Hidden items” box.

5. What is the keyboard shortcut to show hidden files?

The keyboard shortcut to show hidden files on Windows 11 is “Windows key + E” to open File Explorer, then “Alt + V” to open the “View” tab, and finally “H” to check the “Hidden items” box.

6. Can I choose which hidden files to show?

No, you cannot choose which hidden files to show. When you show hidden files, all hidden files and folders will be visible.

7. How do I know if a file is hidden?

You can identify hidden files by looking at their properties. Right-click on the file and select “Properties”, then check the “Hidden” box under the “Attributes” section.

8. Can I access hidden files on a network drive?

Yes, you can access hidden files on a network drive by showing hidden files on your local computer, then accessing the network drive through File Explorer.

9. Why are some files hidden automatically?

Some files are hidden automatically for system use or security reasons. For example, system files are hidden to prevent accidental deletion or modification.

10. Can I delete hidden files?

Yes, you can delete hidden files. However, be cautious when deleting hidden files as they may be important for system use or contain valuable data.

11. How do I protect my hidden files from being accidentally deleted?

You can protect your hidden files from being accidentally deleted by changing their attributes to “read-only”. Right-click on the file and select “Properties”, then check the “Read-only” box under the “Attributes” section.

12. How do I hide files using Command Prompt?

You can hide files using Command Prompt by entering the following command: “attrib +h [file name]”. To unhide the file, enter “attrib -h [file name]”.

13. Can I hide files without using Command Prompt?

Yes, you can hide files without using Command Prompt by right-clicking on the file, selecting “Properties”, and checking the “Hidden” box under the “Attributes” section.

How to Show Hidden Files on Windows 11

Tired of having hidden files on your new Windows 11 operating system? There is actually a way to show these hidden files and make your life a lot easier. It’s a simple process and can be done in just a few easy steps.


Overall, showing Hidden Files on Windows 11 is not as complicated as it seems. It’s easy to understand and can be done in a few steps. With this simple process, you can easily access all of your important files without having to worry about any hidden files interfering with the process. So go ahead and give it a try and enjoy the benefits that come along with it!


Thank you for reading this article on how to show hidden files on Windows 11. We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you. Remember, it is always important to know how to access hidden files, as they can often contain valuable information. So, make sure to follow the steps outlined in this article and start accessing those hidden files today. Good luck!