Hidden files refer to a set of files and folders that are not typically visible to the user when browsing the file system through the file system or other file management tools.
Some of the common hidden files and directories in Windows include:
- System Files such as .dll, .sys and .dat files.
- User configuration files such as application data.
- System Restore points
- Hibernation files
- Page files
Although you will not need to view and use the hidden files in Windows, you may encounter instances where you need to view hidden files. For example when troubleshooting or performing system-level configuration.
Access the Folder Options
To start, you'll need to access the Folder Options menu. Follow the steps as outlined below:
Open the File Explorer by pressing
Windows Key + E or by clicking on the File Explorer icon in your taskbar.
In the File Explorer window, locate the View tab.
Next, scroll to the Show option -> Hidden Items
Selecting the Above should show all the hidden files and directories in your Windows file system.
You can also enable hidden files and folders by using the classic options menu.
In the File Explorer, navigate to the hamburger menu on the top Window. Here, select the Options from the dropdown menu.
In the Folder Options Window, navigate to the View tab.
Select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives from the Advanced Settings: option.
Congratulations, you have successfully enabled the feature to show hidden files and directories in Windows 11 using the File Explorer.