General Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives in Windows 11


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Hide_selected_items_banner.png

Hidden files, folders, and drives do not show by default in Windows.

Hidden files, folders, and drives are marked with the hidden attribute.

Protected operating system files are marked with the hidden and system attributes.

When you set to show hidden files, folders, and drives and protected operating system files, their icons will appear dimmed (faded) to indicate that they are hidden items.

This tutorial will show you how to hide or show hidden files, folders, and drives and protected operating system files for your account in Windows 11.


Contents

  • Option One: "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" or "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives" in File Explorer
  • Option Two: "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" or "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives" in Folder Options
  • Option Three: Show or "Hide protected operating system files" in Folder Options
  • Option Four: "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" or "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives" using BAT file
  • Option Five: Show or "Hide protected operating system files" using BAT file


EXAMPLE: "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" and "Show protected operating system files" in File Explorer

Show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives_File_Explorer.png
Show_protected_operating_system_files.png





Option One

"Show hidden files, folders, and drives" or "Don't show hidden files, folders, and drives" in File Explorer


1 Open File Explorer (Win+E).

2 Click/tap on View on the command bar. (see screenshot below)

3 Click/tap on Show, and click/tap on Hidden items to check (show) or uncheck (hide - default) for what you want.

Show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives_in_File_Explorer.png





Option Two

"Show hidden files, folders, and drives" or "Don't show hidden files, folders, and drives" in Folder Options


1 Open Folder Options.

2 Click/tap on the View tab. (see screenshot below)

3 Select (dot) Show hidden files, folders, and drives or Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives (default) under "Hidden files and folders" for what you want.

4 Click/tap on OK.

Show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives.png





Option Three

Show or "Hide protected operating system files" in Folder Options


It is required to Show hidden files, folders, and drives to show protected operating system files.


1 Open Folder Options.

2 Click/tap on the View tab. (see left screenshot below)

3 Check (hide - default ) or uncheck (show) Hide protected operating system files for what you want. (see left screenshot below)

4 If you unchecked Hide protected operating system files, click/tap on Yes to confirm. (see right screenshot below)

5 Click/tap on OK. (see left screenshot below)

Hide_protected_operating_system_files-1.png
Hide_protected_operating_system_files-2.png





Option Four

"Show hidden files, folders, and drives" or "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives" using BAT file


1 Do step 2 (show) or step 3 (hide) below for what you would like to do.


 2. "Show hidden files, folders, and drives"

A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives.bat


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /V Hidden /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe


 3. "Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives"

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Don't_show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives.bat


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /V Hidden /T REG_DWORD /D 0 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

4 Save the .bat file to your desktop.

5 unblock the .bat file.

6 Double click/tap on the .bat file to run it.

7 You will now notice your screen flicker as the explorer process is restarted to apply.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .bat file if you like.




Option Five

Show or "Hide protected operating system files" using BAT file


1 Do step 2 (show) or step 3 (hide) below for what you would like to do.


 2. Show protected operating system files

This will also "Show hidden files, folders, and drives".


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Show_protected_operating_system_files.bat


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /V Hidden /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /V ShowSuperHidden /T REG_DWORD /D 1 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe


 3. Hide protected operating system files

This is the default setting.


A) Click/tap on the Download button below to download the file below, and go to step 4 below.​

Hide_protected_operating_system_files.bat


(Contents of REG file for reference)
Code:
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

REG ADD "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" /V ShowSuperHidden /T REG_DWORD /D 0 /F

taskkill /f /im explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

4 Save the .bat file to your desktop.

5 unblock the .bat file.

6 Double click/tap on the .bat file to run it.

7 You will now notice your screen flicker as the explorer process is restarted to apply.

8 You can now delete the downloaded .bat file if you like.


That's it,
Shawn Brink


 

Attachments

  • Hide_selected_items.png
    Hide_selected_items.png
    3.1 KB · Views: 17
  • Don't_show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives.bat
    333 bytes · Views: 29
  • Hide_protected_operating_system_files.bat
    342 bytes · Views: 11
  • Show_hidden_files_folders_and_drives.bat
    333 bytes · Views: 31
  • Show_protected_operating_system_files.bat
    451 bytes · Views: 23
Last edited:

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