How to Find Hidden Files and Folders in Windows

by Contributor

It is possible to create hidden or ghost files and folders on your computer. It is also possible to find these hidden files and folders in your Windows operating system. You may feel overwhelmed by the prospect of searching for hidden files and folders. However, the process to locate these hidden files and folders in Windows is easier than you may think.

Start at your desktop. Click My Computer, look at the task bar and then click Tools. An alternate option is to open Windows Explorer and then click Tools on the task bar.

Choose Folder Options and then select the Advanced Settings tab.

Check the box in front of "show hidden files and folders." After this, depending on your computer's other settings, you may need to hit "Apply" or "OK" at the bottom of the window for the changes to take effect. All of your hidden Windows files and folders should now appear on the screen.

Uncheck the box in front of "hide file extensions." This last step is optional, but is always recommended because file extensions help us determine what type of file we're dealing with. For example, a .doc file is an Microsoft Word file and an .mp3 is an audio file.


  • check If the security of these hidden files is an issue for you, consider putting them behind a password or even keeping them in an online database such as dot mac that only you can access.