How to Show Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11

Some files on your PC are hidden from view by default, for safety reasons

by Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Loredana Harsana
Managing Editor
Loredana is a passionate writer with a keen interest in PC software and technology. She started off writing about mobile phones back when Samsung Galaxy S II was... read more
Reviewed by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Your OS hides by default specific data, so let us help you view Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11 with ease.
  • The trick involves using the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives Option in File Explorer, as described below.
  • Also, feel free to take advantage of File Explorer's advanced settings to achieve your goal when it comes to Protected Hidden Files.
Hidden Files and Folder Option in Windows 11

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During our day-to-day life, we choose not to be bothered by the OS’s Hidden Files. This most likely happens since we already are oversaturated with data on our PCs.

Some of you seem to be interested in how to view Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11. Before anything else, you should know that File Explorer is your main support in order to do that.

Therefore, if File Explorer is crashing, don’t hesitate to check out our easy fixes and get things back to normal in no time.

What is different in Windows 11?

If in Windows 10, the trick involved using Change Folder and Search Options, things are a bit different when it comes to the new OS version.

However, the result is the same and our guide includes some simple steps you can apply right away. So, make sure you read it completely to find out how to manage data, according to your own necessities.

Learn how to show hidden files in Windows 10 by checking out our dedicated article.

Things to keep in mind about Hidden Folders and Files

  • Windows 11 hides by default certain folders and files, but it doesn’t mean that they are gone for good.
  • Because you can’t see them under normal terms, it doesn’t mean that they do not consume disk space on your PC.
  • The Hidden Files and Folders Option is ideal to reduce visible clutter.
  • Some antivirus software might interdict by changing the attributes of critical Hidden System Files.
  • Note that some third-party software installed on your PC might hide such files behind a password, without using the hidden attribute.

How can I view Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11?

1. Use the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives Option

1. From your desktop taskbar, press on the File Explorer icon to open it.

open file explorer taskbar

2. To access more File Explorer options, click on the three horizontal dots, then select Options.

options file explorer

3. Select the View tab, then search for Hidden files and folders, and expand it.

show hidden files setting

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4. At this point, you have to uncheck the Don’t show hidden files, folders or drives section, then tick Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives.

toggle to view hidden files and folders windows 11

5. Click on Apply, then on OK, and exit the window.

confirm changes

You can easily show hidden files and folders on your Windows 11 device via File Explorer. You just need to take advantage of File Explorer’s settings and let the Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives Option do its magic.

As you can clearly see, this is an easy-to-apply procedure that you should try if you want to view Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11.

Note icon
By applying the steps above, you can easily view the Hidden Files and Folders Option. However, let us remind you that besides the regular hidden items, your OS also includes Protected Operating System Files.

2. Uncheck the Hide Protected Operating System Files Option

  1. Open File Explorer Options, following the first two steps listed in the previous method.file explorer options
  2. Uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) Option.recommended option
  3. Click on Apply, then on OK, and exit.

As previously revealed, when you show Hidden Folders and Files, Windows will continue to hide Protected Operating System Files. You may easily recognize them since they include the system attribute.

Deleting or modifying such files could have a huge impact on your system. Apply the above procedure if you need to access them for a good reason and precisely as given or else you risk damaging your OS.

Can I hide back the Unhidden Folders and Files?

To easily do so, just access File Explorer advanced options as you learned from this article, then checkmark back Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drivers.

This will definitely fulfill your needs if you change your mind after unhiding them. It is the same process as presented in the first solution, except for the final steps.

folder options hide files and folders

So, you’ve seen how simple is to view Hidden Folders and Files in Windows 11. In addition, for refreshing your knowledge about the new OS design, feel free to check out a full Windows 11 22000.65 build review.

For any other thoughts or questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the section below. We’d love to hear your opinion regarding this procedure, in particular, and the OS that’s in the spotlight these days.

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