How to Show Hidden Files on Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Navigating hidden files on Windows 11 might seem daunting at first, but it’s actually quite simple if you follow a few basic steps. This guide will walk you through the process, ensuring you can uncover those concealed files with ease. By adjusting your folder options, you can make hidden files visible in just a few clicks.

How to Show Hidden Files on Windows 11

Following these steps will help you reveal hidden files and folders on your Windows 11 system. Whether you’re troubleshooting or simply need to access specific files, this guide has got you covered.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Click on the File Explorer icon on your taskbar, or press Windows Key + E to open it.

File Explorer is your gateway to all files and folders on your computer. It’s represented by a folder icon and is usually pinned to your taskbar for easy access.

Step 2: Access the View Tab

Navigate to the View tab located at the top of the File Explorer window.

The View tab allows you to customize how your files and folders are displayed. It’s where you’ll find options to show hidden files.

Step 3: Click on “Show”

Within the View tab, find and click on “Show” in the toolbar.

Clicking on “Show” reveals a dropdown menu that contains various display options, including the crucial one we need.

Step 4: Select “Hidden Items”

In the dropdown menu, check the box next to “Hidden items.”

When you check this box, all hidden files and folders will become visible. These files usually appear slightly faded to differentiate them from regular files.

Step 5: Verify Hidden Files are Visible

Navigate through your folders to ensure hidden files are now visible.

After enabling “Hidden items,” you should be able to see previously hidden files and folders, allowing you to access and manage them as needed.

Once you’ve completed these steps, hidden files and folders on your Windows 11 system will be visible. You can now access, modify, or delete them as required.

Tips for Showing Hidden Files on Windows 11

  • Use File Explorer Shortcuts: Pressing Windows Key + E opens File Explorer instantly.
  • Keyboard Navigation: Alt + V can quickly navigate you to the View tab in File Explorer.
  • Adjust Settings Carefully: Only manipulate hidden files if you know what they are, as they might be system files.
  • Temporary Display: You can toggle the visibility of hidden items off once you’re done to avoid clutter.
  • Regular Maintenance: Periodically check hidden folders to manage storage and ensure no critical files are hidden.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are some files hidden by default?

Hidden files are usually system-related files that are hidden to prevent accidental modification or deletion, which could harm your system.

Can hidden files be harmful?

Not inherently. However, hidden files can sometimes be associated with malware, so always ensure your system is secure.

How do I hide files again?

Simply uncheck the “Hidden items” box in the View tab to hide them once more.

Do hidden files take up space?

Yes, hidden files occupy space on your hard drive just like any other files.

Can I search for hidden files?

Yes, using the search function in File Explorer will also search within hidden files if their visibility is enabled.


  1. Step 1: Open File Explorer.
  2. Step 2: Access the View tab.
  3. Step 3: Click on “Show.”
  4. Step 4: Select “Hidden Items.”
  5. Step 5: Verify Hidden Files are Visible.


By following these straightforward steps, you can easily reveal hidden files on your Windows 11 device. Whether you’re a tech wizard or just starting out, this guide simplifies the process. Remember, while hidden files are often just system files, they can sometimes be important for troubleshooting or other tasks. However, handle them with care to avoid any unintended consequences. For further reading, you might look into how to manage system files or how to keep your system secure. Keep exploring, and happy computing!

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