How to Show Hidden Folders in Windows 11: A Step-by-Step Guide

Showing hidden folders in Windows 11 is a breeze once you know where to look. It’s a useful skill to have, especially when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem or access files that are not immediately visible. In just a few clicks, you’ll have those elusive folders right where you can see them. Read on to learn how it’s done.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Show Hidden Folders in Windows 11

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re trying to achieve here. Hidden folders in Windows 11 are often system files that are concealed to prevent accidental changes. By following these steps, you’ll be able to make these folders visible for whatever needs you may have.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Open File Explorer from your taskbar or start menu.

File Explorer is essentially the home base for all your files and folders. It’s where you can navigate to different parts of your computer’s storage, and where we’ll start the process of revealing hidden folders.

Step 2: Click on View

Once you have File Explorer open, click on the ‘View’ option in the menu at the top.

The ‘View’ tab will give you a variety of options to change how you see files and folders. It’s also where the magic happens for our purpose.

Step 3: Select Show

In the View menu, select ‘Show’ and then ‘Hidden items.’

By selecting ‘Hidden items,’ you’re telling your computer that you want to see everything, regardless of whether it’s meant to be hidden or not.

Step 4: Explore Hidden Folders

You should now see the hidden folders appear faintly in the File Explorer.

They’re visible now but will look slightly different from regular folders. They are often slightly transparent or grayed out to indicate that they’re normally hidden.

After you complete the action of displaying hidden folders, you’ll be able to access and edit files that were previously out of sight. Just remember that if you’re poking around in system folders, be careful not to delete or change anything that could affect how your computer runs.

Tips on How to Show Hidden Folders in Windows 11

  • Before showing hidden folders, make sure you have a specific purpose in mind. These folders are usually hidden for a reason.
  • Don’t leave hidden folders visible all the time. Once you’re done, it’s a good idea to hide them again to prevent accidental changes.
  • If you’re not comfortable navigating system files, it might be best to leave them hidden.
  • Remember that even after you’ve revealed hidden folders, some files may still be protected or require administrative permissions to access.
  • Make a habit of backing up important files before making changes to hidden or system folders.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are hidden folders?

Hidden folders are files or folders that are not visible by default in the File Explorer. They typically contain system files or settings that are not meant to be tampered with by the average user.

Why would I need to view hidden folders?

You might need to view hidden folders if you’re troubleshooting an issue on your computer or looking for files that don’t appear in a normal search.

Can showing hidden folders harm my computer?

Showing hidden folders in itself won’t harm your computer. However, if you modify or delete files within these folders without knowing what they do, you could cause system problems.

Will showing hidden folders show all the files on my computer?

Showing hidden folders will reveal most hidden files, but some especially sensitive system files may remain concealed.

How do I hide folders again after showing them?

To hide folders again, simply go back to the ‘View’ menu in File Explorer, select ‘Show,’ and then uncheck ‘Hidden items.’


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on View.
  3. Select Show.
  4. Explore Hidden Folders.


Mastering the art of showing hidden folders in Windows 11 can make you feel like a computer wizard. It’s a handy trick that can help you uncover the mysteries of your system’s inner workings. Whether you’re troubleshooting, sleuthing, or just curious, seeing the unseen is a powerful ability. Just remember to tread lightly and respect the hidden for a reason. If you ever find yourself lost in the maze of faintly visible folders, just retrace your steps and hide them again. Your computer’s health and safety depend on it. So go ahead, peek behind the digital curtain, but always handle with care.

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