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

Showing hidden files in Windows 11 is a simple process that can be accomplished in just a few steps. In this article, we’ll guide you through the necessary steps to reveal those sneaky files that are not immediately visible in your file explorer.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Show Hidden Files Windows 11

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s make sure we’re on the same page. When we talk about hidden files, we’re referring to the ones that Windows 11 has intentionally kept out of sight. These files are usually system files that are important for the operating system to function properly. By following these steps, you’ll be able to see them and access them if needed.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Open the File Explorer by clicking on the folder icon on your taskbar.

File Explorer is your gateway to all the files on your computer. It’s where you can browse, organize, and manage all your documents, pictures, and other files.

Step 2: Click on View

In the File Explorer, click on the ‘View’ tab at the top of the window.

The ‘View’ tab gives you different options to change how you see files and folders in the File Explorer.

Step 3: Click on Show

In the ‘View’ tab, click on ‘Show’ to expand the dropdown menu.

The ‘Show’ dropdown menu is where you can adjust the visibility of certain items in the File Explorer.

Step 4: Check ‘Hidden Items’

In the dropdown menu, check the box next to ‘Hidden items’.

By checking ‘Hidden items’, you’re telling Windows that you want to see all files, including those that are normally hidden.

After completing these steps, you’ll notice that hidden files and folders will now appear slightly transparent or greyed out in your File Explorer. This is a visual cue that these items are not typically visible and should be handled with caution.

Tips for Showing Hidden Files Windows 11

  • Always remember that hidden files are usually hidden for a reason. They often contain sensitive system information that, if altered or deleted, could cause issues with your computer’s functionality.
  • If you’re showing hidden files to clean up your computer or free up space, be careful not to delete anything important. When in doubt, leave it be or do some research to ensure it’s safe to remove.
  • After you’re done working with hidden files, it’s a good idea to re-hide them to avoid accidental changes.
  • Create a restore point before making any changes to hidden files. This way, if something goes wrong, you can restore your system to its previous state.
  • Use the search function in File Explorer to quickly find specific hidden files if you know their names.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I re-hide files after I’m done?

Simply follow the same steps and uncheck the ‘Hidden items’ option in the ‘Show’ dropdown menu.

Can showing hidden files pose a risk to my computer?

While showing hidden files is not inherently risky, altering or deleting these files can cause system issues. Always be cautious and double-check before making changes to hidden files.

Why are some files hidden by default?

Files are hidden by default to prevent accidental changes that could potentially disrupt the operating system. These files are often important for the functionality and stability of Windows.

Can I hide files that I’ve created?

Yes, you can hide your own files by right-clicking on them, selecting ‘Properties’, and checking the ‘Hidden’ box under the ‘General’ tab.

How can I tell if a file is hidden?

Hidden files will appear slightly transparent or greyed out once you’ve followed the steps to show them in File Explorer.


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Click on View.
  3. Click on Show.
  4. Check ‘Hidden Items’.


Congrats! You’ve just learned how to show hidden files in Windows 11. It’s a valuable skill to have, whether you’re troubleshooting, decluttering your PC, or just curious about what’s going on behind the scenes. Remember that with great power comes great responsibility. Always handle hidden files with care to avoid any potential mishaps. If you’re ever in doubt, a quick online search or consulting a tech-savvy friend can save you from a world of trouble. So, go ahead and explore your newly visible digital realm—just tread lightly and responsibly.

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