Although it’s not complicated action, some inexperienced users may be stuck when it comes to revealing of hidden files and folders in Win XP and Vista. Here are the steps how to do that.
Why is Windows hiding files?
By default Windows hides certain files from being seen with Windows Explorer or My Computer. This is done mainly to protect these files, usually system files, from accidentally being modified or deleted by the user. Unfortunately, viruses, spyware, and hijackers often use this way to hide themselves, making it hard to be found and deleted.
By following the steps below for both versions of Windows, you will be able to change the operating systems settings and see hidden and protected files. If you need access to the files stored in a hidden folder, you'll need to be able to view that hidden folder first. As has been said, configuring Windows XP to show hidden files and folders is really easy.
Show hidden files and folders in Windows XP
To enable viewing of hidden files and folders in Windows XP (Windows 2003 has the same procedure) follow these steps:
Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
Double-click on the My Computer icon.
Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
After the new window appears select the View tab.
Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled Display the contents of system folders.
Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders.
Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide file extensions for known file types.
Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files.
Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer.
Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.
Show hidden files and folders in Windows Vista
Enabling the view of hidden files and folders in Windows Vista is somewhat different than in Win XP. You should do the following:
1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop. 2. Click on the Start button. This is the small round button with the Windows flag in the lower left corner. 3. Click on the Control Panel menu option. 4. When the control panel opens you can either be in Classic View or Control Panel Home view: If you are in the Classic View do the following:
Double-click on the Folder Options icon.
Click on the View tab.
Go to step 5.
If you are in the Control Panel Home view do the following:
Click on the Appearance and Personalization link.
Click on Show Hidden Files or Folders.
Go to step 5.
5. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labeled Show hidden files and folders. 6. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide extensions for known file types. 7. Remove the checkmark from the checkbox labeled Hide protected operating system files. 8. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and shutdown My Computer. 9. Now Windows Vista is configured to show all hidden files. You should now be able to view all files and folders with the hidden attribute turned on.
Also, you can test to see if hidden files are displayed by navigating to the C:Windows folder. If you see folders beginning with $NtUninstallKB, then you are now able to view hidden files and folders. Also, hidden files and folders unlike normal files and folders are shaded.
These were the basic steps in revealing the hidden files and folders in both Windows XP and Vista.