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How To Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows 7 and Vista

Windows 7 Hidden File Settings



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By default certain Windows data files and folders are hidden from view while you’re working on your computer. They are hidden because they are critical operating system files and folders that shouldn’t be modified or tampered with by an inexperienced computer user unless absolutely necessary.  During certain situations it may be necessary to view all of your computer’s data files, including those files that are hidden. This tutorial will walk you through the setting changes that you will need to make in Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista to view those hidden files and folders.


To change the file and folder view options, begin by:

  1. Clicking on “Start” or the Pearl in the lower left corner of your screen.
  2. Then click on the “Control Panel” shortcut.




















  1. Next click on “Appearance and Personalization”.



















  1. Next click on “Show Hidden Files and Folders”.



















  1. Next, click on “Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives”. And depending on what you need to access, you may also need to uncheck the box beside the “Hide Protected Operating System Files” option. You need to understand that you shouldn’t tamper with the operating system files and folders unless you have a true understanding of what you’re doing.




















  1. Afterwards click on “OK” and then you may back out of the control panel. Once you have completed your file system tasks you can hide the critical system files and folders once again by returning to the above folder options and then selecting “Don’t Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives”.























The information in this article is provided "as is". It should be used for educational purposes only. Smith Technical Resources makes no guarantees or claims that the information contained in this article will help you completely remove the above listed malicious program(s) from your computer.

If you feel uncomfortable performing any of the procedures that we've listed on this page, please contact a professional computer repair company in your area and have them complete the needed repairs on your computer. Smith Technical Resources takes no responsibility for any possible damage that could result from your use of the above instructions.

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Microsoft Windows 7 Start Menu Windows 7 control panel Windows 7 Appearance and Personalization screen Microsoft Windows 7 Folder Options Screen