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

Learning how to show hidden files on Windows 11 can be a lifesaver, especially when you need to find files that are usually out of sight. By following a few simple steps, you’ll be able to view these hidden files and folders without any hassle.

How to Show Hidden Files on Windows 11

These steps will help you unhide files and folders on your Windows 11 system, allowing you to access them whenever you need. Let’s dive right into the process.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

Open File Explorer by clicking the folder icon in the taskbar.

Launching File Explorer is the first step. This tool allows you to navigate through your files and folders. If you can’t find the icon, you can press the Windows key + E on your keyboard.

Step 2: Click on ‘View’

Click on the ‘View’ tab at the top of the File Explorer window.

The ‘View’ tab holds various display options. This is where you can customize how you want your files and folders to appear.

Step 3: Select ‘Show’

In the ‘View’ tab, find and click on the ‘Show’ option.

The ‘Show’ option will reveal additional settings, including the ability to view hidden items.

Step 4: Click on ‘Hidden items’

Check the box next to ‘Hidden items’ to display hidden files and folders.

By checking this box, you’re enabling the display of files and folders that are usually hidden from view. This is crucial for accessing system files or other important documents.

Step 5: Confirm Changes

Close File Explorer and reopen it to ensure the settings have taken effect.

Reopening File Explorer will refresh the settings, making sure your changes are applied correctly.

Once you’ve completed these steps, the hidden files and folders will be visible. You can now navigate through them as needed.

Tips for Showing Hidden Files on Windows 11

Here are some additional tips to keep in mind when managing hidden files on Windows 11:

  • Use the search bar in File Explorer to quickly find specific hidden files.
  • Be cautious when modifying hidden system files, as they are crucial for your computer’s functionality.
  • Create a backup of important hidden files before making any changes.
  • Utilize the ‘View’ tab to toggle hidden files on and off as needed.
  • Remember to hide files again if you don’t want them to be visible at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions about Showing Hidden Files on Windows 11

How do I hide the files again?

To hide the files again, simply uncheck the ‘Hidden items’ box in the ‘Show’ options under the ‘View’ tab.

Will showing hidden files affect my system performance?

No, showing hidden files will not impact your system’s performance. It only changes how files are displayed.

Can I delete hidden files?

Yes, but be careful. Deleting system files can cause your computer to malfunction.

Why are some files hidden by default?

Some files are hidden by default because they are system files that are important for the operating system’s functionality.

Can I password-protect hidden files?

Windows 11 does not have a built-in feature to password-protect files. You will need third-party software for that.


  1. Open File Explorer
  2. Click on ‘View’
  3. Select ‘Show’
  4. Click on ‘Hidden items’
  5. Confirm Changes


Showing hidden files on Windows 11 is a simple yet powerful skill to have in your tech toolbox. Whether you’re troubleshooting an issue or just need access to those elusive files, following the steps outlined in this guide will get you there quickly and efficiently. Remember, while it’s handy to have hidden files visible, you should handle them with care—think of them as the backbone of your system. If you want to delve deeper into Windows 11 features, there are plenty of resources available online to expand your knowledge. So go ahead, take control of your file system, and always stay curious.