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

View Hidden Files on Windows 11

Alright, let’s dive in! If you’ve been struggling to find certain files on your Windows 11 computer, it might be because they’re hidden. Luckily, unmasking these elusive files is super easy. Just a few clicks in File Explorer, and you’ll have access to everything. Here’s a quick overview: Open File Explorer, navigate to the View tab, select Show, and then check the Hidden items option. That’s it! Now, let’s break it down step-by-step.

How to View Hidden Files on Windows 11

In this section, we’ll go through the exact steps to reveal hidden files on your Windows 11 system. By following these steps, you’ll be able to see files and folders that Windows keeps hidden by default.

Step 1: Open File Explorer

First, open File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on the taskbar or pressing the Windows key + E.

File Explorer is your main hub for accessing files and folders on your computer. If you can’t find the folder icon, you can always search for "File Explorer" in the Start menu.

Step 2: Navigate to the View tab

Next, click on the View tab at the top of the File Explorer window.

The View tab contains various options for how your files and folders are displayed. It’s where you’ll find the option to show hidden files.

Step 3: Select Show

In the View tab, click on the Show dropdown menu.

The Show menu includes different viewing options, such as Details, List, and Tiles. It’s also where the option to show hidden items is located.

Step 4: Check Hidden items

Finally, check the box labeled Hidden items to reveal hidden files and folders.

Checking this box will immediately display hidden files and folders in the current directory as well as any other directories you navigate to.

What happens next?

After completing these steps, hidden files and folders will become visible throughout your File Explorer. They will appear slightly faded or transparent, indicating that they are usually hidden. You can interact with these files just like any other files on your system.

Tips for Viewing Hidden Files on Windows 11

  • Double-check: Make sure you’ve correctly followed each step if hidden files don’t appear immediately.
  • Toggle Off: Remember to uncheck the Hidden items box if you no longer need to see hidden files.
  • Use Search: If you still can’t find a specific file, use the search bar in File Explorer.
  • Be Cautious: Hidden files are often hidden for a reason. Be careful when modifying or deleting them.
  • Custom Views: You can customize File Explorer’s view settings to suit your preferences, such as showing file extensions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are some files hidden by default?

Some files are hidden by default to prevent accidental modification or deletion, which could affect system performance or stability.

Can I hide files again after viewing them?

Yes, you can re-hide files by unchecking the Hidden items box in the View tab.

Will showing hidden files slow down my computer?

No, showing hidden files will not impact your computer’s performance.

Are hidden files important?

Yes, many hidden files are essential system files. Modifying or deleting them can cause problems.

How do I search for hidden files specifically?

Use the search bar in File Explorer and ensure that Hidden items is checked in the View tab to include hidden files in your search results.


  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Navigate to the View tab.
  3. Select Show.
  4. Check Hidden items.


There you have it! Viewing hidden files on Windows 11 is a simple yet powerful way to make sure you’re not missing anything important on your computer. Whether you’re troubleshooting an issue or just curious, unmasking these files can be incredibly useful. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to reveal hidden files in no time.

So, why not give it a try? Go ahead and see what hidden treasures you might discover on your Windows 11 machine. If you have any more questions or want to explore further, don’t hesitate to delve deeper into Windows 11’s features. Happy exploring!