How to Show Hidden files in Windows 11 (Best ways)

Windows 11 has made significant changes in the User Interface including a few bold modifications in the File Explorer. The Ribbon in this app is pretty precise in having almost every shortcut of the Control Panel. However, Folder options are still there from where you can Show Hidden files in Windows 11.

Hidden files don’t usually appear in the results when someone searches for them, no one can find them in any folder or under any settings. Some of these are often core files but in most cases, people keep them hidden for personal reasons. Core files contain necessary codes or information to smoothly run the Windows. Well, you are in the right place since we will show you a few ways to make the hidden files visible using File Explorer, Control Panel, commands in Windows PowerShell, and Command Prompt.

How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11

From File Explorer

  • Press the Windows key and E at once.
  • When the File Explorer is in front, click three-dotted menu from the top.
  • After the Context menu unfolds, click Options.
How to Show Hidden Files in Windows 11
  • In the following popup, enter into the View tab.
  • Scroll down to the Hidden Files and Folders option in the Advanced settings area.
  • Check the radio button set to Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
Hidden Files and Folders advanced settings View File Explorer
  • If you want to see the protected system files then remove the check mark from the option set ‘Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)’.
Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
  • A popup will show up asking you to confirm showing the protected system files, click Yes to continue.
  • Click the Apply button and the OK to save the changes.
  • Check the File Explorer for the hidden items, they will be visible now.


  • Simply click the View option on the ribbon of the File Explorer.
  • From the dropdown menu, click Show.
  • Click the Hidden Items option.
Show Hidden Files in Windows 11

This will make the hidden items visible in Windows.

See: How to Copy Path of a File or Folder in Windows 10

Using Control Panel

Ribbon in File Explorer is a powerful platform having most of the options and this can be accessed from Control Panel. However, for showing hidden files now, you have to access the Control Panel directly and make the following change

  • Click the magnifier icon from the Taskbar and type “Control panel”.
  • Press “Enter”.
  • From the homepage, click “View by” and select “Category”.
  • When the app’s layout is changed, click Appearance and Personalization link.
  • From the following window, click Show hidden files and folders.
Control panel appearance and personalization folder options
  • Switch to the View tab in the new pop-up.
  • Scroll down to the Advanced settings area.
  • Click the radio button set to Show hidden files, folders and drives.
  • Hit the Apply button and the OK to save the changes.

Through Command Line tool

This process is a bit simple if you have profound knowledge about Windows Command Prompt. Following the guidelines to the point will make your task easier even after being a new user. Before executing specific command line tools, you must manage access to elevated Command Prompt.

Follow the below guidelines to Show Hidden files in Windows 11 using Command Prompt –

  • Press “Windows key” and type cmd.
  • When Command Prompt arrives, select “Run as Administrator” option.
  • Type the below command and press Enter –

cd C:\

Note – if your hidden files are in a different disk drive, use D, E, or F instead of C in the command.

  • Then run the following command –

dir /adh

Command Line tool to Show Hidden files in Windows 11

This part will make the hidden files visible in the location you have chosen by command.

Some similar commands are as follows –

  • /a – Shows only the hidden folders.
  • /a:d – Will show you the directories.
  • /a:h – intended to show only the hidden files.
  • /adh – this is the overall command that gives you all the above information combinedly.
  • After inserting the complete command line, press Enter key.
  • Check if the hidden files are now visible in File Explorer.

Via System Settings

System settings in Windows 11 are arranged in such a way that no one can see the hidden files and folders. In the above Workaround, we have shown you how to see the hidden files using commands but trust me, you may not remember them always where you have hidden the files.

In this case, follow the  guidelines to Show hidden files by configuring System Settings –

  • Click the magnifier icon in the Taskbar.
  • Type hidden in the search box.
  • Select Show hidden files from the results.
  • When the System Settings page opens, navigate to the File Explorer area on the right side pane.
  • Reach to Change settings to Show hidden and system files.
System Settings to Show Hidden files in Windows 11

Using Windows PowerShell commands

Windows PowerShell is yet another great platform that you can use to run specific command line tools to Show Hidden files in Windows 11. Follow the below guidelines to accomplish this workaround –

  • Press Win+X hotkeys at once.
  • From the visible menu, select Terminal (Admin).
  • Click Yes when the UAC prompts for permission.
  • In the PowerShell window, insert the command line tool below –

dir –Force

  • Press the Enter key and the system will show you the hidden files.
  • You can also see the hidden files located under root folder in a specific drive. For that, execute command line tool adding cd C:\Program Files.

Note – instead of C:, you can enter D, E or F based on where you want to see the files.

  • After you have entered a particular folder, execute the below commands to see the hidden files –
Get-ChildItem -Filter *.* -Recurse -Force -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | where { $_.Attributes -match “Hidden”}
PowerShell Show Hidden files

Note – With this command, showing hidden files, folders, and drives is super easy. You cannot trace them all properly and will cause a maze. Therefore, you can simply save this output result in a text file by adjusting the command a bit. Just add >log.txt after Get-ChildItem used in the above command line. A new file will be created as text and the name will be similar to log.txt.

Modify Windows Registry to make hidden files discoverable

Any function we try on the Operating System will create a specific entry in Windows Registry. Hence, we can make significant changes in the settings simply by tweaking these Registries.

Showing hidden files in Windows 11 can also be possible by making changes in the Windows Registry as well. However, this is a place for professional users and any abnormal changes will cost you badly. Therefore, create a backup of the registry before you proceed. After that, follow the below guidelines –

  • Press Win+R hotkeys at once.
  • Type regedit in the Run dialog box.
  • Click OK button located on the wizard.
  • Click YES when UAC asks permission to proceed.
  • Once the Registry Editor window opens, navigate to the below path –
  • Upon reaching this point, move to the adjacent right-side pane.
  • Double click the DWORD named Hidden.
  • Change the value data from 2 to 1.
  • Click the OK button to save the changes.
registry Show Hidden files

Note – The value data 2 represents the hiding of folders and 1 stands for showing the hidden files.

That’s all!!

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Topics:  Windows 11
About Nipu
Windows 11, 10 Tweaker, and Tech Enthusiast.