Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Displaying Hidden Files

Windows XP by default will automatically hide certain file types and folders to protect the operating system. For the average user who doesn't really modify their system defaults, with the exception of the changing the desktop or screen saver, this is a great feature.

If you're a power user who like to get into the nuts and bolts of the system or you just need to work on it, this feature can be really restrictive. To display hidden files and folders, do the following:

Note: By displaying hidden files, you can damage or disable the your operating system. Proceed at your own risk. It is also recommended that you have a good backup of your computer's data before making any system changes.
  • Click the My Computer icon under the Start menu.
  • Open the Tools menu, and select 'Folder Options...'.
  • Click on the View tab.
  • Scroll down the list, and select 'Show hidden files and folders' radio button. You might also want to check or uncheck the following items:
    • Check 'Display the contents of system folder' checkbox.
    • Uncheck 'Hide Extensions for known file types' checkbox.
  • Press the OK button to save your changes and exit.
You should now be able to see all of the hidden files and folders on your computer.

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