Hidden Files and Folders

ByLine
How to Hide or Show Hidden Files and Folders in Vista
Synopsis
A hidden file or folder is just like any other file or folder except that it is hidden from normal view. When you have them set to show, they show as transparent to indicate that they are a hidden file or folder. This will show you how to hide or show the hidden files and folders.
How to Hide or Show Hidden Files and Folders in Vista

information   Information
A hidden file or folder is just like any other file or folder except that it is hidden from normal view. When you have them set to show, they show as transparent to indicate that they are a hidden file or folder. Protected System files are also hidden to help prevent you from accidentally altering them. These are set to be hidden by default in Vista.
warning   Warning
It is best to not touch the system files unless you know what you are doing. Doing so can result in having to reinstall Vista.

EXAMPLE: A Hidden and Normal Folder
Example.jpg




OPTION ONE
How to Hide or Unhide a File and Folder in Vista

1. Right click on the file or folder and click on Properties.​
2. Click the General tab. (See screenshot below)​
3. To Hide the File or Folder
A) Check the Hidden box. (See left screenshot below step 5)​
B) Go to step 5.​

4. To Unhide the File or Folder
A) Uncheck the Hidden box. (See left screenshot below step 5)​
NOTE: Since the file or folder is hidden, you will need to do step 2 in OPTION TWO below to see it. The Protected operating system files and folders Hidden box is grayed out and cannot be unchecked. (See right screenshot below step 5)

5. Click on OK to apply and close properties.​
NOTE: If the changes will not apply, then make sure it is temporarily not set as read-only.
Properties.jpg Protected_OS_File.jpg







OPTION TWO
Show or Hide All Hidden Files and Folders in Vista

NOTE: If the Show and Hide options are not in Folder Options, then see: How to Add or Remove the Hidden Files and Folders Option in Vista
1. Open Folder Options.​
2. To Show Only the Hidden System Files and Folders
NOTE: These are system files and folders, and any file or folder that you hidden manually.
A) Select (dot) Show hidden files and folders. (See screenshot below step 6)​
B) Go to step 6.​

3. To Hide All Hidden System Files and Folders
NOTE: These are the system files and folders, and any file or folder that you hidden manually.
A) Select (dot) Do not show hidden files and folders. (See screenshot below step 6)​
B) Go to step 6.​

4. To Show the Protected Operating System Files
WARNING: These should not be altered unless you know what you are doing. Doing so can result in having to do a reinstall of Vista.​
A) Do step 2.​
B) Uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) box. (See screenshot below step 6)​
C) Click on Yes for the confirmation prompt. (See screenshot below)​
Confirmation.jpg


5. To Hide Only the Protected Operating System Files
NOTE: For example, these include the desktop.ini files.​
A) Check the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) box. (See screenshot below step 6)​

6. Click on OK to apply and close Folder Options window.​
Folder_Options.jpg

That's it,
Shawn




 
Last edited by a moderator:
Shawn Brink

Comments

Shaazhussain,

Try running a sfc /scannow command to see if it can find and fix the problem. This will show you how.

How to Repair and Verify the Integrity of Vista System Files with System File Checker


If that does not help, then you can do a Repair install if you have a Vista Express or Retail installation DVD. This will allow you to repair your Vista installation without losing your files, settings, and programs. You can see how to do one here.

How To Perform a Repair Installation For Vista

Shawn
 
Well Shaaz,

You can see if a simple restart will clear the error, then do the sfc /scannow if not. You can also do a System Restore. Just select a restore point dated right before the problem occured. However, it will also undo everything you did after the date of the selected restore point.

How to Do a System Restore in Vista

Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
Yeah I got the same problem with documents. Did all of the above, I googled the hell out of it, but to no avail. The stupid folder continues to be yellow.
 
I had a Virus on my computer and it moved some of my files to the protected operating system files. Does anybody know how to get them out of there because right now they are all perminately hidden and I cant view unless if I request to show those files which is not recommended.
 
Hello Marlon, and welcome to Vista Forums.

First, I would recommend to scan your system at boot with Microsoft Standalone System Sweeper just to help make sure that you system is clean.

Next, you could use OPTION TWO in the tutorial below to unhide the files. Be sure to not use this on any of the default Vista system files. Doing so may leave Vista all messed up. I would recommend that you create a restore point first to be safe incase you need to do a system restore to at boot to undo a mistake.

File and Folder - Hide or Unhide - Windows 7 Forums


If it's just a hidden system file, then you could use this command from the tutorial to unhide it.

ATTRIB -H "Full Path of File with extension"
If it's a hidden protected operating system file, then you could use this command with the -s added to unhide it.

ATTRIB -H -S "Full Path of File with extension"
Hope this helps,
Shawn
 
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