How to Show Hidden Files, Folders in Windows 8

Windows 8 hides certain files and folders from users so that users may not view them while exploring the system files and folders. Windows 8 hides these files for the proper functioning of the windows OS. In this guide you’ll learn how to show hidden files and folders in Windows 8. There are two types of hidden files. The first type is actually hidden files, the files or folders which are specified as hidden files or folders in their properties. The second type of hidden files are the protected system files, the files requires for the proper fuctioning of Windows 8. Windows hides system files so you may not accidently change or delete them.

There are times when it’s required to see hidden files and folders in Windows 8. Whether it’s because of a hidden malware files, repair a system problem, simply follow the instructions below to view hidden files in Windows 8. This Windows 8 guide covers:

  • How to show hidden files in Windows 8
  • How to view hidden and protected system files in Windows 8

The first part will show the hidden files only. While the second part of this guide will not only show the hidden files, you’ll also be able to see the protected system files.

How to Show Hidden Files / Folders in Windows 8

If you just want to see the hidden files and don’t want to tinker with the hidden protected system system files (Windows 8 system files), simply follow these steps. It’s recommended option if you want to unhide just the hidden files:

  1. Open Windows Explorer:
    From Desktop Mode: Open My Computer or any folder or
    From Windows 8 Start Screen: Click on Windows Explorer app.
  2. From Windows Explorer winow, click on the View tab. A ribbon with numerous options will appear.
  3. Check mark the “File name extensions” and “Hidden items” options.
    show-hidden-files-windows-8-1
  4. You can now close the Windows Explorer and you should now be able to see hidden files in Windows 8.

How to View Hidden and Protected System Files in Windows 8

If you want to see not only the hidden files but also protected system files, then follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Control panel. You can do that:
    From Windows 8 Start Screen: select the Control Panel or;
    From Desktop Mode: Move the cursor at the bottom-left corner and right-click there. Desktop shortcut menu should appear, click on Control Panel.
  2. From Control panel window, click on the Appearance and Personalization link.show-hidden-files-windows-8-3
  3. Now click on the Show hidden files and folders option under the Folder Options category. This should open a new window.
    show-hidden-files-windows-8-4
  4. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the Show hidden files, folders, and drives radio button. This will show the hidden files. (See screenshot below)
  5. Also un-check the Hide extensions for known file types option. This will show the file names along with the extension. (See screenshot below)
  6. Finally, un-check the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended) option. This will unhide the protected system files as well. By default Windows will not allow you to see System files unless you uncheck this checkbox. (See screenshot below)
  7. Click the Apply button follow by the OK button.
    show-hidden-files-windows-8-5

Now you should be able to see both the hidden files/folders and protected system files. If you ever want to reverse these changes, simply go back into the folder options and change the settings to Don’t show hidden files, folder or drives and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types and Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).

If you have any questions related to showing hidden files and folder in Windows 8 please feel free to ask in the comments section below.

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5 comments… add one

captain Mazhar June 18, 2013, 10:32 pm

Thanks dear I have solve my Hidden file issue..du 2 your guidance ////thanks by

rahul November 22, 2013, 12:16 pm

key shortcut to view hidden files

Jailbreak EYE November 24, 2013, 4:09 am

What do you mean, Rahul?

Raju Ranjan December 2, 2013, 10:44 am

In Folder view option its not showing “Hide Protected Operating File System (Recommended)”….All other options are showing. But this option is not there. Help me out?

Amit December 29, 2013, 1:59 pm

Sir, there is my personal video.mp4 file which is come in the category of system protected windows file, so when i unhide such file it cannot unhide completely.
Im using windows 8 o.s

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