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Showing hidden files, folders and extensions on Windows operating systems

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TitleShowing hidden files, folders and extensions on Windows operating systems
Scope/EnvironmentWindows XP / Vista / 7 / 8.1 / 10
Symptoms/Context
In many of the instructions in KB articles you need to be able to view the hidden files, folders or file name extensions on your Windows operating system. This article gives you instructions on how to enable the view of hidden files, folders and extensions.
Resolution

Windows 10

  1. Type File Explorer in the Windows search bar 
  2. Click on  File Explorer to open it
  3. Click on the View tab in File explorer
  4. Then:
    • To show hidden folders, check Hidden items checkbox 
    • To show all file name extensions, check File name extensions checkbox 

 

Windows 8 / 7 / Vista

  1. Open the Control Panel:
    • Windows 7 / Vista: Click on the START button (this is the small round button with the Windows flag in the lower left corner) and click on Control Panel .
    • Windows 8: Hold the Windows Key and press the [X] key, then select Control Panel.
  2. Open Folder Options:
    • Type Folder Options in the Search Control Panel text box and click the Folder Options icon that appears.
  3. Activate the View tab.
  4. Then:
    • To show hidden folders, select the radio button Show hidden files and folders in the Hidden files and folders section.
    • To show all file name extensions, remove the check mark from the check box Hide extensions for known file types.
    • To show protected operation system files, remove the check mark from the check box Hide protected operating system files.
  5. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and close all dialogs.

 

Windows XP / Windows 2000 / Windows 2003:

  1. Close all programs so that you are at your desktop.
  2. Double-click on the My Computer icon.
  3. Select the Tools menu and click Folder Options.
  4. After the new window appears select the View tab.
  5. Put a check mark in the check box labelled Display the contents of system folders.
  6. Under the Hidden files and folders section select the radio button labelled Show hidden files and folders.
  7. Remove the check mark from the check box labelled Hide file extensions for known file types.
  8. Remove the check mark from the check box labelled Hide protected operating system files.
  9. Press the Apply button and then the OK button and close all dialogs.
  10. Now your computer is configured to show all hidden files.
Root Cause
Reference
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