How do I stop viewing hidden files in Windows?


Many of the files automatically generated in the Windows operating system are hidden files. As a consequence, certain folders will be populated by many icons that general users have little use for, such as those for thumbs.db or desktop.ini files. The following sections detail how to stop viewing hidden files for each of the recent versions of Microsoft Windows. To proceed, select your version from the list below.

Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7
Windows 8

Windows XP

  1. Click the Start Button and then My Computer.
  2. Click Tools and then Folder Options.
  3. Within the Folder Options window click the View tab.
  4. In the View tab, under Advanced Settings, select Don’t show hidden files, folders and drives.
  5. Click Apply, then OK.

Windows Vista and Windows 7

  1. Press the Windows Key + E.
  2. In the window that appears, click Organize in the top left-hand corner.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select Folder and search options.
  4. In the Folder Options window that appears, select the View tab.
  5. Locate the Advanced settings: section of the window.
  6. Under Hidden files and folders, select Don’t show hidden files, folders and drives.
  7. Click Apply, then OK.

Windows 8

  1. Press the Windows Key + E.
  2. In the window that appears, select the View tab in the top left-hand corner.
  3. Locate and click Options on the right-hand side.

    Windows 8 Folder Options

  4. In the Folder Options window that appears, select the View tab.
  5. Locate the Advanced settings: section of the window.
  6. Under Hidden files and folders, select Don’t show hidden files, folders and drives.
  7. Click Apply, then OK.
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