Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Files can be hidden in Windows for a variety of reasons. Certain system files can be hidden so that a careless user doesn't accidentally delete or modify them. Personal files might be hidden by their creator so that other users can't view them. And malware or spyware programs might install themselves and hide the files to make them harder to find.
But whatever the reason a file is hidden, you can view hidden files if you want to in Windows. To set Windows to show hidden files, open a folder or go into Windows Explorer and under the Tools menu, click Folder Options. Go to the View tab, and under the heading "Hidden files and folders," click the radio button next to "Show hidden files and folders." Then click Apply or OK.
Now, when you view a folder that has a hidden file or subfolder in it, that file or folder will be visible. When you see a hidden file in a Windows folder, it will be listed right along with the rest of the files in that folder, but its icon or thumbnail will appear faded and pixellated. You can open it and access it just like any other file, but it's technically "hidden."
To change a file's attributes so it's not hidden anymore, right click on the file and select Properties. In the General tab, at the bottom, uncheck the box next to "Hidden" and click Apply. Now, when you view the folder where that file resides, it will look the same as the other files. (If you want to make the file hidden again, just go back into its properties and re-check the "Hidden" box and click Apply.)
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