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How can I view the hidden Windows files?

From Windows XP onwards Microsoft made some of the Windows files hidden by default to stop them accidentally being changed or deleted. However, you can make a small change to get Windows to show all the files and folders which it usually hides from you, proceed as follows:

  1. Click Start > Computer (Windows XP users click My Computer).
  2. Go to Organize > Folder And Search Options (Windows XP users click Tools > Folder Options).
  3. Click the View tab.
  4. Check the option Show Hidden Files And Folders and untick Hide Protected Operating System Files.
  5. Click OK.

In Windows Explorer you’ll now see the Windows and user files which were hidden before.