How to view hidden files in Windows 11

Windows 11 features a new version of File Explorer with a simpler menu. If you’re familiar with older Windows versions, you may notice some settings being difficult to find, including the option to view hidden files. Fortunately, viewing files is a straightforward process and actually requires fewer steps than previous versions.

If you are interested in knowing how to view hidden files in Windows 11, you have come to the right place. This article will show you two different ways to do this using File Explorer.

How to view hidden files in Windows 11

There are two ways to view hidden files in Windows 11, and both require the use of File Explorer. The difference is that one uses layout and display options, while the other uses folder options.

How to view hidden files in Windows 11 via Layout and View options

Here is what you need to do to unhide hidden files in Windows 11 using layout and display options:

  1. Open File Explorer from the taskbar. It’s the yellow folder icon.
  2. Select the “Display and Layout Options” icon. It’s the second icon from the right in the top menu.
  3. Click on “View”.
  4. Choose “Hidden Items”.

The files will now be visible in File Explorer.

How to view hidden files in Windows 11 via Folder Options

You can show hidden files in Windows 11 by configuring folder options. Follow the instructions below to do this:

  1. Launch File Explorer and press the three dots.
  2. Mark the options.”
  3. Go to “View”.
  4. Under ‘Advanced settings’, check the checkbox next to ‘Show hidden files, folders, and drives’.
  5. Choose “Apply”.
  6. Press OK.”

Folders and files will appear in File Explorer. You will easily recognize them because they will look dull. If you want to hide files again, repeat the steps and select the check box next to “Do not show hidden files, folders, and drives”.

How to show protected operating system files in Windows 11

The Windows operating system contains another type of hidden files: system files that keep the operating system working properly. These files are protected to ensure that other programs do not overwrite them and cause problems.

If you need to see these files, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch File Explorer.
  2. Select the three dots in the top menu.
  3. Choose Options and open View.
  4. Under “Advanced Settings” locate “Hide protected operating system files (recommended)” and uncheck the box.
  5. A dialog will appear on the screen telling you that sensitive operating system files have been detected. If you understand the risks, select Yes.

Protected operating system files will now appear in File Explorer and will be dimmed. Don’t forget to hide files again once you are done with your tasks.

questions and answers

How to hide certain types of files from search results in Windows 11

Windows 11 enables users to hide certain file types (for example, photos or videos) from search results. This allows you to refine your search and find what you are looking for without difficulty. Follow the steps below to hide certain file types from search results in your Windows 11:

1. Open the Start Menu, start typing “Indexing Options” and open it.

2. Select “Advanced”.

3. Go to the “File Types” tab.

4. All types of files that Windows displays in its search results will appear on the screen. Find the file type you want to exclude from the search and clear the check box next to it. If you don’t see the format you want to hide, tap Add New Extension to List, enter the format, and select Add.

5. Go to the Index Settings tab and select Rebuild next to Delete and rebuild index.

6. Press OK.

7. A prompt will appear on the screen telling you that rebuilding the index may take some time, and the search results may be incomplete. Select OK.

Wait a few minutes for the process to complete, and the selected file types will be excluded from the search results.

How do I protect my files in Windows 11?

If you share your computer with others and want to prevent them from accessing your files, there are several actions you can take.

The first is to hide your files. Here’s what to do to hide your files in Windows 11:

1. Find the folder you want to hide and right click on it.

2. Select “Properties”.

3. Check the checkbox next to “Hidden”.

4. Go to File Explorer and tap on the Layout icon and view the options. It’s the second icon from the right.

5. Hover over “Show” and uncheck the checkbox next to “Hidden items”.

Although this can be a good way to protect your files, it is not the most secure because other users can enable Show hidden files in a few steps. If you want to be safe, it is better to protect your files with a password. Here’s how to do it with Easy File Locker:

1. Open the browser and download Easy File Locker.

2. Complete the installation process and start the program.

3. Go to the “System” menu and choose “Set Password”.

4. Enter your password and press OK.

5. Go to the Files and Folders menu and select Add Folder or Add File, depending on what you want to protect.

6. Select the file or folder by clicking on the three dots on the right.

7. Uncheck the box next to “Accessibility”. If you don’t, everyone will still have access to your files and folders even if you secure them.

8. Check the box next to “Visible”.

The selected file or folder is now password protected. If someone tries to access it, they will receive an “Access Denied” message. If you want to lock multiple files and folders, you will need to repeat the steps for each of them.

Keep track of your files and folders in Windows 11

Hiding files is an excellent way to improve search results or prevent others from accessing them. However, many people who hide their files tend to forget them after some time. Fortunately, Windows 11 allows you to show hidden files in just a few steps.

We hope this article will explain how to view hidden files in Windows 11 using different methods and provide more information about protecting your files.

Do you hide your files in Windows 11, or would you rather protect them with a password? Did you forget your hidden files after a while? Tell us in the comments section below.

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