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How To Display The Contents Of Hidden System Files And Folders

By default, Windows disables the ability to view various Hidden System Files and Folders on our computer system. And although this may be a nice safety feature for the new computer user, an advanced user may want to view these files to become more adept with the Windows operating system. Therefore, this technical brief will show you how to display the contents of all these Hidden System Files And Folders.

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For Windows XP

  1. Go into your Control Panel by first clicking on the Start Button.
  2. Then click on the Control Panel icon located in the right column of the Start Menu.
  3. If your Start Menu is set to the Classic View, then begin by clicking on the Start Button.
  4. Then click on Settings, then click on the Control Panel icon to open up the Control Panel.
  5. Now, Double click on the Folder Options icon until it opens for you.
  6. Then click on the View tab located at the top of the screen.
  7. Locate the Advanced settings: window located in the center area of the screen.
  8. Then change the Do not show hidden files and folders option to Show hidden files and folders.
  9. You can also uncheck the Hide protected operating system files [Recommended] option as well.
  10. If you uncheck this, Windows will ask you if you are sure you want to display these files.
  11. Simply click on the Yes button to allow Windows to display these protected files.
  12. For Windows XP, you can also uncheck the Display the contents of system folders as well.
  13. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit the Folder Options window.
  14. Then close the Control Panel to return back to your Windows session.
  15. Windows will now Display all Hidden and System Files on your computer.

For Windows Millennium

  1. Go into your Control Panel by first clicking on the Start Button.
  2. Then click on Settings and then click on the Control Panel icon.
  3. Double click on the Folder Options icon until it opens for you.
  4. Then click on the View tab located at the top of the screen.
  5. Locate the Advanced settings: window located in the center area of the screen.
  6. Then change the Do not show hidden files and folders option to Show hidden files and folders.
  7. You can also uncheck the Hide protected operating system files [Recommended] option as well.
  8. If you uncheck this, Windows will ask you if you are sure you want to display these files.
  9. Simply click on the Yes button to allow Windows to display these protected files.
  10. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit the Folder Options window.
  11. Then close the Control Panel to return back to your Windows session.
  12. Windows will now Display all Hidden and System Files on your computer.

For Windows 98

  1. Double click on the My Computer icon on your Desktop until it opens.
  2. Then click on the word View, which is contained in your top tool bar area.
  3. This will pull down a menu for you to now click on Folder Options.
  4. Then click on the View tab located at the top of the screen.
  5. Locate the Advanced settings: window located in the center area of the screen.
  6. Then change the Do not show hidden or system files option to Show all files with your mouse.
  7. Then click on the OK button to save your changes and exit the Folder Options window.
  8. Then close the My Computer window to return back to your Windows session.
  9. Windows will now Display all Hidden and System Files on your computer.
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