How to Show Hidden files in Windows Vista and 7

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By default, Windows hides hidden files, folders and drives from the users' view. The main reason for this is to avoid these system files or other critical files from being deleted by a user accidentally. All files that a user intentionally marked as "hidden" in its properties are also hidden from view like the system file.

However, when you are doing some housekeeping or troubleshooting work, you might need to view these hidden files. Follow these steps:

Step 1.) Click Start => Control Panel

Step 2.) Please locate the "View by" option and see if it is set to "Category" like this:

Step 3.) Click on Category then click "Small Icons"

Step 4.) Click "Folder Options"

Folder Options

Step 5.) In the Folder Options dialog box, click on the View tab

Step 6.) Under Hidden files and folders, click "Show hidden files, folders and drives"

Folder options show hidden files

Step 7.) Click Apply

Step 8.) Click OK to close