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FAQ: How do I display all files in Windows?

FAQ M7

By default Windows will not display all files on your computer in the Windows Explorer. You may wish to see exactly what is stored on your computer and it is very important that you can see everything when cleaning viruses or checking for unusual files etc. You should be careful about deleting files with these options below used as you can cause your system to stop functioning if you delete essential system files. If in doubt contact your local computer officer or email the Service Desk.

To make all files always appear in Windows Vista:

  1. Open Computer (or any folder window)
  2. Choose Folder and Search Options
  3. Click on the View tab
  4. Ensure Show hidden files and folders is enabled and untick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
  5. Click on OK to close the dialog box

To make all files always appear in Windows 2000 and XP:

  1. Open My Computer (or any folder window)
  2. Choose Folder Options from the Tools menu
  3. Click on the View tab
  4. Select Show hidden files and folders and untick Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)
  5. Click on Apply to all folders or Like current folder and OK to the message that appears
  6. Click on OK to close the Folder Options window

 

Last updated: October 2011