XP/2000: How to View (and Remove) Hidden Files and Folders

   Posted by David Kirk in Windows

This tutorial demonstrates how to view and delete hidden files and folders on a Microsoft Windows system.

A good reason exists for hiding system files and folders. Changing or removing these files can corrupt a system, so Windows hides these from view. The problem with this is that spyware and malware are now using this technique to prevent removal.

Here is how to view hidden files and folders:

    1. Open Explorer or My Computer.
    2. Click the Tools menu.
    3. Click Folder Options.
    4. Click the View tab.
    5. Click Show Hidden Files and Folders.
    6. Unclick Hide protected operating system files.
    7. Click OK.

Now you should be able to view, edit, or delete any file or folder on your system. Do not remove anything if you do not know what it is. If you are extra cautious, you can return to the folder options, and hide these files again once you are finished.


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

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19 Responses to “XP/2000: How to View (and Remove) Hidden Files and Folders”

  1. October 08, 2008 at 2:36 am, Patty said:

    well I try it, and it worked, thank you very much but how can I have the cover disks too, because they do not appear when i open i tunes


  2. October 17, 2008 at 12:06 pm, Prashant said:

    Its not working


  3. November 25, 2008 at 5:51 pm, happy said:

    this is the best reciepe i have ever seen in my life. it realy helped me a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  4. April 18, 2009 at 12:36 am, dsfdd said:

    No, you can see the “faded’ folder, but can’t remove the goddamn thing. Idiot.


    • March 27, 2014 at 1:41 am, as said:

      dont say and type idiot, he is just helping


  5. May 08, 2009 at 12:00 am, David Marshall said:

    Here’s how to view hidden files and folders with its 7 options does not apply to files and folders hidden by rootkits or trojans. Do you know how to delete those?


  6. May 29, 2009 at 6:54 am, somebody said:

    it wont work i tried over and over again but wont work


  7. September 07, 2009 at 5:53 pm, Anonymous said:

    I tried to do as suggested, but it refused to delete–said access denied, sidk either full or write protected. This was not intentionally downloaded.

    Any further suggestions, please?


    • January 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm, Mhirh said:

      right click-properties-untick read only


  8. May 07, 2010 at 4:15 am, Anonymous said:

    although those hidden files are occupying part of the hard disk , even this option
    (show hidden files and folders) won,t enable you to view those files.I tried several
    programs in an attempt to remove those undesired files but in vain .I am about to
    change the hard disk with a new one !!.can any one give HELP .


  9. May 07, 2010 at 5:15 pm, Forbes said:

    use unlocker to delete those locked folders


  10. May 26, 2010 at 7:17 pm, shubhangi said:

    gr8 it worked thanks…..


  11. June 24, 2010 at 12:07 pm, Betonovic said:

    thank you


  12. September 06, 2010 at 12:47 pm, Keith said:

    This only shows you how to unlock the hidden files and not how to delete. There is more to it than described above


  13. November 19, 2010 at 7:50 pm, anya said:

    how do you locate the hiden files. i can see them but where do i find them


  14. December 20, 2010 at 8:22 pm, Digito said:

    Where do i find the unlocker u r talking about Forbes!

    Pleaz help


  15. March 08, 2011 at 6:23 am, Thanigai said:

    one anti virus software uninstalled. but i can’t remove that software folder C drive. how do u remove that folder…


  16. January 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm, ahmed said:

    hello every baddy

    i have problem with virus make hidden some folders i can’t return the files to original statues … please help me with answer to solve my issues .



  17. October 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm, Robert Thompson said:

    I can’t find “Folder Options” in the Tools menu.
    Thanks for the help.
    Dr. Robert B. Thompson


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