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book Many people may not realize that the operating system files and extensions are hidden in XP by default, but many people like to see all the files on their computer. Also I’ll show you how to unhide your file extensions. Its always good to know what the file extension is for unknown downloaded files before clicking on them as many malware or virus files have a double extension, (Example clickonme.txt.exe clickonme.txt is a text file while clickonme.txt.exe is an executable program that may infect your computer.)

  1. Open My Computer or an Explorer window.
  2. In Windows Explorer, select Tools.
  3. Click Folder Options.
  4. Click the View tab.
  5. Scroll down to Hidden Files and Folder, click the option button to show hidden files and folders.
  6. Uncheck the option button for hide extensions for known file types.
  7. Uncheck the option for Hide protected operating system files.
  8. Click Ok when your finished.
  9. A warning dialog box will popup, just click Ok.
  10. Now you’re finished. You’ll be able to see your System files and file extensions.

To see Screen shots for the process, Click the Read the rest of this entry link.

1. Open My Computer or an Explorer window.

2. In Windows Explorer, select Tools.

3. Click Folder Options.

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4. Click the View tab.

5. Scroll down to Hidden Files and Folder, click the option button to show hidden files and folders.

6. Uncheck the option button for hide extensions for known file types.

7. Uncheck the option for Hide protected operating system files.

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8. Click Ok when your finished.

9. A warning dialog box will popup, just click Ok.

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10. Now you’re finished. You’ll be able to see your System files and file extensions.

  16 Responses to “Unhide Operating System files And File Extensions in XP”

  1. i want to permanently unhide the setting.

  2. @ Hamid, as long as you don’t put the check marks back in the folder options the change will be permanent. Kevin

  3. some of my files are hidden, because of virus. hidden check box is disable,like system files.

    can anybody help me solve this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. @shaahidh, The first thing you need to do is get rid of the virus, if you don’t have an anti-virus program you can get a free virus scan online at http://www.eset.com/onlinescan/ or http://www.pcpitstop.com/antivirus/default.asp

  5. Kevin:

    The temporary internet folder “hide files” check box will not let me uncheck “hide files” because it is grayed out. I am attempting to create a macro in excel that deletes the files in the folder but can’t do this b/c the files are hidden… Anyway to unhide these?

  6. @ Pat, You may have a virus or a spyware infection. I would definitely run some scanners on your system as soon as possible. That is a sign of a problem. Also make sure your logged on as an administrator.

    Kevin.

  7. Kevin you dumbass, system files cannot be flagged or unflagged as anything except read-only by default. That’s nothing to do with a virus you amateur.

  8. @ Craig, Perhaps you you misread the intent of the article, all were doing is unhiding protected system files and file extensions, were not trying to change the files themselves. And by the way Malware will try to prevent you from seeing system files and extensions in order to hide themselves.
    Kevin.

  9. can u tell me how to unhide system files like for eg autorun.inf through cmd prompt

  10. @ geet,
    Try this.
    1. Open a command prompt, type ATTRIB -R -S -H filename to turn off the hidden attributes (replace the -‘s with +’s to turn them back on).

    2. In Windows, right-click on the file icon, and select Properties. Windows will allow you to turn on or off all attributes, except for the “System” tag (known as “S” to ATTRIB).

    Kevin.

  11. Hey, something’s up with my file extensions, they won’t stay visible! I can uncheck the ‘hide extensions’ box and that works initially, but as soon as I navigate anywhere in explorer all the extensions auto-hide again! Any ideas?

  12. Luke- I’ having the exact same problen. It will ket me uncheck the box, then i click apply or Ok, and it just re ticks it. Every other tick box can be unchecked fine. Can Someone PLEASE HELP !
    All i want to do is put custom rongtones on my iphone. I dont have internet on my laptop so i cant downliad any new programs but i have Nero 8. Someone PLEASE Tell me if there is another way. Thnx.

  13. Having same problem as Lewis and Luke- I untick the “hide extensions” box, close out, and when I reopen, I find it has automatically reticked. Vista Home Premium OS. Is this a recent problem with Vista?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have heard this is a virus, but is unlikely, as I have not had this computer hooked up to the internet in any shape or form for over a year.

  14. Kevin’s idea worked.


    @ geet,
    Try this.
    1. Open a command prompt, type ATTRIB -R -S -H filename to turn off the hidden attributes (replace the -’s with +’s to turn them back on).

    2. In Windows, right-click on the file icon, and select Properties. Windows will allow you to turn on or off all attributes, except for the “System” tag (known as “S” to ATTRIB).

    Kevin.

    Although I can’t change folders with spaces in their names.

  15. hi kevin..
    thank for your guide,its work on me..my external hard drive infected with a virus..several file and folder was hidden and the hidden box were disable….is there any tips to unhide multiple file..

  16. when i unhide the hidden and protected folders files… it again goes hidden auto matically, how to set stay those settings permanently.??

    Bec I need to delet some file on the server which are hidden, on the c: drive and system 32 the files getting hidden again automatically..

    Is there any chance to keep them permanently???

   
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