View system files (super hidden) in Explorer

This is the first among a series of posts on administering Windows . It starts with how to see the files and folders that were hidden by Windows for some reason. The series is actually inspired from the one done by Samanathon on Starting your Day with a fresh Computer. He did a good job and I am a regular visitor of Saman’s Blog.

A Super Hidden or a Protected Syetem File is a file that is normally not shown in the Windows Explorer even if you have enabled Show Hidden files (Tools>>Folder Options>>View>>Show Hidden Files and Folders) in Windows Explorer). This is because if some of these files are deleted or changed Windows may encounter a fatal error. Some of such folders are :

  • C:Windowssystem32dllcache
  • System Volume Information – this is in all the drives
  • Recycler – which is also in all the drives

Super Hidden Files in C drive

So the first step involved is to make Windows show all the Super Hidden files. This can be done in two ways. One is directly through Windows Explorer Tools>>Folder Options and the other is through registry. So the former being easier and straight forward I’ll discuss it first.

1 . Through Windows Explorer

In Windows Explorer from Tools (Alt+T) menu take “View” tab in “Folder Options”.Make sure that you have selected Show Hidden Files and Folders and that you have unchecked Hide Protected operating system files options. Click Apply and then OK. This will enable you to see system files that had previously been hidden from your view.

Showing Super Hidden Files in Tools Menu

2 . Through Registry Editing

This is a little more complex.(It is recommended that you read the following posts before you go into the registry. Try this if you know Registry editing. Make a backup of the registry before you proceed.( The Introduction to Windows Registry , Know how to backup your registry )

Follow these steps..

1 . Run ( WIN+R ) regedit and open registry editor.

Super Hidden Dword in registry

Go to the Key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindows
CurrentVersionExplorerAdvanced
.

2 . In there you will see a Registry DWORD named ShowSuperHidden Make the value 1 instead of 0.

Dword Edit

3 . Now all you need to do is to restart Windows Explorer. to do so you can goto Start>>Shut Down and Click Cancel while holding down SHIFT+CTRL+ALT. Now press ALT+CTRL+DEL this will bring Task Manager. Take File>>New Task and type explorer and press Enter.

Now if you go to any drive you can see the previously Hidden files there. Note that you will still need to enable Show Hidden files option in Folder Option.

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3 comments on “View system files (super hidden) in Explorer
  1. travel says:

    gifts Say “I love you” with one of my dog’s older toys, but you can start planning a delicious meal to prepare for him by you! To further change this perception. Line the basket and it’s something your dog will love.

  2. Ajith says:

    Hi Edward..

    Did you mean Internet Explorer…
    If yes then you did it wrong.

    If you meant Windows Explorer (the program that is opened when you click My Computer or My Documents) then you MAY probably have a virus infection. Most of the viruses first disable viewing hidden files and accessing folder options first.

    Make sure you do exactly as said here and if still it is not working please leave a comment.

  3. “open hidden files” I did it with registry,but with IE when I click tools there is no folder options. what am I doing wrong? thank you!

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