What is a Hidden File in Computer?

How to hide and unhide important files:

The Hidden file is a file with the hidden attribute being turned on. The File or folder with this attribute turned on is invisible. Hidden files and folders can not seen without allowing it.

Computers using Windows operating system are configured to hide the system and hidden files.

Main reason of hiding the files or folders is because there are many system and operating system files. The System files should not be modified, they are important files of operating system.

How to hide or unhide the hidden files in Windows

Sometimes you may need to see the hidden files. You need to show hidden files when you are upgrading software; not to mention that, to upgrade some software your hidden system files must be open for vewing. It is normal to interact with the hidden files.

Moreover, common hidden file in windows operating systems are pagefile.sys. Other hidden system folders in windows system files is ProgramData. In previous old windows, commonly hidden files includes msdos.sys, io.sys and boot.ini.

It is an easy task to configure windows to either show, or hide, every hidden file. You just have to select or deselect show hidden files, folders, and driver from folder options. You can see our How to Show or Hide Hidden Files in Windows tutorial.

Note : It is necessary to keep the hidden files hidden.

If you really need to unhide the hidden files for any reason. It is necessary to hide them again after you get your purpose of unhiding.

You can also use a free file search tool like Everything. it is another way to view the hidden files and folders. Through this route you will not need to make any changes in the settings of windows. You also will not be able to see the hidden items in a regular windows explorer.

How You can hide files and folders in windows

If you need to hide a file just right click on the file and choose properties. By checking the box next to hidden in the attributes section of the general tab.Click on viewClick on Folder OptionsClick Viewclick here to show hidden files

Attributes for normal and hidden files in windows:

When you have configured hidden files to show, you will see that the icon of hidden file is a bit lighter than the non hidden files.Normal File vs Hidden File

The same can be done for hiding a folder via properties menu except that you have to confirm the attribute. You should change by applying change to that folder or subfolders and files.

You will have to choose a folder for hiding it. The sub folders or files wont hide the actual files contained. There are options to hide both the folder and files inside the subfolder.

Moreover, you should follow the same steps for showing the files and folder. If you are unhiding a folder full of hidden files and you choose to turn off the hidden attribute. It will be for specified folder only while the files or folders inside will remain hidden.

Note: On a Mac ios you can quickly hide folders with the chflags hidden/path/to/file-or-folder command in Terminal. You can replace hidden with no hidden to unhide the folder or file.

Important things to remember about Hidden files

An encryption tool or full disk encryption program is the way to hide the files. A person can not see the hidden files under normal circumstances. This does not means that the hidden files take disk space. It means that you can hide the files to reduce visible files but it will take room on hard drive.

Un hide hidden files with CMD in Windows:

Using the dir command from the command-line in Windows. Not to mention that you can also un-hide hidden files just with using CMD on windows; use following command to show all hidden files in your C drive.

dir /a:hd C:\folder\

Moreover, some Antivirus software may prevents you from changing the attributes of critical hidden system files. Whenever, you are having trouble toggling a file on or off try to temporarily disable the antivirus it may resolve the problem.

Few software are used as third-party software (like My Lockbox) can hide files and folders. You have to set the Password use it to unlock the software to show the files.