Files and folders in Windows can be hidden from view Windows Explorer and directory listing for protection against accidental deletion, privacy or simple make the hidden items harder to find. It’s pretty easy to reveal and show and hidden files and folders in Windows system with the following steps:

  1. In Windows Explorer, click on Tools -> Folder Options or Organize -> Folder and search options.
  2. Go to View tab.
  3. Click and select (tick) the Show all hidden files and folders or Show all hidden files, folders and drives option under “advanced settings”.
  4. Click OK when done.

Display Hidden Files, Folders and Drives

Some viruses or Trojans is smart enough to hide themselves into a corner of the computer system, and then effectively force disable the “Show all hidden files and folders” or “Show all hidden files, folders and drives” option under “Folder Options”. When it happens, hidden files, folders and drives on the PC do not been shown or displayed even though user has attempted to apply the settings to show the hidden files. The virus implements a policy such as “Shockwave.dll” that’s forcing system to keep hidden files forever not visible or hidden.

If your anti-virus or anti-malware solution is unable to get rid of the malware, and you’re desperately need to view the hidden files, here’s the workaround to enable system to show hidden files and folders again. There are many viruses that may cause the hidden files cannot be visible error, thus the following solution may not work on some system.

  • Go to Start Menu and click on Run (Windows Vista and Windows 7 uses Start Search instead).
  • Type RegEdit and press Enter to run Registry Editor.
  • Navigate to the following registry key:


  • In the right pane, verify that the CheckedValue value data is REG_DWORD type. If it’s not (such as belongs to REG_SZ), then delete the CheckedValue value data.
  • If CheckedValue has been delete, create a new DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it as CheckedValue.
  • Double click on CheckedValue and change its value data to 1 (virus may change it to 0 or 2).
  • Within the same registry key, verify that the Type value data is of REG_SZ type, and has the value data radio. If not, set it to radio. Virus may change it to blank.
  • Set the system to reveal or show all hidden files, folders and drives, and then check if hidden files and folders are show.

Tip: Some virus may also disable the Registry Editor. Here’s the trick to re-enable Registry Editor.

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  • sky

    thank you! this tips really help. im almost to format & reinstall again. thanks thanks!!

  • Raheel

    Thanks buddy

  • Raheel

    Thanks buddy..u rock…man

  • sufi

    great workss ..thanks

  • emaas

    how to make registry to normal

  • Hazem

    Thank's a lot it helped me

  • veeresh

    Thanks a lot ………….. It helped me …..

  • A

    Gud day! It isn't enough to revise the registry. Please scan your disk for a possible virus/es that still prevents your changes to become effective. I use a free version of Avira Personal AV and it worked.revealing trojans as the culprits. And don't ignore this thread. It does help me, too.

    Thanks for this info.

    God bless!

  • edy

    it does not work..all my file still become hidden..i cannot shown it at become invisible…please help me…

  • ykavey

    thanks dude. it worked.

  • goce

    no programs needed simple and efective the best tutorial

  • Jerry Hill

    Thank You !!!!

    Works fine now. Really had me befuddled


  • Its working thanks!

  • Ryan Curtis

    im a complete novice .. but i followed it – and problem is fixed. I ran Trend Micro Housecall before hand. Had previously done system restores and stuff but to no avail. My son using the pc goes to all kinds of dumb sites and downloads crap galore.

  • RAUF


  • alucard

    i already tried it. what happen next is, it won't allow me to create a new CheckedValue.

    everytime a delete CheckedValue and create a new one as instructed above. after i close the regedit and open it again it will changed back to it's current value CheckedValue 0.

    how to solve this problem?


  • nag

    graet work. its working. thanks a lot?

  • many thanks for the tips, now i can show my hidden files, before is always failed

  • mannu

    These fields are correct as should be.Yet i have no folder optio in tools

  • Joseph Porta

    Thanks MAN It Works

  • XPUser


    The tip is so to the point that it is almost foolproof. And above all, it works! Thanks a lot.

  • Mark

    Doesn't anyone proof-read this stuff? The grammar is appalling and this makes the article confusing and difficult to read.

  • IceMan-

    Thanks, you just saved me a few hours of frustration to the point where I want to format my pc.

    @"r bower": it works so try it and it's not that hard btw

  • r bower

    Someone or perhaps an editor/proof-reader at mydigitallife should re-read this article, especially the first paragraph as to "been". Either there is bad grammar or a line or two is missing. I have not tried this workaround as it seems too complicated to me as a novice.

  • Deyaa Addeen Fahmy S

    Great, thanks.