Allow Viewing of File Extensions in Windows

Certain folders, file types and drives are normally hidden by default. This can make it tricky if you need to edit one of them or at least view them.

How do I view hidden files in Windows?

Here’s how to view hidden files in Windows, depending on which version of Windows you’re using.


Windows 8 and above


  1. Windows key and the “x” button at same time
  2. Select control panel from the menu that pops up


Showing the Control Panel location in Windows 10


  1. Type “folder options” in the top right search box
  2. Click Folder Options or Folder or File Explorer Options


Showing the Windows 10 Folder Options


  1. Click the View tab at the top of the popup window
  2. Click to toggle Show Hidden Files, Folders and drives
  3. Click to toggle the option for Hide Extensions for Known File Types
  4. Click OK


Showing Windows 10 File Explorer options in Advanced settings


Windows 7


  1. Click Start
  2. Type Folder Options in the search bar
  3. Click Folder Options


Showing the Folder Options location in Windows 7


  1. Click View on the box that pops up
  2. Ensure that Show hidden files, folders, and drives is enabled
  3. Make sure Hide Extensions for Known File Types is not checked
  4. Click Apply
  5. Click OK


Showing the Folder Options form in Windows 7



Windows XP


  1. Go to Start Menu > My Computer


Showing the My Computer icon location in Windows XP


  1. Click Tools at top
  2. Click Folder Options


Showing Folder Options in Windows XP


  1. Click View tab
  2. Make sure Hide File Extensions for Known File Types is not checked
  3. Click Apply to All Folders
  4. Click Apply
  5. Click OK


Showing the Windows XP Folder Options Form



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