By default, hidden files are not shown in file listings or searches in Windows 7.
However, if hidden files and folders are in fact showing up next to your normal ones, you or maybe even a program you've installed must have configured Windows 7 to show hidden files.
If you take care not to change or move hidden files or hidden folders, there's no real harm in having them display along with your normal ones, but there's no good reason to have them show up all the time either.
Follow these easy steps to hide hidden files and folders from view in Windows 7.
Click on the Windows 7 Start button and then click on Control Panel.
Tip: In a hurry? Type folder options in the search box after clicking Start. Choose Folder Options under Control Panel from the list of results and then proceed to Step 4.
Click on the Appearance and Personalization link.
Note: If you're viewing the Small icons or Large icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply click on Folder Options and skip to Step 4.
Click on the Folder Options link.
Click on the View tab on the Folder Options window.
In the Advanced settings: area, locate the Hidden files and folders category.
Note: You should be able to see the Hidden files and folders category at the bottom of the Advanced settings: text area without scrolling down. You should also see two options under the folder.
Choose the Don't show hidden files, folders, or drives radio button under the Hidden files and folders category.
Click OK at the bottom of the Folder Options window.
Close the Control Panel window that's still open.
From now on, no files or folders with the hidden attribute turned on will display in any folder view or search.
You can test to see if hidden files are are actually being hidden in Windows 7 by browsing to the C:\ drive. If you do not see a folder named ProgramData, then hidden files and folders are in fact being hidden from view.
Important: Hiding hidden files and folders is not the same as deleting them. Files and folders that are marked as hidden are simply no longer visible.
Not a Windows 7 user? See How Do I Hide Hidden Files and Folders in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.