By default, Windows 7 does not show hidden files. Sometimes, however, you may actually need Windows 7 to show the hidden files and folders on your computer.
If you need to manage files under a hidden folder, you'll need to be able to view that folder. You may also need Windows 7 to show hidden files so you're able to delete one, maybe to solve some kind of problem you're having.
No matter the reason, configuring Windows 7 to show hidden files and folders is really easy.
Click on the Windows 7 Start button and then 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 skip to Step 4.
Click on the Appearance and Personalization link.
Note: If you're viewing the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply click on Folder Options and proceed to Step 4.
Click on the Folder Options link.
Click on the View tab in 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 Show hidden files, folders, and 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.
You will now be able to view all files and folders with the hidden attribute turned on, as well as drives hidden in Windows 7.
You can test to see if hidden files are now being shown in Windows 7 by navigating to the C:\ drive. If you see a folder named ProgramData, then you are now able to view hidden files and folders.
Note: You might notice that the icons for hidden files and folders are slightly grayed out. This is an easy way to separate hidden files and folders from your normal unhidden ones.
If you no longer wish to see them, you can always hide hidden files in Windows 7.
Not a Windows 7 user? See How Do I Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.