By default, hidden files are not shown in searches or other file listings in Windows Vista.
However, if hidden files and folders are displaying next to your normal ones, you or maybe a program you've installed must have for some reason configured Windows Vista to show hidden files.
If you're careful not to move or change a hidden file or folder, there's no real harm in having them show up along with your normal ones, but it can sometimes be frustrating to see them in your searches and folder views.
Follow these easy steps to hide hidden files and folders from view in Windows Vista.
Click on the 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 Programs from the list of results and then proceed to Step 4.
Click on the Appearance and Personalization link.
Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Just double-click on the Folder Options icon 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: section, 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 see two options under the folder.
Choose the Do not show hidden files and folders radio button under the Hidden files and folders category.
Click OK at the bottom of the Folder Options window.
From now on, no files or folders with the hidden attribute turned on will display in any search or folder view.
You can test to see if hidden files are are actually being hidden in Windows Vista by navigating to the C:\ drive. If you do not see a folder called ProgramData, then hidden files and folders are indeed being hidden from view.
Important: Hiding hidden files and folders does not delete anything. Files and folders that are marked as hidden are simply no longer visible.
Not a Windows Vista user? See How Do I Hide Hidden Files and Folders in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.