Hidden files are not normally viewable in Windows Vista. Sometimes, however, you may need Windows Vista to show the hidden files and folders on your computer.
If you need access to files under a hidden folder, you'll need to be able to view that hidden folder. You may also need Windows Vista to show hidden files so you're able to delete one, maybe to solve a particular problem you're having.
Regardless of the reason, configuring Windows Vista to view hidden files and folders is really easy.
Click on the 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 Programs from the list of results and then skip 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. Simply 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 Show hidden files and folders radio button under the Hidden files and folders category.
Click OK at the bottom of the Folder Options window.
You will now be able to view all files and folders with the hidden attribute turned on.
You can test to see if hidden files are now being shown in Windows Vista 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 want to see them, you can always hide hidden files in Windows Vista.
Not a Windows Vista user? See How Do I Show Hidden Files and Folders in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.