Hidden files are not shown in file listings or searches by default in Windows XP.
If hidden files and folders are displaying next to your normal ones, you or another program must have configured Windows XP to show hidden files for some reason.
If you're careful not to delete or modify hidden files, there's no real harm in having them show up along with your normal files, but it can sometimes be a little annoying.
Follow these easy steps to hide hidden files and folders from view in Windows XP.
Open My Computer or Windows Explorer.
From the Tools menu, choose Folder Options....
Click on the View tab in the Folder Options window.
In the Advanced settings: text area, locate the Hidden files and folders category.
Note: The Hidden files and folders category should be viewable near the bottom of the Advanced settings: text area. You should see two options under this category.
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.
No files or folders with the hidden attribute turned on should display any longer.
Test to see if viewing hidden files is disabled by searching for or navigating to the locations where you noticed the files or folders and make sure you can no longer see them.
Note: Files and folders that are marked as hidden are now "invisible" to you but they do still exist.
Not a Windows XP user? See How Do I Hide Hidden Files and Folders in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.