Show Hidden Files Using Command Prompt

Edited by aianne b., Charmed, Melsan, Melissa Meyer and 18 others

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In this wiki I will assume the drive containing the hidden files is your F: drive because this often happens on a flash drive. When you plug your flash drive into the USB port of your computer, it is mounted as the first open drive. Typically your hard drive is C: and your CD/DVD drive is D:. So often the USB will be mounted as E: or in my case F:.

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Contents
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Instructions

  1. 1
    Go to Start>>All Programs>>Accessories>>Click Command Prompt.
    On newer versions of Windows right mouse click and choose RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR.
    CMD1.png
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  2. 2
    Click Start>>Computer/My Computer.
    Look for a Removable (F:)(Example only)
    CMD2.png
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  3. 3
    Type F:
    then enter. You will notice that the blinking line will go down and display F:\>
    CMD3.png
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  4. 4
    Now type in attrib -s -h -r /s /d then enter, the blinking line will go down again.
    Dos-attrib-s-h-r-s-d.jpg
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  5. 5
    Go to your drive, and see if you can now see all of the hidden files now.
    CMD Unhide.png
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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • After you "unhide" your files, remember to scan your computer/Laptop for viruses if you don't know how these files were hidden in the first place.
  • Make it a habit to check for hidden files. If you keep on seeing hidden files on your computer without you really doing it, it is highly possible that there is a virus. You would need then to run a strong anti-virus and do a complete computer scan in order to get rid of this.
  • Check which types of files are usually being hidden. The pattern may be able to tell you what type of virus you have in your computer.

Questions and Answers

How to unhide my files in flash drive?

My flash drive got a virus and now all files have become hidden. What can I do to restore my hidden files?

There are many ways to unhide files from a flash drive and one of them is by simply using the command prompt as stated in this article which you can easily follow following the steps provided.

Another option is through the use of "Folder Options". These are the steps to properly unhide your hidden files mostly caused by virus infection using Windows 7 operating system:

  1. 1
    Click Start.
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  2. 2
    Then click your flash drive to open (usually the default is F:).
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  3. 3
    Inside your flash drive, click "Organize" at the top left part of the window.
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  4. 4
    Click "Folder and Search Options".
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  5. 5
    Click the "View" tab.
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  6. 6
    Tick the "Show hidden files" under the "Hidden files and folders".
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  7. 7
    Then click "Apply" and "OK".
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Your hidden files will now become visible.

Here are the steps to make the hidden files to become permanently visible:

  1. 1
    Follow the above steps.
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  2. 2
    Right-click the hidden file.
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  3. 3
    Click "Properties".
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  4. 4
    Then untick or uncheck the option "Hidden".
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  5. 5
    Then click "Apply" and "OK".
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Take note that after making your hidden files visible, thoroughly scan your flash drive for viruses using your preferred antivirus program in order to prevent the files to become hidden again.

See more questions like this: How can I remover write protection from my flash disk drive?

How to open my hidden files and folder?

I don't remember the directory and folder name in files, pictures, or videos?

Different operating systems have specific methods of displaying hidden files and folders. If in case you forgot the directories or even the file names, that won't be a problem because you can enable display of folders you have set hidden by performing these set of actions:

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If you are using Windows XP:

  1. 1
    Click on the "Start" button that can be found right at the left lower part of the screen.
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  2. 2
    Choose "Control Panel" from the Start menu.
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  3. 3
    Click on "Appearance and Themes" from the Control Panel menu.
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  4. 4
    Go to "Tools" and click on "Folder Options".
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  5. 5
    Click the "View" tab.
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  6. 6
    Click to enable the "Show Hidden Files and Folders" option.
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  7. 7
    Click "Apply" and "OK".
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For Windows Vista, take these steps:

  1. 1
    Go to "Start" button that can be found on the bottom left part of the screen.
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  2. 2
    Click on "Control Panel".
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  3. 3
    Choose "Classic View".
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  4. 4
    Click on "Folder Options".
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  5. 5
    Go to "View" tab.
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  6. 6
    Select and check on the "Show hidden files and folders" option.
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  7. 7
    Click "Apply" and "OK".
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If you are using Windows 7, perform the following actions:

  1. 1
    Click on the "Start" button located at the lower left portion of the screen.
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  2. 2
    Go to "Control Panel".
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  3. 3
    Click on the "Category" button found on the right upper corner of the menu.
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  4. 4
    In the drop-down menu bar, choose "Small Icons".
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  5. 5
    Click on "Folder Options" from the "All Control Panel Items".
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  6. 6
    Select "View" tab and enable the "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" option.
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  7. 7
    Click on "Apply" and "OK" buttons.
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See more questions like this: How to unhide files and folders hidden by virus

My d: drive is almost full but I can't see any file on it. I've already use the tool menu to show hidden files but nothings happen?

I can't seem to show hidden files on my drive, but the drive is almost full. What can I do?

You may want to try defragmenting your drive. Sometimes, when it's too fragmented, you'll find that there's a lot of wasted space on the drive. Just keep in mind that it will take some time to do this, but it will be worth it, as you'll free up space and have a more organized drive.

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Also, check whether you have applications under drive D. In this case, even when there are no files, it will appear full because you're running applications from the drive.

Lastly, make sure you clear out any temporary files, downloaded files, or system cache files and folders. Sometimes these can be quite large, and take up much more space than you need to run your system.

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See more questions like this: My flash drive displays as empty yet when I view the properties I can see the flash has data. How can I see this data

How to view my hidden file that I hid?

I just clicked on one of my folders and accidentally hid it. Now, when I'm trying to find my file, I can't see it in search results anymore.

You can choose to view hidden files and folders on your PC by taking the following steps:

  1. 1
    Open any folder.
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  2. 2
    Click on "Organize" button
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  3. 3
    Choose "Folder and Search Options"
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  4. 4
    Hit the "View" tab
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  5. 5
    Select "Show hidden files and folders" option
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  6. 6
    Uncheck "Hide protected operating system files"
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  7. 7
    Click "Apply" and "OK" button
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See more questions like this: I had hidden my folder in WinXP using cmd attrib +s +h "d:xyz" plus I denied it

How to show hidden files from memory card and flash drive?

In my flash drive some files in Microsoft Office word are shown, but the others in the form of folders are hidden. How can I show these files with the command prompt?

Just take the following steps to unhide the hidden files on your memory card and flash drive using command prompt.

  1. 1
    Connect your flash drive or memory card to your PC.
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  2. 2
    Click Start then Type CMD on the search field and then hit enter.
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  3. 3
    On your Computer/My Computer, look for the drive letter allocated for your removable disk, i.e.
    Removable disk (F:).
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  4. 4
    Type F:
    on the Command Prompt, then hit enter.
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  5. 5
    Type in attrib -s -h -r /s /d then hit enter.
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  6. 6
    That's it.
    You have now successfully unhidden the hidden files on your Removable Disk (F:) using the command prompt.
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See more questions like this: How to show the files when it is hidden

How can I revive my hidden file from my USB?

What can I do to retrieve hidden files from my USB drive?

Please take the following actions to unhide the hidden files on your USB flash drive.

  1. 1
    Connect your flash drive to your PC.
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  2. 2
    Click the "Start" button, then on the search field, type-in CMD and then hit enter.
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  3. 3
    On your Computer, look for the drive letter allocated for your USB flash drive.
    For example your USB flash drive is detected as Removable disk (F:), so it is "F".
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  4. 4
    Go back to the Command prompt and then type "F:" without the quotes, then hit enter.
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  5. 5
    Now, type-in "attrib -s -h -r /s /d" without the quotes and then enter.
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  6. 6
    That's it.
    You can now view the hidden files on your USB flash drive.
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You can properly retrieve or recover your hidden files from your USB by simply making your hidden files visible by following the steps provided in this wiki using command prompt.

Another way to recover your hidden files without using command prompt (which is much easier) is to simply unhide your hidden files using the Folder Options.

Here's how to unhide hidden files using a computer that has Windows 7 OS installed:

  1. 1
    Open any folder or click start then click computer.
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  2. 2
    On the top left part of the window, click organize then folder and search options.
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  3. 3
    A new small window will open then click the view tab.
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  4. 4
    In the view tab, tick or mark the "show hidden files" option then click apply and OK.
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  5. 5
    Your USB will now show you all the hidden files stored which you can now retrieve easily.
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For your reference, please watch this video on how to unhide hidden files using the Folder Options:

http://screencast.com/t/4ByU0nuVt

See more questions like this: How can I get back the files hidden in my USB

Some data on my USB pen drive is not visible. How to make it visible again?

Hi Aien20! My USB drive contained a software folders of size approx. last day I noticed that the software folder was completely empty showing its properties as 0.0GB, 0 files, 0 folders, but the total occupied drive size is 5GB more than the visible data. I tried all command prompt and showing hidden and protected system files from folder options but didn't work. Please suggest me how can I recover my very important software, thanks

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See more questions like this: When I format it says "Windows unable to finish format" when I go to cmd it says "format failed" and its a raw file system

Can you explain the attrib -s -h -r /s /d line. Exactly what are these attributes are doing?

Hi Aien20 please explain why these files will be hidden all the times. What exactly is the problem? Is it related to the pen drive or I have problem with my laptop. I know that attrib line is doing something related to the attributes of the files. Can you explain me what exactly it is doing?. Also why these files will be opened in Linux why not on Windows?. All the Windows file format I can open in fedora but fedora I can't open in Windows why? I think I have asked many questions at once hope you will have patience to explain each. Thank You. My email ID is You can send me the links to read the answers to my questions. Thanks again.

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Hi sure I can explain what each attribute switch does:

  1. 1
    -s :
    Remove System File Attribute. The operating system will no longer hide this file as a system file. Be careful not to delete system files. They are there for a reason. You can omit this flag if the file is not hidden as a system file.
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  2. 2
    -h :
    Remove Hidden File Attribute. After removing the hidden attribute the file will become visible in most cases (unless it is marked as system for example.)
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  3. 3
    -r :
    Remove Read Only Flag. If the files this command runs on were read only, they will now become writable. This may or may not be desirable depending on what you are trying to do. Typically your data files will not be read only so that is why it is included in the above command.
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  4. 4
    /s :
    Apply the above attribute modifications to all files in this folder and all subfolders.
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  5. 5
    /d :
    Apply the above attribute modifications to the folders themselves too. Sometimes people will hide a folder and then any files inside will not be visible. This will make all the folders and subfolders visible.
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See more questions like this: Is this correct attrib -s -h -r /d /s E: *.*

It don't works and my USB says 404 but it works, not works on PC but on phone it works?

'It don't works and my USB says 404 but it works, not works on PC but on phone it works.

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See more questions like this: I can't find my files when connected to my PC through Mass Storage but I can still see them from the phone?

How to access saved documents which has been hidden by a virus?

My removable disk looks to be full when checked from the My Computer window but is empty when opened. I've tried attrib -s -h -r /s /d but it didn't work. Also enabled showing of hidden folders but still to no avail

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VisiHow QnA. This section is not written yet. Want to join in? Click EDIT to write this answer.

How to unhide folders on a USB stick after a virus infection turning them in to screensaver extension?

What a surprise to see the chat. Yesterday, I had a virus infection on USB. I managed to remove using Malwarebytes, avast and Norton, on USB (D: drive). Today, I would like to recover the lost files and folders unhiding them on Windows 7.

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See more questions like this: How to unhide USB files after a virus?

I get the message invalid switch /b but I cannot find the files what is the problem?

What does the message of an invalid switch /b mean? Am I doing something wrong?

The correct switch is actually /d. You are seeing this message because the system does not understand what /b means. Please use /d instead, and you'll be able to get your hidden files restored, so that you're able to view and access them normally going forward.

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See more questions like this: What is the solution if the problem was like this, attrib corrupted

Assume that you would like to ran both Windows XP and three different version of Linux .discuss how could this computer be designed to allow echoic of operating systems to boot from. What would the bootstrap program need to do

How to ran two operating system

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See more questions like this: How to solve computer problems?

Hi, I lost harddrive info, reinstalled Windows 7 but can't retrieve files?

My hard drive crashed I have lost all my info, can you help? I have tried: I don't know, it just would"not boot up, so I reinstalled Windows and lost everything

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See more questions like this: How can I overclock my RAM in my Windows 7 Compaq PC?

Failing to show hidden folders?

I have tried unhiding the folders but it is giving access denied, and when I try to change through control panel it doesn't do, it keeps reverting back to DON'T SHOW HIDDEN FILES

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How can I remove a virus from my laptop?

I have a virus on my laptop. What can I do about it?

To remove a virus on your laptop, you'll need to have some form of antivirus program installed. The top five paid choices for 2014, according to PC Mag, are:

  • Webroot AntiVirus
  • Norton AntiVirus
  • Kaspersky AntiVirus
  • Bitdefender AntiVirus
  • F-Secure AntiVirus

If you don't have an antivirus program installed, you'll need to try and figure out which virus you have by writing down any of the messages it displays, and then searching the internet to figure out what it is, and how you can remove it. This is best done by completely disconnecting the infected computer from the internet, switching off any wireless and Bluetooth connections, and then using another system to search for removal techniques.

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Once you figure out the virus you have, and how to remove it, you'll want to start in Safe Mode (Windows), and begin the removal process from there. However, it's important to note that some malicious programs, virus applications, and malware can be deeply embedded, and prevent you from easily locating them. Often in such cases it's easier just to back up your data and reinstall your operating system.

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If you're on a budget, you can use free antivirus and malware programs, that do not require you to pay for them when used for personal use. Two of the best are:

  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
  • AVG AntiVirus Free

They aren't aways as good as paid versions, but they are solid enough that you won't be completely exposed to malware and computer viruses. In fact, many people only use free antivirus programs, with some experts even claiming that they are close enough to have no significant differences when used for personal use.

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See more questions like this: How can I remove the USB virus using cmd remover

Is this free advice online? I have got here via a Google search?

I am trying to access hidden files in AppData on a second hard drive USB

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I cannot see any item on my desktop?

My desktop is hidden, I cannot see anything on it expect I have to open a folder then click desktop

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Hi, I am using an Android mobile. The 8GB SD card on mobile is almost occupied with almost 7.5gb. However, I don't see all the folders which makes it up to 7.5gb?

This SD card when inserted to my mobile via USB card reader does not show all the files which comprises of nearly 7.5 GB.

I feel that there are hidden files and folders on this card and I want to get find out what these files are, whether important to me or not, so that I can manage the space on my SD card. Any help would be much appreciated?

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I have even tried the organize ? folder option > Show hidden files option. Still no go.

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See more questions like this: My mobile is LG G3, when I attach it with PC on Screen show sG3. I open it then it shows internal and SD card memory, when I open any memory, data do not show?

How can I get those documents back?

My flash contains documents of 7GB but when I open I see only one picture.

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