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How to Recover Hidden Files and Folders

Updated on June 20, 2011

To make Windows safer, Microsoft has implemented a function which is capable of hiding certain files or folders that are considered to be of pretty high degree of importance such as the system folders or files. If these folders or files are not hidden, users may accidentally alter them in some ways that may lead to temporary or even permanent system crash. But users won’t have to worry about not being able to see the hidden folders and files as they can be shown again by simply altering their properties. However, unfortunately, there have been some cases in which users are not capable to recover their hidden folders and files even if they have set their Windows OS to show hidden items. Most of the time, this is caused by virus attacks or malware. Fortunately, there are couples of ways PC users can approach in the hope of getting those hidden items recovered and displayed again.

To start it off, they can try to adjust the settings in Folder Options. This can be accessed by launching the computer browser or explorer and clicking on the Tools menu. Then, on the Folder Options window, there is a View tab where users should navigate to. Here, they will be able to tell their Windows system to show any hidden items instead of hiding them.

Yet, if this does not work due to viruses or malware, as mentioned earlier, users can still try the attrib command within the command line. They can activate the command line by holding the Windows key followed by pressing R to launch the Run utility and then inserting cmd or command as the command. Yet, before they use this command, it is best for the users to enter dir /ah in advance to see if there really are some hidden items in the currently active directory they are in.

To recover the files using the attrib command, users will have to use proper parameters. For example, they can use attrib –h –s <filename> to remove the hidden and system properties of a certain file. The same applies to recovering a hidden folder. Only, the difference is that users can proceed multiple files using attrib –h –s *.* but they cannot do it with folders.

Just for information, besides –h and –s, there is another parameter that can be used with the attrib command, -r which is used to remove the read only property of a file or folder. However, it does not really matter in recovering a hidden item.

© 2011 Richie Setiawan. All rights reserved worldwide.


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      RichBest 6 years ago

      Hi, everyone, I'm glad you like it and that it's useful. :) I would also be very grateful in case you would kindly share it to your friends, relatives and all other people you may know. Thank you. :) I'll come back with other great hubs soon. Check back often! :)

    • Teylina profile image

      Teylina 6 years ago

      Oooh, need this! Thank you so much!!!