How to hide and unhide files quickly in Windows 10

Sometimes, it can be useful to hide some file or folder from the default view of File Explorer. Historically, Windows has had a number of ways to do it. These include classic console commands from the DOS era and the Properties dialog. Newer graphical tools come by default with Windows 10 to hide files. Let us see all the ways to hide files in this article.

The first method involves the classic DOS command "attrib". By typing the following command at the command prompt, you can set the "hidden" attribute for the file "D:\myfile.txt":

attrib +h "D:\myfile.txt"

Once this is done, the file will disappear from File Explorer if hidden files are set to not show.

File Explorer has an option to show hidden and system files. We will look at that option later.

The method described above is suitable for batch files. File Explorer in Windows 10 offers a more useful way to achieve the same:

  1. Select the required files in File Explorer. If you are new to file selection concepts, see the following tutorial: How to invert selection in File Explorer. It is applicable to Windows 10.
  2. Switch to the View tab and click the Hide selected items button.

That's it! The selected items will disappear from File Explorer, unless you have set hidden files to show.

Now, what if you wanted to show the hidden files again? Well, that is quite simple. On the View tab, tick the Hidden items checkbox. The hidden files will appear in the File Explorer window at once. Notice how they appear faded (which is also how they appear when you cut them) because they have the hidden attribute:

To unhide them, select the hidden files and click the same button again, Hide selected items. When you select them, you will notice that the 'Hide selected items' button already appears pressed.

After you click it, the button will return to the normal unpressed state, and the hidden attribute will be removed from all selected files. That's it.

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