Protected operating system files are hidden system files and folders.
If you wish to unhide them, follow these steps:
Open Windows 11 File Explorer Options. Follow these steps to complete this task: Open Run by pressing Windows + R. Type control folders and press Enter key.
Navigate to the View tab.
Select Show hidden files, folders, and drives.
Uncheck the “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)” option. You can find this one between “Hide folder merge conflicts” and “Launch folder windows in a separate process.”
Click Yes on the confirmation popup.
Click the OK button, and that’s it.
How to Hide Protected Operating System Files
Go to the View tab of Windows 11 File Explorer Options.
Check the Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
Only protected operating system files are hidden when the above step is performed. However, regular hidden items are still displayed.
Select Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives if you wish to hide those items.
Click the OK button.
Here’s an alternate method to hide or unhide:
Launch the Windows 11 Registry Editor. Before proceeding, I recommend taking a backup of the Registry.
Go to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced.
Locate ShowSuperHidden in the right pane and double-click it.
Provide 1 (to show) or 0 (to hide) in the Value data field. Hit the OK button.
I hope this guide, “How to Hide or Unhide Protected Operating System Files,” is helpful to you.
Thanks for reading.