How to Hide or Show Protected Operating System Files

Protected operating system files are hidden system files and folders.

If you wish to unhide them, follow these steps:

Open Windows 10 File Explorer Options. Follow these steps to complete this task: Open Run by pressing Windows + R. Type control folders and press Enter.

Navigate to the “View” tab.

Select “Show hidden files, folders, and drives.” Keep in mind, you can only see the protected operating system files when you select this option.

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 pop-up.

Click the “OK” button.

How to Hide Protected Operating System Files

Go to the “View” tab of File Explorer Options.

Check “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).”

When the above step is performed, only protected operating system files are hidden. However, the normal 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.

That’s all.

Here’s an alternate method:

Launch the Registry Editor.

Before proceeding, I recommend taking a backup of the Registry.

Go to the following: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Explorer > Advanced.

Locate ShowSuperHidden in the right pane and double-click it.

In the Value data field, provide 1 (to show) or 0 (to hide).

Hit the OK button.

Restart the File Explorer.

That’s all.


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How To Raj was founded and run by Thirumalraj, an MCA graduate. Since August 2015, he has been blogging on his other blog, Technology Hint. Learn more about How To Raj here.