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Windows 7: Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options

30 Jan 2011   #1

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit
Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options

[Please note I have attached a couple of small screenshots for the following problem]
I have a pretty frustrating problem. I seem to have some hidden files and folders which I CANNOT view in the normal way.
Normally, if I have hidden files and folders and I want to reveal them, I do the normal thing and go to
Tools > Folder Options > View
And I check the box "Show hidden files, folders and drives"

However, I have noticed that a lot of my folders are not visible at all, not even the "transparent icon", even with this box checked, and only become available to see when I do a search for them.

For example, I have a folder with piano lessons in it, of ripped dvds and ripped cds, under the same folder "Learn & Master Piano"
All the ripped DVD lessons are visible in this folder, however, there are sub-folders under "Learn and Master Piano" containing the CD's called variously "Play Along CD 1" and "Play Along CD 2" etc. and there are 5 of them.

However, none of these are visible at all when I go into the folder "Learn and Master Piano". What I have to do is go to the search box and do a search for "Play Along CD" to reveal them in explorer.

I only came across this because it appeared incidentally in explorer when I was searching for other things.

This makes me wonder how many other thousands of files and folders I have downloaded or whatever are totally invisible !!

I did do a "hide folders" a few months back when this was a shared computer, but I have had the box for "Show hidden files, folders and drives" checked for a long time now, and have been toggling it trying to show my hidden files and folders for the "Play Along CD" folders, without any success.

Please help !!
Any help is much appreciated.
Thanks, and regards,

Attached Images
Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options-problem-11.png Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options-problem-2.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 64-bit

Have you tried to uncheck the hide system files option?

You can try to use 7zip.
It is free and safe to use.
It will show all of the folders even the hidden ones.
Once in the folder click on propties and
uncheck the hide this folder option.
Sending a screen shot of the 1st option
I mentioned.


Attached Images
Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options-folder-view.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #3

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Hi jp! And thank you so much for your help.
Okay, this is now HALF solved.
It is half-good news...
When I unchecked the hide system files option, it revealed them, however, the icons of the folders have now have that "transparent" look which files that are hidden are supposed to have I guess, [I attached a photo], when I have hidden files in the past that is what they do, [although I find that strange in itself, because when they look like that, they are not hidden, they just have a transparent icon, and now that I have checked the "show system files" box to reveal them, these files which are not even system files have a transparent icon].

Okay, so I decided to toggle the hide system files box, but when I checked it again, it hid these files again. This is not great news itself, because I really WOULD like my system files to be hidden. I don't want to accidentally delete any, and I am the kind of person who would.
I sometimes go on big deleting sprees, and I could very easily delete something important this way, or even just seeing files when I don't know what they are taking up space and just thinking "I don't need that" and delete it.... I've done this before and ruined my system, and it's easy to do....

7-Zip, huh? I have downloaded it and I am trying it, but from what I can see, it looks like a compression tool.
I can't quite make sense of it, or how to use it for the current purpose at present.
Would you be able to give me the quick steps to use it for this purpose?

It would also be interesting to know why these folders of mine which are filled with mp3 files and other non-system files are being treated as system files by Windows.... I am thinking at present that the Windows "hide files" options are very glitchy....however I am prepared to accept it is myself who is glitchy, but I'm not realizing it...

Thanks again for your help!
Definitely a step in the right direction.

Attached Images
Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options-problem-3.png 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

31 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 64-bit

Ok glad you got the files unhidden.
Yes 7zip is a file compession tool.
With the files you want to see you have to
right click on an empty space in the folder the list will say
propities (can not spell) Click that it will bring out the box
Sending a screen shot.
On the bottom you will see hide uncheck it.
Do this for all the folders you want to unhide.
Then go back to hide system hiden folders
and hide them again so you will not do as you said delete something by
mistake. With windows 7 you can do that anyway it will get mad at you and
tell you do not have admin permission.

As for 7 zip you do not need that now that you have figured out how to
unhide your files.
You can keep it or remove it. It is up to you.
I use it cause it comes in handy to open rars files and to put split files back together.
Like I said it also is good to find hidden files without going thought the files and folders options.


Attached Thumbnails
Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options-screen-1.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #5

Windows 7 64-bit

This is some reading on 7zip just in case you want to know more about it.

Stupid Geek Tricks: Using 7-Zip as a Blazing Fast File Browser - How-To Geek

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Hi jp!
Thanks again for your responses.
7-Zip seems like a useful program.
It does make a useful file browser,
and I can view the hidden files and folders with it,
even when I have the "hide files" box checked.

It is also useful to know that Windows 7 will ask me for permission to delete system files.
However, this is tricky, because Win 7 asks permission for a LOT of things, and it is difficult to know which ones are important, and which are not, and I often just grant permission accidentally or on purpose when it asks.

Part of the problem still remains though.
You mention right-clicking on the folders and selecting Properties, and unchecking the "hidden" box.
Sorry, I forgot to mention, I have already tried that as well. It does not work either.
I have toggled it on a few folders now, and the problem is the same.

I still have the non-system files and folders with the transparent icons, and my system files are still visible, and the only way I can see my many of my folders now is to make the system files visible. ):

However, it is a big help to be able to see them. It would be nice to be able to hide system files and see all my proper files and folders normally without system files being visible and available.

Thank you so much again for your help !! (:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #7

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Actually, just so it doesn't seem like I am nitpicking at this point, a more important part of the problem which I did not mention is that I use a Mac a lot more than my pc these days for certain tasks, because Macs are what we use in my workplace, so I often need to transfer a lot of folders and files from my PC to my Mac.

I back up a lot of files on my PC, and these are easily transferred to my Mac, and they are nearly all visible [although in a "read-only" format, I cannot edit them or write to the external drive on a Mac obviously as it is formatted for PC, but I can copy these read-only files onto my Mac.]

However, the hidden folders and files from my PC are NOT visible on my external drive when I plug it into my Mac, they are not visible.

Even when I have it plugged into my PC, and select "Show System Files" option, and apply this to all the folders and sub-folders, those transparent folders and files I mentioned are still not visible when I plug the external hard drive into my Mac.

This actually is a real dilemma for me at present.

Any further help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much again jp,
and to anyone who can assist with this problem! (:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #8

Windows 7 64-bit

That is ok I have used macs also.
You can always try the take ownership
thing. Take Ownership Shortcut
Just add this and then right click it.
Go to propties and do the hidden thing.
It should work. Windows is holding your files
this should give you ownership not wondows.
But only use it on YOUR FILES.
Do not use it on system files.
This is the last option I have to give you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #9

Windows 7 Professional 32 bit

Hi Jimmy. I just tried to Take Ownership. Sadly for me , the files are still transparent. I will try taking ownership of the files on my external hard drive this afternoon, and see if that reveals them on the drive and makes them visible to my mac, but I have to run out to work right now.

Thanks so much for your help Jimmy, at least I got some files revealed on Windows, if not Mac. :)

Is there anyway I can get a Windows or Microsoft tech here with an answer, because this is such a stupid problem which really should not be happening. Why is Windows treating mp3s and other non-system files as hidden system files? This is so dumb of Windows!! I really can't understand this one.

Thanks again Jimmy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Jan 2011   #10

Windows 7 64-bit

I sent a message to some one on the forum that maybe able to help.
He is a very good person and knows his stuff.
Sorry I could not help anymore that I could.
I am just afraid if we keep fussing with things
it could mess things up.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Cannot view hidden Folders and Files Even When through Folder Options

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