XP: “Show hidden files and folders” Doesn’t Work

The symptom of this problem is every time you select the Show hidden files and folders options under Folder Options, the screen just flashes and when you click OK and the hidden files and folders are still hidden. If you have this problem, you may have some type of virus or spyware on your computer. Most times, this issue can be solved by running a scan with MalwareBytes or Spybot. Other times, you can fix this problem by editing the registry.

1. Click Start > Run and type REGEDIT

2. Click the plus sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER
then SOFTWARE
then Microsoft
then Windows
then CurrentVersion
then Explorer
then Advanced

On the right side, double click the hidden value and give it a value of 1.

You should now be able to enable hidden files and folders.

Comments

  1. Parth says

    Yeah. this method actually WORKS! so you have to change the ” Hidden “‘s value to 1 and CLOSE REGISTRY EDITOR to make the Magic happen ;)

  2. Sami says

    I have the same problem with my windows xp. whenever I mark the “Do not show hidden files and folders” in folder option, it automatically get back to the “show hidden files and folders” when I refresh on the desktop. I tried both ways; changing the registry and running computer scan for virus using kaspersky, but still the problem not fixed. can anyone help please?

    Thanks,

  3. Rok says

    i change value in regedit and it works fine!! if anyone have problem findin it in _USER try _ROOT ..

    thanks!!

  4. shotalex says

    jus google wormblaster(its free), it will remove the virus and at the same time restore ur registry. :)

    hope this helps
    God Bless

  5. Rajendrakumar says

    It worked
    Thank you very much

    How to remove win32.kido.bu, isyyabr.dll, i tried kasper and norton.It detect and deletes when i restart the system it comes back

  6. Ralph says

    In my case: MalwareBytes picked up a Hijacker.Hidden object so I have cleaned that and this has resolved the issue.

  7. Ralph says

    I attempted to implement the solution above but unfortunately without success.

    Anything else I can try?

  8. Eddy says

    It worked fine for me. Now I would like more info about this virus; how can I detect and destroy it?
    My anti virus program certainly doesn’t find anything.

    Thanks twice, once for the top and one in advance.

  9. Harry says

    For those who have not got the above to work first time, I recommend restarting in Safe Mode by pressing F8 at start up and performing the steps outlined above. This stops the virus from starting up and will allow you to view your hidden files once you restart. It is then important to perform a full virus scan and clean up immediately once you restart your PC.

    To the OP, thanks for your helpful advice.

  10. Nero der Kaiser says

    works perfectly..to those who are not working do a virus scan to remove the virus..then do the steps

    its not working for you because the virus is still there

  11. Yoki says

    It works to my Susa Laptop this is just a temporary solution. Is their any permanent solution to this issue since it is a virus infections.

    Thanks…

  12. mrGT says

    Yes! the same thing happens to me also… as soon as i close the registry editor, the value becomes 0 again…
    please help!

  13. dkc_love says

    I tried but it did not work for me. The value set is alreay 1 but it is still not working…any other options

  14. aero says

    Doesn’t work for me. I set the Value from 0 to 1 and close the registry editor. Then when i open it the value is back to 0.

  15. kamal says

    I have The symptom of this problem is every time you select the Show hidden files and folders options under Folder Options, the screen just flashes when you click OK and the hidden files and folders are not unhidden.

  16. rajjie says

    hey toren thanks for that fix it worked for me! ive done all sorts – virus scans, regedits etc. but this one worked. Thanks again

  17. rebecca says

    My registry entries only go to Current Version and there are no further entries. I’ve even done a registry compare & repair and it didn’t fill in those values. Can this be done manually?

  18. ARSLAN CH says

    thanks a lot, it worked, its very useful for me because my very important data was being dispose off. but this work than. thanks a lo.

  19. chirag Patel says

    It worked for me….use following method..
    1. Click “Start” -> “Run…” (or press Windows key + R)
    2. Type “regedit” and click “Ok”.
    3. Find the key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorer
    AdvancedFolderHiddenSHOWALL
    4. Look at the “CheckedValue” key… This should be a DWORD key. If it isn’t, delete the key.
    5. Create a new key called “CheckedValue” as a DWORD (hexadecimal) with a value of 1.
    6. The “Show hidden files & folders” check box should now work normally. Enjoy!

  20. Vin says

    Try this method

    1- Click Start –> Run –> regsvr32 /i browseui.dll
    2- Click Start –> Run –> regsvr32 /i shell32.dll

  21. sesi says

    i had this virus that affected my external drive and turned all my folders into applications. after running anti-virus program the application folders all disappeared but the folders containing my information is no longer there, but when i type the path in the address bar it comes, what can i do to see all my folders.

  22. Macharla Suresh says

    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
    Change the value of Checked Value to 1″ is working ,
    Thanks a lot

  23. Kathiravan.I says

    Hi,
    Thanks a ton…

    it worked for me and now i can view my files back…

    Thanks again.

    With regards,
    kathir :))

  24. Arash says

    Hi
    what is the virus’s name?
    what is its effects ?
    I have the same problem and another problem plus this.
    when I double click on “My computer” and then double click on a Local drive for EXAMPLE F: it opens another windows
    that doesn’t seem cool.

  25. kasun says

    “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
    Change the value of Checked Value to 1″ is working ,
    Thanks a lot

    kasun

  26. Jon says

    Thanks, by a combination of 69, 129 and running AVG I was finally able to get into the hidden temporary internet files and delete them. One of them was causing defrag to hang up.

  27. Brajmohan Kumar says

    I tried all registry tweaks even the “regsvr32 /i shell32.dll” command, but nothing worked.
    After trying “msconfig” utility found a file in startup named “herss.exe” in my temp folder.
    The DOS attrib command also refused to work as the file is set to read-only and hidden both.
    Finally I restarted my machine using Linux(I use both windows XP and Slack on my laptop) and deleted the autorun.inf and the herss.exe and one more .exe file(I couldn’t remember the name, but autorun.inf file was pointing to it).
    Once the deletion was done, the registry tweaks worked.

    p.s. : I have both AVG and K7 subscription.

  28. imran says

    I follow your suggestion and gave the hidden value of 1. But it doesn’t works. when i select show all files clicking on Folder Option>View then doesn’t work. Then i check the Hidden value of Registry and saw that Hidden value becames 2. Could you please give

  29. aarthi says

    Hi sina,
    In my computer, the modified display settings are not stored. Every time I had restart, the monitor appears in old settings. How do i correct this? . Kindly help me.

  30. rambo says

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced
    and then change value of hidden from 0 to 1

    the value did not change please help me

  31. miroj rayamajhi says

    thanks for your suggestion i used this suggestion and show my hidden files and folders and save my documents.

  32. siddhu says

    Hi Sina
    following details appears in text file when run C:\autorun.inf

    [AutoRun]

    open=2nuk.com
    shell\open\Command=2nuk.com

    please help me to delete this virus.

  33. Ranjith says

    the C:/autorun.inf file pointed out to ktly.exe..I need solutions on how to extract this virus out..
    this virus prevents opening of system hidden files and also, opens drives in a new window when double clicked.

  34. dexkie says

    1- Click Start –> Run –> regsvr32 /i browseui.dll –> enter

    A confirmation message will appear like given below

    2- Click Start –> Run –> regsvr32 /i shell32.dll

    Wait for the confirmation and click OK.

  35. Rohit says

    i also faced the same problem and i did as per the instruction given by some users and it worked for me.
    after changing the value to 1 you should restart your computer, then it will work perfectly. Do not touch the show hidden files and folder in folder option on the toolbar.

  36. danial says

    hi you can get hiddne files by giving path for exemple if u have a hiddne games folder then go to my computer and give the path e:game yopu will get that folder

  37. kedar says

    i want solve my usb problem my usb not working properly
    so you tell me about the this matter.as well as some tips
    accepted from you about computer. tell me about the bios setting.

    thanks
    kedar

  38. alex says

    I was able to remove the virus causing this problem using “Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware”.

    now my show hidden files working fine.

  39. rajeev mehta says

    hi sina i had get rid of the problem but in my friend pc both the option show hidden file,and donot show hidden file are dotted can u help me

  40. pengovsky says

    For me it turned out that the problem is Search & Destroy. I had to disable its scanner first and then the usual change via dialog box worked as expected

  41. Mike says

    I have the virus ravmon.exe. How do I remove it. Im trying to access hidden files and cant do it. I have AVG installed and it does not detect any viruses. Any help will be appreciated. Thanks in advance

  42. arabi says

    in the LOCAL_MACHINE not only CURRENT_USER: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
    Change the value of Checked Value to 1. It worked for me.

  43. eehjhay says

    Some XP users doesn’t have that /Folder/Showall in the registry, like in my two laptops.

    You can change the files’ and folders’ attributes so that they won’t be hidden.

    1. Go to Start > Run > then type cmd > press Ok
    2. Go to your drive C: or wherever you want to change the attributes (type cd if you are in a subfolder; type c: if you are in a different drive)
    3. Type ATTRIB -s -h *.* /s /d
    4. Wait until it finish its process
    5. Check in your Windows Explorer if you can now see the files and folders you wanted to see (NOTE: change back to hidden the boot.ini, ntldr, and ntdetect.com)
    6. Make sure you permenantly delete the Autorun.inf under the drive C (to do this, hold the Shift key, right click the Autorun.inf, then click Delete, Confirm the deletion of the file)

    If you can find the .exe file that the Autorun.inf associating with, then delete that .exe file as well.

  44. mahmud says

    hi everybody
    I have a problem with my files in my computer /
    some of file deleted some hided and some changed the address and I cannt find them .
    please help me because this problem cause very problem for me.,
    thanks alot

  45. Crawler says

    I tried all the steps. It was working fine. When i restarted my pc the thing was back on. I have scanned my pc with latest av and it doesnt detect anything. Any idea what could be the problem.
    Also, in the autorun.inf file there is some filename with extension .com and not .exe. is that normal or its some other variant of the virus.

  46. szereshki says

    hi all!
    @vikendra: after removing your virus with ANY updated AV–>Post No.85
    @Gauraw: you could enable it again (after cleaning your system using group policy editor. Type gpedit.msc in run: user config.>admin. templates>win. components>win. explorer:
    double click “Remove the folder options menu…” and disable it. after a restart (if no virus) it will be back.
    Sina

  47. szereshki says

    Hi Erin. Are you sure it doesn’t clean them? All AVs could clean detected viruses in some way (Cleaning, deleting, or quarantining viruses or in the case that virus is active and locked, cleaning it on next boot.). So its most likely not to be any virus files there (rescan after next reboot to make sure). But the general solution is using attrib dos command to unhide them:
    Attrib C:\WINDOWS\system32\kxvo.exe -h -s to unhide kxvo.exe
    If its locked, try Unlocker (free software) to unlock it and delete it.
    Let me know the result
    thx
    Sina

  48. szereshki says

    Hi Erin. Are you sure it doesn’t clean them? All AVs could clean detected viruses in some way (Cleaning, deleting, or quarantining viruses or in the case that virus is active and locked, cleaning it on next boot.). So its most likely not to be any virus files there (rescan after next reboot to make sure). But the general solution is using attrib dos command to unhide them:
    Attrib C:\WINDOWS\system32\kxvo.exe -h –s to unhide kxvo.exe
    If its locked, try Unlocker (free software) to unlock it and delete it.
    Let me know the result
    thx

  49. erin says

    hi sina! i’m erin, and i have this problem. my eset smart security found 5 viruses and wasnt able to clean it up. so i tried to delete them in the said destination but then i found out that they are hidden files. and yeah, the “show hidden files button’ wasnt working. so what do i do?

    This are the viruses that eset gave me… it’s killing me!

    C:\l2quk.exe – Win32/Pacex.Gen virus – unable to clean
    C:\Documents and Settings\Irene\Local Settings\Temp\lh4yhy4.dll – Win32/Pacex.Gen virus – unable to clean
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\fool0.dll – Win32/Pacex.Gen virus – unable to clean
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\ieso0.dll – Win32/Pacex.Gen virus – unable to clean
    C:\WINDOWS\system32\kxvo.exe – Win32/Pacex.Gen virus – unable to clean

    thanks!:)

  50. szereshki says

    Alert! new virus which nod32, symantec, … does not find it yet. it disables yahoo messenger and changes show hidden files as above. it sets an autorun on flash disks and other drives and its exe file is m9j.com (on my system at least)
    Sina

  51. szereshki says

    Thx everybuddy.
    @Sahil: If you checked your system with an updated AV and found nothing there should be some possibilities: a new Virus!? which is still active on your system, or you didn’t perform all the steps we said before precisely.
    Sina

  52. ALPESH says

    hi dear all.
    i was suffering the same problem,and tried the all things that a user can.
    i clear the same hidden files problem. wih AVAST 4.0 AV.

    AND COME BACK TO NORMAL MODE.
    u can also find the AV to :
    http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-professional.html
    .

    just down load the files of 19 MB.
    . run it, allow to restart the system
    .note that AVAST will check the computer in the SATRT UP MODE.
    allow to check it.

    select 2 ( delete all= option.)

    now do following:
    . Click Start > Run and type REGEDIT

    2. Click the plus sign next to HKEY_CURRENT_USER
    then SOFTWARE
    then Microsoft
    then Windows
    then CurrentVersion
    then Explorer
    then Advanced
    On the right side, double click the hidden value and give it a value of 1.

    You should now be able to enable hidden files and folders.

    then the same tihings DO in HKEY_LOCAL_USER.

    pc is cleannn !!!
    Now what u r waiting for, Just GO Ahead!!!
    rgards,

    Alpesh

  53. manojavam says

    hi all i want to register to this website because it is so helpful and i am in need of help. please suggest me how to become a member of it

  54. Ram says

    This really worked

    Make sure the virus is disinfected. Then open your regedit from the windows folder in your system drive and follow this path:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
    Change the value of CheckedValue to 1.
    This should do the trick. :)

    you can also open regedit using the run command in the start menu. just type regedit in run and hit the enter key or click on ok.

  55. ALPESH says

    hi 2 all.
    i did all above said, but stil the problem is unsolved.
    i can’t see hiden files. i have also used many AV.also.
    pls HELP ME DEARS.

  56. szereshki says

    Yes. these problems are almost in windows registry and system and could be removed formating the system.

  57. abhi says

    hi sina
    i have uninstalled each component of norton from add\remove program then manually and even from regedit. so it doesnt detect that it was loaded earlier. so now when i loaded it my subsciption got extended from yesterday till one year. GREAT NAA!!!

  58. szereshki says

    hi abhi
    did u mean you want NAV2003 to be uninstalled so that its setup does not detect a previous subscription? Its a complex and software-depended task and I could not help you. but how about installing a new version? If you want to use NAV legally, you dont need a complete uninstallation, and if ilegally, use the last version then. or you may shift to another AV.
    sina

  59. szereshki says

    hi abhi
    look at inside the autorun file. you should see some executable file name, e.g. open=sys.exe. this file is the infected file. but you could not disinfect your system if you are not a professional in this work. using a good updated AV is recomended. as I know norton (symantec) AV is better than the two others. If it doesnt help, try using nod32, kaspersky or antivir. If you put the name of infected executable here I may help you more. (I am using eset av3 having no problem)
    sina

  60. szereshki says

    How you are sure your system is disinfected? Opening a blank Autorun.inf doesn’t solve the problem and is a temporary solution. Because the main virus threat is still alive. Some AVs doesn’t clean the virus completely, but just some of its secondary files. Try unhiddening xn1i9x.com using “attrib c:\xn1i9x.com –h –s –r”. Is still there? So still infected.
    Another tip: Use “attrib c:\autorun.inf –h –s –r”. Install Unlocker (a free useful program). Right click on autorun.inf->Unlocker. See which process is locking it.
    I am not sure that virus is totally disinfected!

  61. V Ravichandran says

    Hi All,
    I have removed autorun.inf by attrib autorun.inf -s -h -r and del autorun.inf.Then I opened blank autorun.inf in c: drive.So I can open my drives in My computer. Now the challenge is to check show hidden files and folders in folder options in tools menu.Registry settings are not useful.

    Warm Regards,
    V Ravichandran

  62. Armine says

    Dear Sina,
    i am useing antivirus Kaspersky and soon the limit of key will expire, help me please to get a new key in net, if its possible how to search in net.. or if there is a way to make this valid key prolong how to do it.
    best regard

  63. muhammad adil says

    it doesn’t works it shows a message that the specified path does not exist.
    can u help me through mail

  64. sina says

    Dear Suma. the autorun.inf file is in the root of each partition. try deleting them from all drives in safe mode. I mean in safe mode -> run->del [c:]\autorun.inf and do it for the other partitions. but a good AV should be able to remove it as well. if u couldn’t remove it in safe mode so the virus is running as a service. try removing its content. open it and delete all texts inside.
    But I notes that “if virus is completely disinfected usually autorun file should be deletable and if its still locked try scanning ur pc using another AV!”

  65. Sina says

    ObSIDiaN and the others! I am not there on your PC and could not help from here. But another usefull suggestion:
    now you know the name of virus file. its great. ok, but its completely hidden. you know its path. e.g c:\8h3hh3m.exe or something. go to the run or command prompt and type:
    attrib c:\8h3hh3m.exe -h -s
    bingo! you could see it now. But now what? go to virustotal[dot]com and send the file. it will scan it for you with some AVs. now you even know which AV could clean it. ok. why are you still waiting? go ahead! I hope u success!

  66. abhi says

    hi,

    I have followed all above solutions and change the values of registry but it can not work for me .I have also tried RRT and other software but it can’t work also.I used symantec antivirus 10 but after all I am suffering.plz halp me…

  67. ashok says

    i am using winxp2 ,in my pc hidden folders option is not working being the suggestions in the goggle i changed the hidden value as 1 but it is not changing the value when i am changing the value from 2 to 1 it is again showing the values as 2 and also i am having a virus called silty.wdc i am trying allot but is not removed please help me, if any one can send me a mail,
    my mail id : veenapapumailbox@yahoo.co.in

  68. ObSIDiaN says

    btw, my Autorun.inf file was running this exe file:

    8h3hh3m.exe

    This is the Kavo/Taso/Tavo worm/trojan/virus

    Its a viscous one!

  69. ObSIDiaN says

    Okay so if you have the virus I’ve been dealing with, and chances are you do, you can show the hidden files by changing this entry:

    +HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    +SOFTWARE
    +Microsoft
    +Windows
    +CurrentVersion
    +Explorer
    +Advanced
    +Folder
    +Hidden
    NOHIDDEN

    In the NOHIDDEN folder, select CheckedValue and set to 1

    TADA!

    -ObSIDiaN

  70. sina says

    hi folks. as i said before switching back (after making the suggested changes in HKLM and HKCU) means you are steal infected! the infected file has System and Hidden attributes, which makes it completely hidden to you. let’s try this one: (specially V Ravichandran!). open My computer. in the address bar type this:
    c:\Autorun.inf
    if a text file opens means you are infected. you could even see the main virus file name in the text. it means whenever you double clicked on a drive letter, the infected file will execute refering to the autorun file.
    you could clean this autorun and even the infected file. but guys! as i said THE FIRST STEP IS DISINFECTING VIRUS PROCESS! or they all will be switched back not only the show hidden file option.
    you could put the name of EXE file (in autorun.inf) here and maybe i could help more!

  71. mcjam10 says

    No matter what I do mine keep switching back to hidden, If I uncheck other options below that and hit ok, then close it and go back in everything goes back to hidden.

  72. Mike says

    I have the same issue as above, but when I change the regedit and then go to the folder option make the change there to show the hidden folder, I go back into it and it switches back to hidden.

  73. sina says

    Hey suma. As I said before its reverting back generally means that Virus is active yet. Remember that the first step is inactiving the main virus file or it will monitor the changes in registry. Try a good AV to disinfect it first. you may try going to safe mode and disinfect the virus file. check Run keys in registry for anything suspesius. always autoarrange your system32 and windows folder in last modified. It enables you find the last problematic EXE or dll files there.I also suggest you to mark “Show hidden files and folders” and also unmark “Hide protected operating system files”.
    Any problem? Leave a comment and let me know it.

  74. Suma says

    I have same problem, cannot get the value “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL” change to stick??it reverts to 0.

  75. sina says

    hi all. I had the same problem. you should first be sure that the virus is disinfected. I suggest eset av 3. fater that you should change the value in the LOCAL_MACHINE not only CURRENT_USER: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden\SHOWALL
    Change the value of Checked Value to 1. It worked for me. let me know if it works for you or not. thx

  76. Blingg says

    Have removed all viruses, malware, etc… Surfed all over to changing the above reg value. Everyone is the same and have the same results where the hidden value changes back to 2. It must be something different.

  77. admin says

    All of you that are having the problem where this value keeps changing need to read above. You have a virus on your system that is doing it. Get some new antivirus software and run a scan. I recommend AVG Antivirus.

  78. rajiv says

    sir,

    BEST WISHES FOR NEW YEAR 2008 TO YOU & YOUR TEAM.
    Iam never see my hidden files. in folder option i select show hidden files , after some time it also deselect, plz help me , what can i do?

  79. Huzefa says

    Hi i am facing the same problem. and i tried the same thing but the solution u have provided is temporary not permanent. as u the path u have given is current user so it is obvious that it is going to be temporary. i wanted a permanent solution through registry. pls provide me a solution if u can provide.

  80. Jyoti says

    I follow your suggestion and gave the hidden value of 1. But it doesn’t works. when i select show all files clicking on Folder Option>View then doesn’t work. Then i check the Hidden value of Registry and saw that Hidden value becames 2. Could you please give me a mail if you find any solutin for me.

    Regards
    Paul Jyoti