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 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.


  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?