How to Hide or Unhide Files and Folders in Windows 11

This article describes steps to hide or unhide files and folders easily when using Windows 11.

Windows lets you hide files and folders using the hidden attribute. Removing the hidden attribute will unhide the files and folders. By default, protected operating system files are marked with hidden and system attributes.

When you hide a file or folder, its icon is dimmed (faded) in File Explorer indicating it’s hidden. You unhide files and folders by removing the hidden attribute, showing a standard file and folder icon.

Below is how to hide or unhide files and folders in Windows 11.

Hide and unhide documents in Windows 11

As described above, Windows lets you hide files and folders using a hiddle attribute. When files and folders are hidden, they are not readily visible in the standard File Explorer view.

There are multiple ways to hide or unhide files and folders in Windows. Below are a few of them.

Hide or unhide files and folders using the file or folder properties window

To use the file or folder properties window, right-click on the folder you which to hide its content. Then select the Properties command on the context menu.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut (Alt + Enter) to open the Properties window.

windows context menu properties command
Windows context menu properties command

In this case, we want to hide the Pictures folder.

On the Properties window, under the General tab, check the next to Hidden in the Attributes section to hide the folder and its content. Click the OK button to apply.

To unhide the folder and its content, right-click the item, then select Properties (Alt + Enter). Uncheck the box next to Hidden, in the Attributes section to unhide.

windows item propertie window
windows item properties window

When you click OK, choose one of the following options:

  • Apply changes to this folder only
  • Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files
windows item attribute to hide or unhide files and folders
windows item attribute to hide or unhide files and folders

Then click OK to apply.

Hide or unhide files and folders using commands

Alternatively, you can hide or unhide files and folders using the Command Prompt or the Windows PowerShell app.

To do that, open the Windows Terminal app. Then select either Command Prompt or PowerShell tab to use.

Use the command format below to hide folders and their content.

attrib +h "full path of folder"

Unhide folders and their content

attrib -s -h "full path of folder"

To hide or unhide a single file, you will specify the full path of the file, including the file extension.

attrib +h "C:\Users\<username>\Documents\file.txt"
attrib -s -h "C:\Users\<username>\Documents\file.txt"

Examples:

Hide folders and subfolders and files.

attrib +h "full path of folder" | attrib +h "full path of folder\*" /s /d

Unhide folders and subfolders and files

attrib -s -h "full path of folder" | attrib -s -h "full path of folder\*" /s /d

To hide the Pictures folder demonstrated above, you will run the commands below.

attrib +h "C:\Users\<username>\Pictures\" | attrib +h "C:\Users\<username>\Pictures\*" /s /d

Replace <username> with your Windows account profile name.

To unhide, run the commands below.

attrib -s -h "C:\Users\<username>\Pictures\" | attrib -s -h "C:\Users\<username>\Pictures\*" /s /d

That should do it!

Conclusion:

This post showed you how to hide or unhide files and folders in Windows 11. If you find any error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below.