The File Explorer in Windows 10 doesn’t show all files by default. The File Explorer hides many of the system files (operating system files) with default settings. For instance, the desktop.ini, hiberfile.sys, and pagefile.sys are hidden by default.
While hiding operating system files is a good idea to make sure that users don’t delete them accidentally (Windows doesn’t let you delete system files easily though), at times, you might want to view the protected operating system files. For example, you might want to know how much space the hiberfile.sys (hidden by default) is using on your PC.
To view the hidden system files, you need to configure the File Explorer to show protected operating system files and hidden files under Folder Options. Here is how to view hidden system files in Windows 10.
View hidden operating system files in Windows 10
Step 1: Open Folder Options by clicking the File menu in the File Explorer and then clicking Options/Change folder and search options. To know all the ways out there to open Folder Options, refer to our four ways to open Folder Options in Windows 10 guide.
Step 2: Switch to the View tab. Here, deselect Hide protected operating system files (Recommended option). Click the Yes button when you get the confirmation dialog. Deselecting this option alone won’t show hidden files. You need to configure the File Explorer to show hidden files, as mentioned below.
Step 3: Next, select Show hidden files, folders, and drives radio button.
Step 4: Finally, click on the Apply button to view the hidden operating system files.
We recommend you keep the system files hidden always. To hide the files, select Hide protected operating system files checkbox, and then click on the Apply button.
You might also want to know how to hide files and folders in Windows 10.