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How To Display Hidden Files In Windows XP
 
Introduction:
There are many reasons why someone would want to see all the hidden files in Windows XP. One of the main reasons is to find spy ware, viruses and the many temporary files some programs create and drop on your hard drive. All of these files carry potential damage to your PC, your personal data, or even just to the response time of your system.
 
Microsoft believes you have no reason to see these hidden files and by default they turn this feature off. They don't want you to accidentally delete something they think you need. For the novice computer user, that might be a fine concept; but in reality it wasn't a practical idea
 
Gather Together:
Your PC and some PC knowledge
 
 
 
Step 1:
On your desktop find the icon that says "My Computer" and click on it once.
 
Step 2:
Click on the line that says "Local Disk (C:)
Step 3:
When the contents of the C:\ drive are displayed. Click on the menu item at the top that says "Tools" and then select "Folder Options".
 
Step 4:
A pop-up window will be displayed showing 3 tabs at the top; "General", "View" and "File Type". Click on the center tab entitled "View".
 
Step 5:
There are 2 sections here. The top section "Folder Views", dictates how your changes will be applied to your files. Make sure the "Apply To All Folders" button is highlighted.
 
Step 6:
The 2nd section at the bottom "Advanced Settings", contains a number of folders with system settings under each folder. By default Windows XP will display these folders in an open status. Which means, the first folder you should see is "Files and Folders" and it's contents. If you don't see that, find that folder and click it open.
 
Under "Files and Folders" you will see a sub-folder entitled "Hidden Files and Folders". If it's not open, click it open and you will see 2 settings. The first setting is the default and the radio button is probably clicked on. Click on the second setting "Show hidden files and folders" to display those files in your file display window.
 
Click OK and you're done. The hidden files and folders will now be displayed in your file manager window for your computer.
 
Additional Tips:
Scan through all the settings in the Advanced Settings window and become familiar with how your system is configured. This may not mean anything to the novice PC owner; but later on when you want to change a configuration on your machine, you might remember where you saw it.
 
If you have a problem with your PC, ALWAYS do a Google search for the issue. You will find tons of information and good step by step how to's out there on the web to help you out.
 
Be Careful:
Be very careful removing files and folders from your PC. It is very easy to delete program files that you need in order for your Windows system to work properly.
 
Created: 07.25.2009       Updated: 07.25.2009
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