How To Restore “Show Hidden Files and Folders” Option in Vista

Windows Vista certainly offers innovative features to manage your files and folders via the Windows Explorer. These features include both navigation and security related options. One of the most useful security features for files and folders is the capability of Windows Vista to hide them just as Windows XP does.

This is very useful in case of vital or confidential files and folders that you do want others to see, modify, or delete accidentally or purposely. However, there are some situations wherein you need to show off the hidden files and folders. Let us now explore about it in detail.

Problem: Cannot See The Show Hidden Files and Folders Option In The Folder Options Dialog Box

Let us consider a scenario wherein you work on Windows Vista. As you are on the post of Manager, you have stored some most important project plans on the system. Due to security reasons, you have hidden those files. Now, your client is going to sit with you in a meeting to see those plans. Therefore, you want to unhide those files.

To do so, you clicked Folder and Search Options from the Organize menu to open the Folder Options dialog box. Next, you selected the View tab to spot and select the Show hidden files and folders option.

However, surprisingly, you could not find the Show Hidden Files and Folders option as you would normally see in Windows XP. So, what should you do now?

Solution: Restore “Show Hidden Files And Folders” Option In Vista

The only solution to the above problem is to bring back the Show Hidden Files and Folders option. This is the only way to display the hidden files and folders in the Windows Explorer of Windows Vista. Now, the question arises as to how you can do so.

Implement the Solution: Make a Wise Registry Change

It is logical to hit the Registry Editor to solve a problem related to the built-in standard options. Therefore, even in case of restoring the Show hidden files and folders option in Vista, you need to make a small registry hack.

However, before that, do scan your computer, as the absence of this option sometimes indicates the presence of a spyware infection. Nevertheless, the scanner program is not going to bring back the option for you. It is just a security check. Here are the steps to restore this option back into the Folder Options dialog box.

1. Log in as administrator.

2. Click Start --> Run. The Run dialog box is displayed.

3. Enter regedit in the Open text box.
4. Press Enter. The Registry Editor is displayed.

5. Navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Folder\Hidden key. The related keys are displayed on the right side.

6. Spot for the Type key on the right side. In case you do not find the key, create it by right clicking anywhere on the right side, selecting New --> String Value, and specifying Value name as Type.

7. Specify or change its value to group.

8. Close the Registry Editor.

9. Open Windows Explorer.

10. From the Organize menu, click Folder and Search Options. The Folder Options dialog box is displayed.

11. Click the View tab.

12. Verify that the option is restored.