How to Show Hidden Files Using CMD, Control Panel and Software

Jean updated on Nov 06, 2018 to File Recovery | How-to Articles


Virtually you got 3 options to find hidden files and folders on USB flash drive, external disk and computer hard drive, including show hidden files using cmd Command Prompt, Windows control panel, and data recovery software.

Files and folders disappeared from computer hard drive, USB flash drive or external hard disk mysteriously? Suppose that you don't actually delete anything off from a storage location, then they might be hidden by virus, or simply because you don't have the permission to see hidden files and folders in Windows.

Fortunately, hidden files can easily be found so don't panic. The most commonly applied approaches to show hidden files on a Windows computer are through Command Prompt, Windows Control Panel and EaseUS free data recovery software.

What's the best way to show hidden files

It's worth a while to understand in advance which unhide operation is the most applicable. Afterward, choose one method that works best for your own case.

Command Prompt: The most powerful way that virtually works 100% to find hidden items on PC as well as external storage devices. However, it requires higher level computer skills.

Control Panel settings: Easiest to start, at the same time, simply not working in case of virus infection.

Data recovery software: Both easy to use and powerful in finding hidden documents, pictures and all types of files. Only notice that the free version supports file recovery within 2GB.

How to show hidden files and folders on a flash drive or hard disk

Next, let's walk through each unhide guide and make all hidden files and folders appear again.

Option 1. How to show hidden files using attrib cmd?

Step 1. Open Command Prompt (CMD) as an Administrator.
Step 2. Determine the drive on which files are hidden and you want to recover.
Step 3. If it's drive D, then Type attrib -s -h -r /s /d *.* and hit Enter.

Option 2. How to show hidden files using the Windows control panel

Step 1. Open Windows Control Panel and navigate to File Explorer Options in Windows 10, 8.1 and 8.
Step 2. A mini window pops out, navigate to View tab, under which you should see Hidden files and folders section, now tick the option of Show hidden files, folders and drives.

show hidden files using control panel

Option 3. How to show and recover hidden files using EaseUS free data recovery software

In addition to the ability to find all files and folders that were hidden somewhere by a virus or improper file option settings, EaseUS recovery program should also be an ideal choice when it comes to other data loss scenarios, such as deleted file recovery, formatted hard drive recovery, raw drive data recovery and so on.

  • If the hidden files are on an external device, connect it to your computer first.
  • Save the recovered files to another place or location to avoid data overwriting.

STEP 1. Choose the Location.

Open EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, and select the location. For example, if your hidden files are on D drive, just click the D drive.

select the wanted location

STEP 2. Scan the Hidden Files.

Click the "Scan" button and the software will start to scan your drive. All you have to do is wait until the process ends.

scan to find hidden files

STEP 3. Recover the Hidden Files.

After the scan, all of the results will be on the left panel. If you want to find the hidden files quickly, click the "Filter" button and select the file type or location. You can also search the file type or name to find the hidden files.

Then select the hidden files and click the "Recover" button to get the hidden files back.

recover the hidden files right away

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Frequently Asked Qusetions

1. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

2. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

3. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.