A Step-by-Step Guide on How To View Hidden Files on Your PC, Mac, USB or External Drive

Did you know that you can hide your personal data in the form of files on all operating systems?

Did you know that there could be a huge range of hidden files and folders on your hard drive or USB?

There are a few easy methods to hide your files, and once hidden, they can’t be easily accessed by others.

Add Pattern Lock In Your Android/iPhone/Windows Smartphones

Operating systems come with sensitive hidden files by default to keep things simple, and you can’t access these files unless you unhide them. We might accidentally hide files and folders and later want to see them on our devices again. There are many apps that will let you hide files and folders, but there are built-in OS file-hiding features of different platforms which are relatively unknown.

What we’re going to review in this article are the way in which you can unhide folders on the Mac, PC, USB, and external hard drives.

Hide Sensitive Photos And Videos In Your iPhone/iPad

All operating systems allow you to toggle whether hidden files are displayed or not, and toggling this option is relatively straight-forward. If you’re using Windows, a virus or other malware could be causing your hidden files to not display. Fixing it requires opening the Windows Registry, but should only take a couple of minutes.

So let’s dive into how to check hidden files on Mac, how to show hidden folders on a hard drive, and how to show hidden folders on a USB.

How To View Hidden Files On A USB Or External Hard Drive In Windows OS:

There are two ways to view hidden files in Windows OS. It is very simple to view hidden files in Windows OS as compared to other OS platforms. The best part is you don’t need any specific commands or tools to access hidden files.

Method 1 (This PC):

1. First, click on ‘This PC’.
2. Now click on ‘Organize’ button in the top left corner. A drop-down menu will appear.
3. From the drop-down, click on ‘Folder And Search Options’.
4. A new window “Folder Options” will open, and in there you should click on the ‘View’ tab.
5. There, in the ‘Advanced settings’ section, click on ‘Show Hidden Files, Folders or Drives’.
6. Then, click on ‘OK’. Now, you can view the hidden files and folders. You can also hide them again through the same process if you wish.

Method 2 (Control Panel):

1. Go to ‘Control Panel.’
2. Click on ‘Appearance and Personalization.’
3. A new window ‘Folder Options’ will open, within that window click on the ‘View’ tab.
4. There, in the ‘Advanced settings’ section, click on ‘Show Hidden Files, Folders or Drives.’
5. Then, click on ‘OK.’ Now, you can view the hidden files and folders. Again, you can hide them again through the same process.

How To View Hidden Files On A USB Or External Hard Drive In Mac:

In Mac OS, you have to take advantage of Terminal to reveal or view hidden files or folders in the device. Terminal is the native command-line tool that comes built into all Mac computers. It enables you to change permissions on files and folders.
1. Open Terminal found in Finder > Applications > Utilities

2. In Terminal, copy and paste the following exactly as written: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
3. Press the ‘Return’ key.
4. Hold the ‘Option’ or ‘Alt’ key, then right-click on the Finder icon in the dock and click ‘Relaunch.’
5. Click on your external hard drive under the ‘Devices’ heading in Finder to show all of your hidden files. To hide them again, follow the same steps but replace the Terminal command with this: defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO

So, it’s not the longest set of instructions or the biggest command to commit your changes to memory. But, if you’re doing this a lot, it’s worth spending a few minutes learning this now to save yourself a lot of time going forward. If you find any problem or have any queries, please let us know in the comment section below!

What Are Hidden Folders?

The Mac operating system has special folders that have information on your devices’ OS. If you inadvertently delete or change these particular fodlers, it could crash your PC or Max and make it unusable. Many apps are have hidden folders with store settings, and data about the documents that you’re currently using.

In many cases, Mac’s Finder program, and Windows Explorer doesn’t provide you the option of viewing these files.

Which method do you use to view hidden files on your PC or Mac?