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44. Show Protected Operating System Files

Recommended: Click here to fix Windows errors and optimize system performance

Protected operating system files are hidden to prevent them from being inadvertently deleted. This is a security feature and is there as a protection against those user's who just see a file name, think it is of no use, and then delete it. Think it never happens? The think again!

As with all hidden files and folders it is not wise to keep them permanently displayed, so if you need to access any protected operating system files, please make sure to disable the option once you have done what you intended doing with the file. Leaving them visible could compromise your system, especially if your PC is being used by someone who doesn't know what they are doing.

To show protected operating system files proceed as follows:

1/ Open Windows Explorer.

2/ In the Windows Explorer window, Click the Organize button.

3/ From the drop down menu, Click the Folder and Search Option.

4/ in the Folder options Window that appears, Click the View tab.

5/ In the View tab look for the section marked Hidden Files And Folders.

6/ Just below the Hidden Files And Folders Section you will see an option marked Hide protected operating system files (recommended). Click on this to remove the tick mark from the box to the left of this option.

7/ As soon as you attempt to remove the tick mark a warning message like this will appear.

"You have chosen to display protected operating system files (files labelled System and Hidden) in Windows Explorer.

These files are required to start and run Windows. Deleting or editing them can make your computer inoperable.

Are you sure you want to display these files?"

8/ Click OK and the tick mark will be removed.

9/ All protected operating system files will now be made visible.

10/ To protect the files again after you have finished simply place a tick mark in the box next to the option Hide protected operating system files (recommended) and then click OK. The files will then be hidden again.