May 11th, 2012

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How to: Change All Files from “Hidden” to “Unhidden”

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Vestiges of a virus left a computer with most of the files in the My Documents folder invisible, so the malware creator could make it appear that files were damaged (and magically “repaired” once you paid for the software to fix things).

I removed the virus but the files stayed set hidden. Online advice about fixing this didn’t work, but I stumbled upon the correct solution myself. Here’s how to fix this issue if it happens to you. This should work in most versions of Windows, from Windows XP to Windows 7.

Find the folder containing the files you want to repair in Windows Explorer.

Right-click on the folder and choose Properties.

The “Hidden” box will (probably) be clear, indicating all files are “unhidden” — which isn’t correct.

Check the box so that it has a check mark in it (not a square). Click Apply and select “Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files.” Click OK.

It will take several minutes for all files in that folder to be updated. They will now all be hidden. Don’t panic.

When it’s done, UNCHECK the “Hidden” box so that it’s clear, and click Apply again. Select the “Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files” option again and click OK.

Now, all files will — finally — no longer be hidden.