How to Find Hidden Icons

By Contributing Writer

All of the files and programs found on Microsoft Windows-based computers can be accessed using their icons. These icons are displayed on the user's desktop or in individual folders found on the computer. Sometimes, however, additional files or programs will be located in these same places, but their icons will be hidden. You can reveal these icons quite easily. Below are the steps necessary to find these hidden icons.

Step 1

Open the Windows Explorer window or any of the windows folders on your desktop. You can access Windows Explorer by holding down the "windows" key and pressing the "E" key simultaneously.

Step 2

Click on the "Tools" menu found at the very top of the window.

Step 3

At the bottom of the drop down list that appears, click on "Folder Options." This will reveal a new box.

Step 4

In the box that appears, click on the "View" tab.

Step 5

Scroll about a third of the way down the list found in the center of the View tab and look for the option that says "Hidden files and folders." Select the option that says "Show hidden files and folders." Selecting this option will show the hidden icons wherever they may be found on your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • An alternative way to show hidden icons is by changing the folder options found in the Control Panel. Click on the Start menu, select "Appearance and Personalization," and click on "Folder Options." There, you will see the same menu produced by the steps above. Click on the "View" tab, and choose "Show hidden files and folders." Click "OK."

References & Resources