How to Find the Hidden Files on Your Phone or PC

How to Find the Hidden Files on Your Phone or PC

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How to Find the Hidden Files on Your Phone or PC – Guide

YOUR PHONES AND computers have more capacity than you think. The files you can view by default on Windows, macOS, Android and iOS are by no means all that is stored on these systems.

These hidden files are commonly used ​​by the operating system and applications you are running to store data that you do not normally need to access – in fact, data that can interfere with the smooth operation of your device if incorrectly edited or deleted .

User and application settings are often saved as hidden files, for example. Programs need these files to run, but users don’t really need to have access to them. Hidden file caches are also common, temporary data storage to speed up up software operations.

This guide comes with a warning then – you edit or delete hidden files from your devices at your own risk and you really shouldn’t have to do anything with these files anyway.

Checking them out can be helpful, however, in terms of solving problems you might have with your phone or laptop, or to try to find out exactly where all your digital storage space has gone. Here it is how to make these files visible.


You can see hidden files in Windows by opening up a File Explorer window, switching to the To view tab in the ribbon bar, and check the hidden items box. Windows will remember your choice until you uncheck the box again, even if you close File Explorer or restart your computer. Hidden files and folders appear with slightly erased thumbnails in the File Explorer so they’re easy to see at a glance and they’ll show too up in searches after making them visible. To hide or unhide a file, right-click on it and choose properties and In general: You will see the Hidden checkbox at the bottom.

There is another category of hidden file in Windows: Even with the hidden items checked, Windows still keeps key operating system files out of sight so they can’t be tampered with. To view these files, from To view tab in File Explorer click options, open the To view tab and uncheck the Hide protected operating system files (recommended) pack Advanced Settings.

Mac OS

The easiest way to see hidden files on a computer running macOS is to use the Finder application. Open it up, then use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+Shift+. (this is the period key) to display files and folders (or to hide them again). The setting remains in place until you change it (between reboots and so on).

You’ll see that hidden files and folders look a bit faded compared to normal files and folders, making them easier to identify. To actually change the status of a file or folder, you need to open up In the Terminal utility, enter the command “chflags hidden” (to hide files) or “chflags nohidden” (to unhidden files) and drag the relevant items into the Finder’s Terminal window.

macOS also has an entire hidden folder called the Library folder, where all kinds of user account settings and file caches are kept. To view this particular folder, launch the Finder, open the Go menu and choose go to folderand then enter “~/Library” as the destination.


If you’re looking for files on Android, the built-in Files app is the obvious place to go: it usefully splits files up into categories (including downloads and images, for example), so you can find what you’re looking for more easily.

You’re not seeing everything by default, though. tap the menu button (three horizontal lines, top left corner) and then choose Definitions: This will lead you to a show hidden files toggle button that you can turn on to see files and folders that aren’t normally visible (usually files used by apps you don’t really need to know about).

Most third-party file managers for Android also have a hidden file setting available somewhere. Also you can go to Store on the main Android settings screen to see an analysis of how much space each app is taking up up, including any hidden files associated with them.


iOS is the stranger on this list, because Apple’s mobile Operating system does not allow you to view hidden files. Hidden files remain hidden, out of reach of users and remain solely for the use of the operating system and applications running on it.

Open up the Files app on iOS, choose on my iPhone, and you can see everything that is saved in the phone in itself. The folders you see here will normally be split. up per application and store files related to user settings, downloads, saved files, and so on.

From the main iOS settings page, you can also choose In general and iPhone Storage to see what types of files are taking up room on the device. If you scroll down to System data you can see how much space these hidden files are using up“But you can’t really see the files themselves.

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