How to make hidden files and folders visible

Specific files and folders are hidden by default. For example, this is true for the Microsoft Word STARTUP folder and for the folder in which the Word template Normal.dotm is stored.

If you are going to install a Word add-in manually, you need to find the Word STARTUP folder. In order to do that, the folder must be visible.

Follow the steps below to make hidden files and folders visible:

  1. Open a Windows Explorer window (File Explorer in case of Windows 10).
  2. Follow the relevant bullet below to open the Folder Options dialog box:
    • Windows 10:
      Select File > Change folder and search options. Select the View tab.
    • Microsoft Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8:
      Click Organizer in the top-left corner of the window. Select Folder and Search Options. Select the View tab.
    • Windows XP:
      Select Tools > Folder Options. Select the View tab.
  1. Turn on Show hidden files and folders.
    Turn off Hide extensions for known file types.

When Hide extensions for known file types is turned off, you will see files names as e.g. MyAddIn.dotm instead og just MyAddIn or MyDocument.docx instead og just MyDocument. It is helpful to see the file extension since it provides information about the specific type of file.

Show hidden files and folders - settings to change

Figure 1. Folder Options settings. Note that the options are sorted alphabetically. If you are not using an English system, the options will be named and thus sorted differently.

  1. Click OK.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required Email Address * First Name * Last Name