How to Recover Hidden Data from Windows Hard Disk | 5 Ways

How to recover hidden data from hard disk? With guides on this page, you'll learn 5 effective ways to find hidden files from PC, and here is a proven way to recover all lost data on PC.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How do I find hidden files from my hard drive?


I once created a folder on the E drive for data outside of work, including movies, music, photos, etc. But the other day I still can't find the folder, I looked at the disk properties, the used space has not decreased, and I really don't see the file. I guess I should have inadvertently hidden or placed this folder in another location. Can someone tell me how to recover hidden data from hard disk? Any suggestions I appreciate.

- Question from

Users sometimes can't find their stored files on their computers, and one of the reasons for this problem is that the files may be hidden and become inaccessible. Windows PC provides a hidden file feature that, once enabled, will not be accessible to your files. Hidden files cannot be edited, modified, or deleted by unauthorized users.

If you have hidden important files and now want to get them back, or the files in your hard drive have disappeared unexpectedly, then you can try to recover those files. We've collated five effective ways to recover data hidden in a hard disk in this article, please swipe the page to view.

How to recover hidden data from hard drive

Whether your files are hidden or deleted, you can recover them from your computer. Read below to learn how to recover hidden files in hard drive.

Way 1. Check your user account

If you've recently made a system update, Windows may use a temporary account to log in to your PC, and some of your previous files won't be accessible. Therefore you need to check that the correct user account is currently logged in.

Step 1. Click the Start button in the lower left corner of the desktop and click the account icon.

Step 2. Tap on your old account to switch, sign in to see if the hidden files are accessible.

Windows User Account

Way 2. Show hidden files from hard drive

Your file or folder can already be set to a hidden state, and undoing the setting is the first way to get your files back. Learn how to recover hidden files from hard disk by following the steps below.

Step 1. Tap the search icon on the desktop and type Control Panel to go to, then select Appearance and Personalization.

Step 2. Then find File Explorer Options under that tab and click Show hidden files and folders.

Show Hidden Files And Folder

Step 3. In the Advanced settings box, click the Files and Folders > Hidden files and folders > check the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option. Please uncheck Hide protected operating system files and click Apply.

Hide Extensions For Known File Types

Way 3. Recover hidden data via the attrib command

If your file hiding is caused by a virus or other reasons, then the above methods may not work. Windows built-in command line programs can help you recover hidden files. Read on to learn how to recover hidden files from external hard disk or PC with CMD.

Step 1. Go to the search box and type Command Prompt.

Step 2. Select the app and click on the Run as administrator option.

Step 3. Enter at the location where the cursor flashes: attrib -h -r -s /s /s /d F:\*.* (F refers to the drive where the hidden files are located, you can change it according to your situation), and press Enter to start retrieving the hidden files on the disk.

Attrib Command

Way 4. Check hard disk to fix file system error

If your hard disk file system is corrupted, it will also cause the files to disappear. You can check the entire hard drive and try to fix the file system error to get back the hidden files by following the steps below.

Step 1. Go to This PC from your desktop, navigate to the drive where the hidden file is located, right-click on it and select the Properties option.

Step 2. Select the Tools tab, then click the Check button pictured and click Scan drive to check for file system errors.

Check Hard Drive

When the file system error repair is complete, you can restart the computer and then head to the hard drive to see if the hidden files have been recovered.

Way 5. Modify hard drive indexing options

System versions of Windows 7 and above use indexing to help users find the data they need more efficiently, but incorrect indexing settings can also keep you from finding files. You can learn how to modify indexing options and recover hidden files on hard drive with the steps below.

Step 1. Go to the search box and type Indexing Options, go to the item and click the Advanced button.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, select the Index Settings tab and click the Rebuild button, click OK to confirm.

Rebuild Indexing Options

What if the hidden file has been lost?

The above are the 5 most common and effective ways to target how to recover hidden files from hard drive problems. If you still haven't retrieved your files, then they may have been deleted or lost. Our data is actually vulnerable, and accidental deletion, virus and malware attacks, and disk formatting can all lead to file loss. Once this happens, using efficient data recovery means to recover lost data is the first option.

Recover permanently lost files with data recovery tool

MyRecover is a reliable data recovery software designed to help users recover all their data lost due to various reasons. Professional, efficient and simple, the app is built with a graphical interface that allows users to recover hidden files with just a few clicks.

Efficient: Scan faster than other industry tools and have a very high recovery success rate.
Broad compatibility: Supports Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server, compatible with FAT32, NTFS, exFAT, and ReFS.
Full type file recovery: Capable of recovering more than 200 file types including videos, photos, emails, audios, Zip files, etc.
Multiple storage media support: It supports data recovery from PCs, USB flash drives, SSDs/HDDs, external hard drives, and more.

Anyone can easily get your disappeared data back using MyRecover, please download the app first and then follow the steps below to recover your files.

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Install the application on your desktop, launch it, and then hover the mouse over the drive where you saved the lost files, click Scan.

Select Partition To Scan

Step 2. MyRecover will use both Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes to scan all lost files, you can select files during the scanning process or after waiting for the completion of the scan results.

Scan Lost Data

Step 3. Locate your lost files under the list of Deleted files and click Recover x files to recover permanently deleted data.


In the end

This article collates 5 effective ways on how to recover hidden data from hard disk, and you can try to get your files back one by one. But if your files have been removed from your hard drive, you can try professional data recovery software - MyRecover, which can help you get back lost data from your PC and keep the original file name and format, it is worth your attempt.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.