How to Show Hidden Files & Recover Deleted Files on Windows 7?

How to show hidden files Windows 7? Users who have found files disappeared Windows 7 could check this article and recover them easily.


By Lora / Updated on April 3, 2024

Share this: instagram reddit

"How do I view a hidden file?"

The Windows system will hide some essential system files to avoid being mistakenly modified/moved/deleted by users. This option is also available to users, allowing them to manage their files conveniently.

But some users don't know where to find this option.


Search Hidden/System Files?


In XP, I searched for folders or files in Explorer and frequently used the option to include system and hidden files in the search. I don't see that option in W7. Where is it, if it is there?


- Question from Windows7Forum


Except for those who are sure they have hidden their files manually, a bunch of users just found files disappeared in Windows 7 and suspected their data was hidden.

But to tell the truth, in addition to files getting hidden, there are more causes of data loss.


Why did my files suddenly disappear?

Check these possible reasons when you notice that your data is missing from your hard drives.

  • Virus attack. If the computer is infected, its files can get modified/moved/deleted/encrypted maliciously.
  • Deletion. Also, files could have been removed by you unwittingly and mistakenly.
  • Recycle Bin emptying. Further, if you have accidentally emptied Recycle Bin, the files are inaccessible to you.
  • Disk formatting. If the disk is formatted, the data in it will also be wiped out.

Whether you need to unhide or recover lost files on Windows, you could refer to the respective methods in the following parts.

If you discover desktop files disappeared on Windows 7, you might as well check these methods to retrieve them.

How to show hidden files on Windows 7?

You could either show hidden files Windows 7 on the whole machine or in a specific folder. Now follow the detailed steps below.

>> To unhide files everywhere on the computer:

Step 1. Go to Start menu > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization.


Step 2. Click Show hidden files and folder under the Folder Options.


Step 3. In Advanced settings, toggle the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option > Apply.


>> To view hidden files in a specific folder:

Step 1. Go to the original location (the parent folder) > click Organize in the toolbar > Folder and search options.


Step 2. Click View > toggle Show hidden files, folders, and drives in Advanced settings.


As a result, you can easily show hidden files Windows 7.

The following section will teach you how to restore lost files on Windows 7. If your files were not hidden but missing from your drives, these methods are for you.

How to restore lost files on Windows 7?

We will introduce four practicable approaches in this part. These methods are pretty simple and available for the majority of users.

Some users will wonder if System restore can recover deleted files in Windows 7; the answer is No. System Restore won't affect your personal files at all.

To perform deleted data recovery Windows 7, you'd better take the following general methods.

Method 1. Check the Recycle Bin

As mentioned above, you may have removed those files mistakenly. Then the first course of action is to check the trash bin.

If you found the deleted files are not in Recycle Bin, it means they were permanently deleted. Please move on to the following methods.

Go to Recycle Bin > find or search for your wanted photos > right-click the files > click Restore.


All chosen files would be restored to their original location.

Method 2. Restore the previous version of files/folders

The Previous Versions feature will store copies of your files using restore points and Windows backups.

Every time you install new apps/updates, a restore point will be generated automatically, recording the changes to your files.

You could restore previous of files or folders to retrieve deleted, lost, and damaged files from the original location.

Step 1. Start File Explorer > locate the upper/parent folder that previously stored the deleted files.

Step 2. Right-click this folder > Properties > Previous Versions > choose the latest version > Restore.


If unsure which one contains your wanted files, click Open to check it first.

Method 3. Restore lost files on Windows 7 via Windows backup

Since Windows 7, an exclusive backup feature has become available for users who need to back up their data.

Users could use it to protect their local drive data: back up what they need and restore it anywhere they want.

Step 1. Control Panel > System and Security > Backup and Restore.


Step 2. Restore my files.


Step 3. Browse for files > choose a backup > select the files you have deleted > Next.


Step 4. Choose a target destination as you like > click Restore.


This tool would also be helpful when you need to recover permanently delete Excel files on desktop.

Method 4. Perform deleted file recovery Windows 7 efficiently

As you can see, the Previous Version feature and Windows backups require users to activate them in advance. But considerable users don't have the habit of backing up their data.

Luckily, professional Windows data recovery tools will be of help when there are no backups.

MyRecover is one of the optional efficient apps. It is developed by the leading enterprise in the data security industry, utilizing advanced scanning techs and algorithms to search for files.

Using this app, deleted file recovery Windows 7 will be an easy task.

MyRecover - recover lost and deleted data effortlessly
  • Restore deleted and missing files from HDD/SSD/SD card/USB, etc.
  • It can restore deleted files with their original filenames/formats/directories.
  • Support data recovery while scanning, time-saving.
  • 200+ recoverable data types, including photos, videos, Excel/Word/PowerPoint files, etc.
  • Compatible with not only Windows 7 but also Windows 11/10/8, etc.
    Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
    Secure Download

Now check the easy process to recover lost files on Windows 7.

Step 1. Start the program > Hover the mouse over the drive saved deleted files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. Detected files could be searched or sorted by filenames, extensions, Date modified, Type, etc.


Step 3. Go to Deleted files > go to the original location of the deleted files > select what you want > click Recover x files.


Using this powerful tool, you could recover data from accidentally formatted hard drives.

Related suggestions

This article contains detailed instructions to show hidden files Windows 7 as well as viable methods to restore lost files on Windows 7.

Furthermore, for future data security, some additional suggestions are prepared for Windows 7 users.

  • It is better not to show protected hidden system files on the whole machine but just in a specific folder.
  • Do not empty your Recycle Bin too quickly.
  • Make several copies of your important files and save them in different places.
  • Use professional data backup software for Windows to guard against data loss.
Lora · Editor
Lora is an editor of AOMEI Technology. She is also a tester and editor of AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. -- "Keep testing, write the most useful tutorials for helping people recover the lost data for Windows and phones" is the most meaningful thing for her. Dedicated to creating helpful tutorials, she hopes her tutorial can assist users to effortlessly solve data loss problems on their personal computers and mobile phones.