How to Enable a Disabled ‘Files and Folder Options’

Don’t show hidden files, folders, or drives” is the default settings of Windows to keep system files safe from computer users. Any accidental deletion on system files and folders may cause disability to the computer. Hiding important files and folders are optional, it can be set to “Show hidden files, folders, and drives” if you wishes to. But what can you do if the Files and Folder Options itself is hidden or disabled. Is there a workaround for this?

Disabled Option

Folder and search options is disabled

Here are some tips to enable Files and Folder Options. In Windows Vista and Windows 7, this is labeled Folder and Search Options.


Method 1 – Enable Folder Options With Registry Editor

Note: You need an administrative privilege on Windows to perform this task.

1. Click on the Start > Run (or Search Program and files). Alternatively, you can use shortcut key by pressing [Windows Key]+[R].

2. Type “regedit” on the field and click OK or press Enter on keyboard.

3. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows

4. In the right pane, delete the entry “NoFolderOptions“.

If the value “NoFolderOption” do not exist:

1. On Windows Vista and Windows 7, there is no “Explorer” key. The registry only ends here:

2. You need to create the key and value. Under Policies folder, right click > New > Key. Name it Explorer.

Folder Options with Explorer

Setting the Explorer Key for Folder Options


3. Now we will create a value. On right pane, right-click, New > DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name it NoFolderOptions.

No Folder Options

Creating DWORD Value for NoFolderOptions

4. Double-click on NoFolderOptions and set Value data to 0 (zero). Press OK and close Registry Editor.

You may reboot or simply log-out your computer to see the effect of this registry modification.

Method 2 – Download REG File

1. This REG file will restore the default settings to files and folder options. Download Default_Folder_Options.reg.

2. Save it to a place on your hard drive.

3. If it prompts if you want to run this software, click Run to continue.

4. if User Account Control prompts if you want to allow the program to make changes to computer, click Yes.

5. Registry Editor will show the last prompt. Click Yes. It will display a message if the default keys and values have successfully added to the registry. Click OK.

Registry Editor Prompt

Prompt by Registry Editor

Method 3 – Enable Hidden Folder Options Using Free Tool (DISCONTINUED)

RRT or Remove Restrictions Tool is a free tool to enable access to different Windows process disabled by virus infections.

This tool is effective in enabling an access to:
– Hidden Files
– Internet Sharing
– Folder Options
– Show Hidden Files
– Show Desktop Icons

1: Download RRT. Search Google for new download page.
2. Once download is complete, double-click to run the program.
3. On RRT Console, mark the Hidden Files and click on Remove.


Enable Folder and File Option with RRT

4. It will prompt you if it successfully removed the restriction.

Video Tutorial


  1. Elaine

    It does not work as after typing regedit, It says that it was disabled by the administrator(virus)
    My task manager has also been disabled and although I had follow the troubleshooting,The file cannot be found.

  2. Anto

    Hi Elaine

    This is another problem on its own, but has a solution.
    Go to Start menu >> Run >> enter “gpedit.msc” and Ok.

    Then go to user Configuration>>Administrative Templates>>System.

    When you click on “System” on the right you’ll see “Prevent access to registry editing tools”. Double click on it and on the properties pop-up screen select “enable” option, then click “apply” (do not click ok). Then click “disable” option and apply, then okay.

    After that you can go back to run and execute the “regedit.exe”. It will take you to the registry.

    From there on you can follow the instructions previously given.

    Hope this helps. I had similar problem and now I’m sorted out.


  3. bagher

    my folder option is hidden.
    what is your sugestion?

  4. kit

    thank you vey much that realy helped me:)

  5. Gurwinder Singh

    I have a problem.. in my pc show the hidden files option not working. so I want to know how i want to retrive my hidden files. Becouse these filde are very important……

  6. deepak bhaskar

    good enough

  7. Ryan

    Hmmm… whenever I type gpedit.msc into run command, it says “windows cannot find ‘gpedit.msc’ make sure you typed it correctly…” blahblahblah…


  8. ahmed


    I am having a problem. My folder option does not work. When I click on “show hidden files and folders” and press OK, then the screen disappears, and registry editor and gpedit.msc commands are also not working. In fact, nothing is working in run command. Whenever I type anything in “run”, nothing happens. Please anybody help me!

  9. zam

    hay Ryan i think your using windows xp home , in windows xp home edition you don’t have gpedit.msc option

  10. Sauron

    Hello guys , I’ve the problems folder options now. When i try to click show hidden then ok in folder options still not show or nothing changes. What should i do ?

  11. maCS


    my foLders couLd not be visibiLe. i can’t locate them,..

    and there had been many files hidden as days passes by..

    i dont know what happens…

    the number of hidden files seem to grOw as days passes by.

    i can’t open the foLders.

    can you heLp me?


  12. yol

    hi macs! if you cant view your hidden files,try opening the location where your hidden files are, then click search button > and select “All Files and Folders” and in the “More advanced options” Menu, check “Search Hidden Files and Folders” then you can begin your search…hope this helps you.

    For more questions, just post you question in the related topics in my blog and i would be glad if you request something just lie tutorials.


  13. bhargav

    i have a problem with my pc.It does not show the hidden files.i guess there is virus in my folder options…how do i get out of it and view my hidden folders.please help…….

  14. Haryadi

    Different problem here. My pc show the hidden files if i use the “tools–>folderoptions–>view–>show…”. But it is only for that page. If i go to another page then the hidden files won’t be visible. If i go back to that page again, the file is still not visible. What’s happening here?? Is it a side effect of virus (Before, i got a virus but the virus is already erased (uhm.. i think the extension of the virus is “.pif”))??



  15. fabio

    Hi i have a diferent problem ., i use a program before called Hide Folder 3.1 to hide some important doc on my D drive., latter i must reinstall my windows on C drive and i lost that program., then i install it again and the hide folders before dont appear i wanna see them but they gonne how can i bring them back again ? tkx for attencion

  16. SAQI


  17. Fhao

    the solution is download a program called wormblaster. just google it. it will display all the hidden files and the system hidden files.. it works for me.

  18. hari m

    when i click on ” show hidden files and folders” options in folder options and click OK.
    Again if i click on view tab the show hidden files and folders are restored to the defaults.
    Its not showing the hidden files and folders.

  19. Pretatta

    thank you vey much that realy helped me

  20. Sreenath

    Simple Way eny’one!!!

    Run>regedit>Hkey Current User/Software/Microsoft/Windows/Current version/Policies/Explorer>Nofolder option=0

    Thtz all …………

  21. KK

    How to Enable a Hidden Folder Options

  22. Musheer

    Download and run remove restriction tool. Just google it…its easy than anything else for every one….contact on my email adress for any other help…but first of all remove your virus on ur pc…because if your pc is infected then it will again go in same position. musheer110008 @

  23. Ben Wiersma

    How do disable the show the hidden folder option, what’s the value of it?

  24. JC

    Folder option and run command disappear: You guys been telling me to go to run and type regedit, etc, etc…!

    But the problem here is I CANNOT open the run command. Is there any other way….?

  25. Donsky


    Shortcut key for Run is pressing the “window key + R” on your keyboard.=)

    there you go…

  26. vinay

    hi this is vinay…
    i am facing problem with the hidden checkbox of a folder…
    the hidden checkbox which appears when we right click a folder, is disabled by a virus infection and i am not able to enable it.. i am not able to find out how to enable it in grop policy even.. the virus has moved the folder to “protected operating system file” which appers when we uncheck dis option from folder option–>view tab.
    please help me with dis problem how to enable the hidden checkbox from the properties option of a folder…

  27. Kohinoor B. Sebastian

    I made an invisible folder where I kept my personal files and it is inside my external hard disk.When I formatted my PC I can no longer play or view my personal files in that invisible folder,pls help.Thanks.

  28. mojtaba

    Dear Anto,
    Thank you very much that’s nice

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