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Display Hidden Files and Folders in Windows Explorer

By default Windows 'hides' files and folders that aren't needed for everyday work.  But for optimal PC health, it's useful to see these hidden files - incuding tmp files (files that end with ".tmp" or start wth "~"), and folders that hold your templates - the AppData, and Application Data folders.

You can reach your template folder by typing the folder path to the Templates and Startup folders in the Explorer Address field (described at the end of this post) - under the heading ALTERNATIVE METHOD below.

Open Windows Explorer

In Windows 7, Click Organize > Folder and search options

In Windows XP, Click Tools > Folder Options

The Folder Options screen is displayed.

Click the View tab.

A warning message will display will you uncheck the "Hide protected system files (Recommended) option:

Click Yes

The Folder Options screen will re-display.

Click Apply

Click OK

In Windows 7, the AppData folder, as well as other files that are usually kept hidden will now be visible

In Windows XP, the AppData folder is called Application Data


You can go directly to folders like the Templates folder that are hidden under the AppData series of folders (Application Data in Windows XP) by typing the folder links below in the Address bar of the Explorer Window (not Internet Explorer!).

Open Windows Explorer by right-clicking the Windows Start button

Select Open Windows Explorer

Note - replace [Username] with your username

In Windows 7:

c:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates, press Enter


c:\users\[Username]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word\Startup, press Enter

In Windows XP

c:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates, press Enter

c:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Application Data\Microsoft\Word\Startup, press Enter

Note - you won't see tmp files unless the Hide hidden files and folders options is turned on

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