To find hidden files in Windows 7, make the files visible by modifying the appropriate setting in the Folder Options window via Control Panel. Once the files are visible, use the search functionality of Windows 7 to locate the files you need.

  1. Access the Folder Options window

    Click on the Start button, and select the Control Panel option. If the Control Panel items are listed by category, click on the Appearance and Personalization link, and select Folder Options. If the items are listed as icons, you can immediately click on Folder Options.

  2. Make the files visible

    In the Folder Options windows, click on the View tab, and scroll down to the section labeled Hidden files and folders. Click on the Show hidden files, folders, and drives option, and click OK to confirm the change.

  3. Search for the hidden files

    Click on the Start button and input the name of the fie you’re looking for in the Search programs and files field at the bottom of the menu. If you’re looking for a specific file format, click on an empty area on the desktop, and press F3 to activate the advanced search functionality. Click on the search field, click on Type in the Add a search filter section, type in the extension of the format (e.g. .exe or .txt), and press Enter. This should display the results based on the search parameters you used.