A little while ago I discovered that on Ubuntu linux one can display or conceal hidden files on demand at run-time by pressing [Ctrl-H]. This is really handy. Is there anyway this can be had on windows?

I'm guessing Windows Explorer is not amenable to this, so I'm open to 3rd party file managers provided they're open source, freeware, or cheap (in order of preference).


  • 1
    Now don't you wish nautilus was available for Windows? ;P May 10, 2010 at 18:36
  • Didn't know about this feature. Neat.
    – Sathyajith Bhat
    May 10, 2010 at 18:43

3 Answers 3


Install autohotkey. Then implement a hot key script by following these instructions:


  • I wish I could give this more than one vote.
    – endolith
    Feb 11, 2011 at 15:55

You can use StExBar. It is a shell-extension that adds a toolbar to Windows Explorer and among other functions allows quick and easy access to toggling viewing of hidden/system files and folders. You can click the toolbar button as below or press a hotkey (defaults to Ctrl+Shift+H). You can also add your own buttons.

Screenshot of StExView toolbar with *Hidden-File-Toggle* button highlighted


In Total Commander you can add a button to the button bar and bind it to the below command


This toggles visibility of hidden/system files. Not quite a shortcut key, but a step in the right direction.

  • Shaji got the nod for ease of installation and simplicity (it helps that I prefer keyboard to button). It looks like Total Commander is worth exploring for other reasons too. Thanks. May 13, 2010 at 4:16

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