A long time ago, I remember hiding some really personal files on my computer. Something that nobody could ever find, so I buried them down pretty darn good.

Now to my problem, I don't remember where.

Do anyone know a way to scan a drive and list all hidden folders and/or files?

I know how to view hidden files in Windows, but as far as I know, there is no way to search for them? I've been looking for a program, but I couldn't find one - and now I'm here, asking the experts. ;)

I'd really appreciate any tips.


Open a command prompt and change directory to the root of your drive. Then run:

dir /S /A:H > hidden.txt

This will get you a list of all of the hidden files on that drive and save that list in a file called hidden.txt.

Note: This does NOT search for all hidden files NAMED "hidden.txt".

  • I like this idea. Good answer. – user3463 Nov 21 '10 at 20:33
  • Thanks! I was hoping something like this could help me. Is there any way to display all folders (or files), without knowing the name? I'm not sure about the name of the file. Good idéa though. :) – Angie Nov 21 '10 at 20:46
  • @Angie: That command lists all hidden files. – adrianbanks Nov 21 '10 at 20:47
  • Just change it to dir /s /a:h C:*.* > hidden.txt to view all files and folders on a drive. The command he gave would only give hidden files and folders in the current directory and lower – Canadian Luke Oct 6 '11 at 16:41
  • @Angie see the edits to the answer: This script finds ALL the hidden files and then saves a list of those files in a file called hidden.txt so that you can reference the list easily rather than trying to go back and forth in the command window referencing the list of found files. – music2myear Oct 6 '11 at 17:34

Better late than never, but I found the solution to your problem using only Windows 7 Explorer. Just wanted to get this out there since it's not really documented.

Once you've already enabled "Show Hidden Files and Folders", in your Explorer search box type "attributes:2" (without the quotes). This will search the entire tree for all files marked hidden. The number "2" is a number representation of the file attribute "hidden".

This link gives you a list of all the different number codes and how they translate into file attributes.

This post led me to finding the answer.

  • didn't work in Windows 7 x64. said "no items match your search" but I know I have hidden files and I can see them when I navigate to where they are – Zvi Twersky May 3 '18 at 9:35

Use everything. If you remember a small piece of a filename, it will help you narrow it down pretty quick.

  • I've been trying to find that program for months now, but i just couldn't remember the name. Thanks. :) – Angie Nov 21 '10 at 20:53

Go get Total Commander, enable the hidden and system files setting, and run a search. It's relatively fast (quicker than Windows 7 built-in search in my opinion), and as long as you know part of the file name, you should be fine.

  • I ran a search for all hidden textfiles, and it didn't return the files i was looking for. It did however find some other hidden textfiles, so, i most likely have the files on my laptop. I'll run a search on my laptop tomorrow, thanks a bunch! :) – Angie Nov 21 '10 at 20:52

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