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Need a shortcut to show hidden files and system files, if possible

Posted on 2003-11-16
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
Hi all - I was wondering if there's a way to create some kind of shortcut to allow me to view hidden files and also system files by clicking on a  single shortcut placed somewhere, rather than going into the Tools>Folder Options... every time. Any help with this would be great.
OS: XP pro

Thanks.
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Question by:ronald111
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Expert Comment

by:SNilsson
ID: 9758173
You can make this change permanent if you check the show hiden files box under advanced in the Folder Options, then click 'use in all cataloges' (not sure on the naming, I'm using a foreign version of xp, but it should be easy enough to find).

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Accepted Solution

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sirbounty earned 50 total points
ID: 9759278
Here's a script that should do exactly what you're asking: http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/regs_edits/showhiddenfiles.vbs
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Author Comment

by:ronald111
ID: 9760205
I only want to show hidden files at certain times but thanks SNilsson. The script does job ok but once it restarts explorer it seems to cause some of my tray icons to disappear,(even though their processes are still running) which means I have to restart them to bring the icons back. Is there a more elegent way of doing this that doesn't require explorer to be restarted?

Thanks for your suggestions.
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by:sirbounty
ID: 9761209
Not that I know of - at least not without obtaining a third-party macro utility.
I believe you could control it via the registry in older versions, but not in XP.
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by:sirbounty
ID: 9761213
This is 'supposed' to be for all Windows versions, but I coudln't get it to work in XP. . .http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/961/
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Expert Comment

by:Mickey81
ID: 9764266
You can create a *.reg file which will change the appropriate value in the Registry. See below.

[HKEY_USERS\%Account Name%\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced]
"Hidden"=dword:00000001

You will have to associate the correct account name and create an undo one which replaces the value 00000001 with 00000002. The key above will actually show hidden files, and 2 will hide them again.
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Expert Comment

by:Mickey81
ID: 9764313
Should have mentioned you may need to search the registry to get the correct account name if you are running multiple accounts.
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by:sirbounty
ID: 9764841
Mickey81 - I believe even with this scenario (either HKEY_USER\%Account Name% or HKCU) the explorer shell still needs to be recycled (either like the script above or a reboot - which would defeat the purpose that ronald111 is looking for).
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Author Comment

by:ronald111
ID: 9767213
Good suggestions all - but what I'm really after is something similar to a desktop shortcut of some form that I can just click to toggle hidden files on and off.
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Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 9767461
These registry hacks require either a reboot or the explorer process terminated and recreated. . .
Your only solution then, is for a 3rd party macro:

http://www.mjtnet.com
http://www.brothersoft.com/Utilities_Automation_KeyText_2000_17006.html
http://simplythebest.net/shareware/utilities/macro_recorders.html
http://download.com.com/3000-2094-10208793.html?tag=lst-0-4

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Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 9767643
Can I ask why you're wanting to do this? Maybe we can come up with a better alternative.  Is this for a multi-user environment?
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Author Comment

by:ronald111
ID: 9775861
Thanks for the links. No, nothing so complex, it's just to save time really. I've used .bat files in the past to open multiple files and perform numerous tasks at once and wondered if there exists a similar solution for this - apparently not.  I'll give it a little more time to see what might pop up before I accept an answer however.

Incidently, is there a way that the .vbs script you recommended can be altered to restart certain processes at the same time, meaning that I wouldn't lose any tray icons when it was clicked?



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by:sirbounty
ID: 9776146
To open multiple batch files?  I guess I'm not following you.
What has that to do with hidden files being turned on and off repeatedly?
Please explain further...

Other than that - this may be a "fix" for the "fix", but it may interest you:
It 'may' work - but says it's not for NT - not sure what the effects are with XP
YTrayMagic Lite   Version: 1.0 (http://yoconsoft.hypermart.net/download/ytraylsetup.exe)
YTrayMagic automatically restores your tray icons after an Explorer(the windows shell) crash. Comes with an install wizard for easy installation/uninstallation. DOES NOT WORK WITH NT. Windows NT esp. Windows 2000 is too stable for such a utility to be useful.
And
Corretif Explorer v1.00 [1.1M] W9x FREE (http://sebmaurice.free.fr/Correctif_Explorer.exe)
When Explorer crashs your "startup" programs are no longer
accessiblefrom the su\ystem tray. To fix  restart Windows.
That's fine if nothing  from those inaccessible apps needs to be
saved. Using this program, you can simply click "Repair"
and have everything return to normal without having to reboot.


Also - I didn't d/l this, but it supposed to be for XP and it's free:
sysFriend v0.997 [647k] W9x/2k/XP FREE (http://sysfriend.com/downloads/sysFriendSetup.zip)
{Complete tasks automatically}automatically performs tasks
which you normally run through manually. So, you could open
multiple programs, change screen resolution, capture a screen, put
certain windows in specific locations, activate a screen saver,
set the mouse position, check your spelling, send an e-mail... the
list is endless.
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Author Comment

by:ronald111
ID: 9782752
I just mentioned that I've used .bat files in the past to execute some .exes I wanted to open simultaneously and thus create a kind of 'shortcut'. I was merely pointing out that the reason I want a shortcut to the hidden files is simply to save time (and effort) and not due to a more complex reason as the multi-user environment you asked about. .bat files were only mentioned as an example.

Sorry for the confusion and thanks for the information, I'll give the programs a try.
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Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 9783172
Maybe I'm reading too much into it.  Are you trying to un-hide these files (be they .bat or .exe or whatever else) only so that you can run them?
If you need to run a program, you don't have to un-hide it - in fact, If you navigate to Windows and you have the 'feature' turned on that hides OS protected files, you can still navigate to a subfolder - say SYSTEM32 - simply by pressing the letter S.  Also, if you know the full path to a file, you can type that in with the file name and run it - still doesn't have to be un-hidden.
I just want to make sure that we're not missing anything here and you want from this. . .Thanx.
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Author Comment

by:ronald111
ID: 9802909
I simply want to create a shortcut to be able to view the files instantly, instead of going through the process of going into Tools>Folder Options>check box etc, nothing more. There is no specific reason to unhide the files, I'm just trying to find a quicker method of unhiding them.
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LVL 67

Expert Comment

by:sirbounty
ID: 9803146
Try the sysfriend app - I've gotten a response back elsewhere that it works well. . .
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Author Comment

by:ronald111
ID: 9812364
Will do - I'll accept the answer where you referred to the .vbs script above as it was the closest to the solution I was looking for.

Thanks for the help, great site!
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