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Hidden option within file-folder properties is greyed out in Windows 7 , Vista , XP

This little Tip can save you from a lot of trouble when suddenly your drive or folder gets disappeared from Windows Explorer & you only see it as a hidden folder or file. When this is the case it usually indicates either of a file system malfunction or a small time virus attack.

Right Click the file or folder & check if your properties window looks something like this i.e. the hidden option greyed out as marked below.

Don’t be alarmed. Just open command prompt.

For Windows XP: Go to run and type CMD & press Enter.

For Windows 7/Vista : Type CMD in start Menu, Right Click and run as administrator. ( both these Operating Systems need elevated rights to perform this task)

go to your drive of folder. Assuming Drive letter to be D here (Just replace D with your Drive letter )

Now if you are working with a single file or folder, navigate to the folder.







Type :


D:\>foldername>attrib –S –H “file or folder name” /S /D   ( file or folder name without Quotes )

If you are dealing with multiple files & folders or even an External Drive, type:

D:\>attrib –S –H *.* /S /D   ( press Enter )

In case of External Drive just move to your drive by typing in the drive letter in the Command Prompt. ( Example H: )

By shantanu

Shantanu is a Windows Enthusiast, a troubleshooter & a writer. He is a Microsoft MVP in Windows Expert - IT Pro from 2007. You can check out his other work @

26 replies on “Hidden option within file-folder properties is greyed out in Windows 7 , Vista , XP”

I never realized that you could use attrib on an entire share. Somehow in switching NAS installations and copying files, a number of directories (seemingly randomly) got switched to and a few of them were greyed out. The greyed out ones were problematic getting them to show up in Windows 7 systems. I did the corrections from a Windows XP system by just mapping the entire NAS to a drive letter and running the script shown.



Please make sure that you run CMD ( command prompt ) as administrator. You will get access denied when using this command as a standard user ( non-elevated privileges )

sir when I used the command

attrib –S –H *.* /S /D

access denied for my folder, my folder is not visible from mycomputer, only visible from network systems or dos, from network it shows data but from dos its showing by dir/ad or dir/ah but when attempting cd , access denied showing. pl help

Did you run the Command prompt in administrator mode ? go to start -> type CMD -> right click -> run as administrator

What to do…

‘D:\’ is not recognized as internal or external command, operable programs or batch files

plz “shantanu” help me out i am using win 8 what should i do to make my hidden option visiblel and how i can run cmd as a administrator..

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