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Disabling "Show hidden files and folders"

How do I prevent users from selecting 'show hidden files and folders' in the folder options?

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As incredible as it might seem, Microsoft does not provide a group policy that disables the "Show Hidden Files" option.

This feature and the "Show Protected System Files" feature are controlled by three Registry entries under HKCU | Software | Microsoft | Windows | Current Version | Explorer | Advanced. They are: Hidden -- set to 1 to show and 0 to hide SuperHidden -- set to 1 to show and 0 to hide ShowSuperHidden -- set to 1 to permit showing and 0 to hide

You could put these three entries in a logon script, but users would be able to change the settings back. Here's the script, though, in case you're interested.

set regobj = CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")

regobj.regwrite "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvancedShowsuperhidden",0,"REG_DWORD"

regobj.regwrite "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvancedHidden",0,"REG_DWORD"

regobj.regwrite "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionExplorerAdvancedSuperhidden",0,"REG_DWORD"

To prevent the user from changing this setting, you would need to fiddle with the security descriptor on the Advanced key. That's a little outside the scope of this forum.

This was first published in June 2001

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