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Has anyone run across a nice small Windows Explorer Shell Extension that simply adds toolbar buttons at the top of the window to Hide/Show Hidden files and to Hide/Show System files?

I know about the Folder settings for these that are buried in the "Folder and Search Options" dialog, I'd just like easy-to-click access to those settings. I don't like the clutter of running with the Hidden and System Files visible, but I'm constantly having to turn the options on so I can do work in those folders. I'd love to see a toolbar button (or two) added for convenience. I'll want to use this is Windows 7 if that makes any difference.

Some quick googling didn't really bring up anything useful so I thought I'd ask here. Thanks!

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i'd like to see this as well –  Roy Rico May 28 '09 at 1:09

5 Answers 5

Sounds like you are looking for something like these:

File Extension Toggle 3.0 - Shell extension that toggles between displaying and hiding file extensions.*. Same thing as if you went to Windows Explorer's Tools Menu and choose Folder Options->{View Tab}, but this is quicker & easier.

Hidden Files Toggle 3.0 - Shell extension that toggles between displaying and hiding hidden files. Same thing as if you went to Windows Explorer's Tools Menu and choose Folder Options->{View Tab}, but this is quicker & easier.

They can be found here: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=52524

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I suppose the context menu approach is better than nothing, but not really as convenient as I'd hoped. –  Scott Bussinger May 29 '09 at 6:06
    
I agree, but it was the closest thing I could find to the criteria listed without looking into Windows Explorer Shell replacement. –  KevinH May 29 '09 at 15:57

There's a context menu extension: HiddenFilesToggle Context-Menu Shell Extension

but I'd love to see this written as a button on the explorer toolbar.

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Your link ended up going to same place as Kevin's. Obviously it's possible for extensions to be written for Windows Explorer to add toolbar buttons since Windows itself does it (e.g. "Map Network Drive" when you're in "My Computer"), but for the life of me I can't any documentation that talks about it. –  Scott Bussinger May 29 '09 at 6:09
    
ah, I tried a link further down on that msfn page to spiritpyre.zxian.org that was broken. I see the msfn page does link to the exe at the top, but I think it's better to link to the page hosting it so people know where it came from in case it's updated. –  Sam Hasler May 31 '09 at 8:44

I tried to do this myself once by adding shortcuts to a couple of .vbs scripts to the Links folder (in IE Favourites) and displaying the Links toobar in explorer windows.

Hide All:

Set Shell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )
Shell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Hidden", 00000002, "REG_DWORD"
Shell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\HideFileExt", 00000001, "REG_DWORD"
Shell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\ShowSuperHidden", 00000000, "REG_DWORD"

Show All:

Set Shell = CreateObject( "WScript.Shell" )
Shell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\Hidden", 00000001, "REG_DWORD"
Shell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\HideFileExt", 00000000, "REG_DWORD"
Shell.RegWrite "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\ShowSuperHidden", 00000001, "REG_DWORD"

Unfortunately the changes didn't seem to be applied straight away.

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interesting... does it need a refresh (F5) or close/reopen explorer? –  Lucas May 29 '09 at 13:55
    
I think the minimum you have to do is end the explorer.exe process with Task Manager and restart it. Or use this method: kapustein.com/blog/?p=364 which is more effort. Logging off/on or restarting works as well. –  Richard May 29 '09 at 15:02
    
Clever. The only problem is that I don't see anyway to add toolbars in the Windows 7 explorer. They appear to have locked down Windows Explorer a bit compared to earlier versions of Windows. –  Scott Bussinger Jun 3 '09 at 17:40

The QTTabBar explorer addon adds back the standard toolbar buttons complete with the exact same icons and large/small sizes. Unfortunately, as of this writing, it is not Windows 7 compatible, only Vista compatible.

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I did this once by creating 2 registry files, one for unhide and one for hide. It worked great, but not as convenient as a simple button on the explorer bar.

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