4 Methods to Reset System and Hidden Attributes for Files or Folders Caused by Virus

Different viruses cause different types of damage on your computer. Most of the time, the viruses are programmed to disable Windows Task Manager, Regedit, Command Prompt, folder options and etc. These restrictions are meant to prevent a normal computer user from using these built-in Windows diagnostic tools such as MSCONFIG to disable the virus from starting up on your computer.

There are some viruses that will cause destruction such as encrypting recently used files so you are forced to buy the decryption key from the virus programmer. Then there’s another type of virus such as BDS.Mirc.Backdoor that will hide your document files by setting the hidden and system attributes to the file. You can still see the files if you set to show hidden files and folders plus disabling hide operating system files. Another trick is to use Google Chrome, Firefox or Opera to reveal the hidden files. If the virus is capable of restricting Folder Options, the chances are you think that your files have been wiped out by the virus but in fact they are perfectly safe and have just been hidden in your system.

hidden attributes grayed out

There’s still hope if you think that your files are gone because of a virus. Here’s how to check if the files are still around, and if they are, you can reset the attributes of the files to view them normally in Windows Explorer again.

How to show hidden files and folders or system files

1. Go to Control Panel and open Folder Options.

2. Go to the View tab and select “Show hidden files and folders”. Then uncheck “Hide protected operating system files”. Do take note that some viruses that are still active on the computer will revert the changes that you made. So make sure your computer is clean from viruses first by scanning with an antivirus program.

show hide or hidden files and folders

3. Try to look for your missing files on your hard drive. There is a tool called Random’s System Information Tool that is able to help you find files or folders created or modified in the last 1 to 3 months.

4. If you have managed to locate your files which are hidden but visible because you’ve configured the Folder Options to show them, then you’ll need to unhide the hidden files. Here are 4 methods to reset the system and hidden attributes.


1. Unhide using the Windows attrib command

attrib command line

This is the old school method of doing it without using any software. Just run command prompt (Start -> Run -> CMD for XP, or for Vista and 7 Start -> type CMD in search box, right click and run as Admin), type the following command:

attrib -H -S C:\path\to\your\file.doc /S /D

You can also use the asterisk character to define multiple extensions. For example:

attrib -H -S C:\raymond\*.* /S /D

This would remove the Hidden and System attribute of all files in the raymond folder on the C drive. The /S and /D arguments are optional. /S will recurse down into all sub folders and /D will unhide the folders themselves if they have the System or Hidden attribute set.

Just to point out, it’s probably not the best idea to use something like “C:\*.*” as this will unhide the whole drive including files which Windows has set as hidden or system by design.

On the next page we’ll show you how to unhide/unsystem your files using even easier methods with the help software.

200 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Techboy 2 weeks ago
  2. Matthew 5 months ago
    • Amrouchk 5 months ago
  3. Creeper560 PL 6 months ago
  4. Syed Ansab Shah 9 months ago
  5. Christos 10 months ago
    • Raymond 9 months ago
  6. Alberto 1 year ago
  7. djloxzy 2 years ago
    • iranga 2 years ago
    • deni 1 year ago
  8. Syahiran 2 years ago
  9. ww 2 years ago
  10. solomon 2 years ago
  11. sunny 2 years ago
    • @Mahmoud 12 months ago
  12. Yazan Asad 2 years ago
  13. Lthn 3 years ago
  14. Imam Fauzi 3 years ago
  15. Muhammad Qasim 3 years ago
  16. Big Webby 3 years ago
  17. Subash Tamang 3 years ago
  18. Roki 3 years ago
  19. kingarthur@hararezimbabwe 3 years ago
  20. Laxman 4 years ago
  21. Gaurav Adhikari 4 years ago
  22. Orhtodentist 4 years ago
  23. Sathish 4 years ago
  24. Gary Hinrich 4 years ago
  25. Vaibhav Sawant 4 years ago
  26. KillerBee 4 years ago
  27. teddy 4 years ago
  28. kranz 4 years ago
  29. Aby 5 years ago
  30. akash 5 years ago
    • HAL9000 5 years ago
  31. chandan 5 years ago
  32. Jose 5 years ago
  33. John Neil Pelayo 5 years ago
  34. LeGeND 5 years ago
    • HAL9000 5 years ago
    • Dave 5 years ago
  35. noor 5 years ago
  36. Bill McCourt 5 years ago
    • HAL9000 5 years ago
      • Bill McCourt 5 years ago
  37. Yash Bhutoria 5 years ago
  38. jasvinder singh 5 years ago
  39. Thanxx 5 years ago
  40. Jason 5 years ago
  41. Pavan 5 years ago
  42. Paul 5 years ago
  43. AMMAD ALI SHAH 5 years ago
  44. kramnerda 6 years ago
  45. Ahmed Kilany 6 years ago
  46. debasis 6 years ago
  47. Codrops Developer sm 6 years ago
  48. Rasheed 6 years ago
  49. Baraa 6 years ago
  50. sakthivel 6 years ago
  51. JOEL 6 years ago
  52. Vijay 6 years ago
  53. Dj Pablo777 6 years ago
  54. Upendra Shendye 6 years ago
  55. randy bost 6 years ago
  56. kannan 6 years ago
  57. Prahlad 6 years ago
  58. Reel 6 years ago
  59. Wahid Shiblee 6 years ago
  60. Onyeke 6 years ago
  61. george kyle daongan 6 years ago
  62. MANOHARAN 6 years ago
  63. abdurrhman azzam 7 years ago
  64. chong 7 years ago
  65. vinod 7 years ago
  66. Mohamed Ouf 7 years ago
  67. rayan 7 years ago
  68. Sahan 7 years ago
  69. Nostalgic 7 years ago
  70. Americo 7 years ago
  71. SUZE 7 years ago
  72. Ambesh 7 years ago
  73. Sadiq Lashari 7 years ago
  74. TAMILSELVAN 7 years ago
  75. siraj 7 years ago
  76. Rajesh 7 years ago
  77. sys admin 7 years ago
  78. R Z 7 years ago
  79. Nihad 7 years ago
  80. john 7 years ago
  81. Jay Kumar 7 years ago
  82. ملهم 7 years ago
  83. jp 7 years ago
  84. Anees-ur-Rehman 7 years ago
  85. Nachiket 7 years ago
  86. Ghost Hunter 7 years ago
  87. Ali 7 years ago
  88. PASCAL Philippe 7 years ago
  89. Abdelrhman 8 years ago
  90. AnandRaj 8 years ago
  91. Farzad 8 years ago
  92. Shiva 8 years ago
  93. matt 8 years ago
  94. Naseef Umar 8 years ago
  95. Anirban 8 years ago
  96. Tor 8 years ago
  97. Reham 8 years ago
  98. DC- Zambia 9 years ago
  99. GAGS.. 9 years ago
  100. cab 9 years ago
  101. Manuel Major 9 years ago
  102. Mac17_gregory 9 years ago
  103. Mahendra 9 years ago
  104. zax 9 years ago
  105. sevha 9 years ago
  106. Pulkit 10 years ago
  107. Pol Cabriana 10 years ago
  108. Filip 10 years ago
  109. Neeraj D. Sharma 10 years ago
  110. odd-1 10 years ago
  111. rohit 10 years ago
  112. noel 10 years ago
  113. Uday Kumar B R 10 years ago
  114. Kavita Ann 10 years ago
  115. RDT 10 years ago
  116. soopa 10 years ago
  117. hojo 10 years ago
  118. DP 10 years ago
  119. Odilon 10 years ago
  120. Genky 10 years ago
  121. aau 83 10 years ago
  122. TCN-WDESIGN 10 years ago
  123. dev dm 10 years ago
  124. john 10 years ago
  125. venus 10 years ago
  126. Steward 10 years ago
  127. Brendan 10 years ago
  128. Ukiya 10 years ago
  129. NA 10 years ago
  130. anirban 10 years ago
  131. Geeva 10 years ago
  132. Mhegaz 10 years ago
  133. izizree 10 years ago
  134. Navaid 10 years ago
  135. rolex 10 years ago
  136. marvin 10 years ago
  137. Carlos Padron 10 years ago
  138. wesleyodenzo 10 years ago
  139. irfan 10 years ago
  140. Ramesh 10 years ago
  141. dasnyvon21 10 years ago
  142. Sivakumar 10 years ago
  143. shachou 10 years ago
  144. Adee 10 years ago
  145. Hani 11 years ago
  146. Anuj 11 years ago
  147. Badsha 11 years ago
  148. Swapnil 11 years ago
  149. Anupom 11 years ago
  150. abel 11 years ago
  151. syaiful 11 years ago
  152. zex 11 years ago
  153. KingQuenJac 11 years ago
  154. khan 11 years ago
  155. hee pit kuan 11 years ago
  156. Loh Chuang Li 11 years ago
  157. Kwao Lazarus 11 years ago
  158. Bluestar 11 years ago
  159. inkmho 11 years ago
  160. Nikola 11 years ago
  161. rahmat nabi form kabul 11 years ago
  162. Hafiz 11 years ago
  163. ivan enerlan 11 years ago
  164. sodkhuu 11 years ago
  165. Gyan Singh 11 years ago
  166. Jayakumar 11 years ago
  167. hamzoo.com 11 years ago
  168. rashidha 11 years ago
  169. jungard 11 years ago
  170. RamNhelgie 11 years ago
  171. robert 11 years ago
  172. saikat 11 years ago
  173. Blunatix003 12 years ago
  174. Sniper 12 years ago
  175. Shafat 12 years ago
  176. Sreechan 12 years ago
  177. JOHN VENTH 12 years ago
  178. vijay 12 years ago
  179. 123vso 12 years ago
  180. Kevin 12 years ago
  181. hanan 12 years ago
  182. dawiecool 12 years ago
  183. ha14 12 years ago
  184. Rekhyt 12 years ago
  185. roy raay 12 years ago
  186. riyaz 12 years ago
  187. mohan 12 years ago
  188. webcadre 12 years ago
  189. pooh 12 years ago

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: Your comment is subject to approval. Read our Terms of Use. If you are seeking additional information on this article, please contact us directly.