How Do I View Hidden Files and Folders?

I have my old Outlook .pst file on a flash drive, but I cannot get it to my hard drive. The location of the newly created Outlook .pst file is in the location – c:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook – but when I try to step into that location, there is no “AppData” folder. What am I missing?

Windows is trying to be helpful by protecting you from yourself.

Or perhaps it’s trying not to confuse you with too much data.

Or maybe it’s trying to protect itself from you.

Whatever … Windows is hiding that folder.

You and I, we know what we’re doing, so we’ll tell it to stop.

Read moreHow Do I View Hidden Files and Folders?

How do I get Windows File Explorer to display details by default?

How do I get File Explorer to display details by default?

File Explorer (previously known as Windows Explorer in Windows versions prior to 8) defaults to show files as icons and to hiding some files from you.

That’s not what I want.

Not only am I a control freak who wants to see all of the files and details by default, but even after all this time, there are actually real security issues associated with File Explorer’s choice of default display.

There are several options you can manipulate, and it’s fairly easy to make them the default.

Read moreHow do I get Windows File Explorer to display details by default?

What do I do when Windows Explorer crashes?

Windows Explorer keeps crashing on me. Sometimes, all that I need to do is open a folder in it, and *poof* – it’s toast. Why? And what do I do? And to be clear, I’m talking about Windows Explorer crashing – not Internet Explorer.

Windows Explorer (also known as File Explorer in Windows 8 and later) is a very special program. In many ways, it “is Windows”, in that Windows Explorer is actually the program that’s responsible for displaying the task bar, the Start menu, the task-switcher, and a fair amount more.

Oh, and it’s also the program that you can use to browse around your hard disk to look at files and folders.

It’s definitely completely unrelated to Internet Explorer, but there is one characteristic that they share that can cause the kinds of problems you’re seeing.

They can both be extended.

Read moreWhat do I do when Windows Explorer crashes?

Where Did these Oddly-named Folders Come From, and How Do I Get Rid of Them?


I run Windows XP Professional on my Dell OptiPlex desktop. I also have a 1 TB My Passport removable drive for storing my data by just copying to the drive. I discovered two folders suddenly appearing on the folders on that drive. Four additional folders have now been added to the previous two. The folders have these numbers: 9c132e36a0fc6471430a1e192 and similar. Each folder contains two folders names amd64 and i386. Only the first folder with the top numbers contain some data. Access is denied each time I want to delete them. How can I delete them and prevent further incursion of these folders on to the removable drive?

This isn’t some kind of malicious incursion. It’s actually expected. It’s simply a side effect of how some software setup programs operate and how sometimes they don’t clean up after themselves.

Read moreWhere Did these Oddly-named Folders Come From, and How Do I Get Rid of Them?

What is wssetup.exe?

What is wssetup.exe? A search on the internet tells me that it could cause problems, but I can’t find where the program is or how to get rid of it?

Wssetup.exe sounds like the setup program for an application with the initials W.S. Have you installed anything with these initials lately?

My guess is that wssetup.exe is benign, but of course we can’t know for sure. While you googled the file name, there’s actually no guarantee that this file is the same as the one whose information you found online. Software companies aren’t required to give program files unique names, and neither are malware developers, for that matter. Anyone can name a file how they like.

So, it sounds like you need to do a little research.

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Changing Windows Explorer Settings

Windows Explorer is a ubiquitous, yet under-appreciated component of Windows.

For many people, Windows Explorer is their primary interface to Windows itself. It’s where they locate and open documents, music, and other files. It’s where they perform copy and sometimes even backup operations.

And it’s one of the primary tools often used when maintaining their system.

Unfortunately, Windows Explorer comes with default settings that are intended to make the system less confusing and more friendly, but often make it less than informative and sometimes even downright dangerous.

Let’s look at changing a few settings and setting a few defaults. I’ll throw in a speed tip as well.

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One Change You Should Make to Windows File Explorer Right Now to Stay Safer

The vast majority of Windows default settings boil down to a matter of personal preference.

Over the years, as I’ve installed Windows over and over again on new machines, test machines, and more, I’ve slowly adapted to simply accepting the default settings rather than re-applying a large number of customizations every time.

There’s one setting that I and many other security-conscious folks feel that Microsoft simply got wrong. It’s a setting that you should probably change right away.

You don’t want Windows Explorer to “Hide extensions for known file types”.

Read moreOne Change You Should Make to Windows File Explorer Right Now to Stay Safer

Where is Windows Explorer?


I am running Windows XP Pro, and for some reason I cannot find Windows Explorer. I can’t find it in the Start Menu … could you point me in the right

Windows Explorer is both the hardest to find, and the easiest to find program there is. There are several ways to get it, and all of them are really, really easy.

It’s just that none of them are obvious.

Read moreWhere is Windows Explorer?