[Solution] File & Folder Names are not Visible in Windows Explorer

After receiving a few emails about this problem, today I decided to write a solution for this annoying problem.

Many Windows users face a problem in Windows Explorer, when they can't see file or folder names in a specific folder. Only file and folder icons are visible but their names are hidden as shown in following screenshot:

Here is a small step-by-step tutorial to fix this problem:

For Windows XP:

1. Open the folder which has this invisible name problem.

2. Now select "Details" from View menu.

3. Press and hold SHIFT key, right-click in empty area and select "View -> Thumbnails".

4. It'll toggle the file/folder names.

Actually its a feature to show/hide file names while in Thumbnails mode.

For Windows Vista and Later:

1. Open the folder which has this problem.

2. Right-click in empty area and uncheck "View -> Hide File names" option.

3. If this option is not available, press and hold SHIFT key, right-click in empty area and select "View -> Medium Icons" option.

NOTE: If above solution doesn't work, enable "Show hidden files and folders" option in Folder Options and then delete "Desktop.ini" file present in the folder which has this invisible name problem. Thanks to our reader "Adiman" for this tip...





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Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP


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Comments

  • Thank you, it worked for me, I have no idea how I lost the titles for the files.

  • thanks its working

  • Worked first time!
    Thanks

  • I have had this problem for a few months now, gradually every folder I have whether on the main drive or external drives, loses the file names.
    I can go through the above procedure and uncheck the "hide file names" box, but the moment I go back or click to another folder the names disappear again.
    I am having to uncheck the "hide file names" box for every folder I visit, and every time I do so.
    It will not remain unchecked.
    It is driving me crazy! I would be grateful for ANY solution to this that works permanently.

  • I have had this problem for a few months now, gradually every folder I have whether on the main drive or external drives, loses the file names.
    I can go through the above procedure and uncheck the "hide file names" box, but the moment I go back or click to another folder the names disappear again.
    I am having to uncheck the "hide file names" box for every folder I visit, and every time I do so (which might be dozens of times for each job I am working on and hundreds of times each day)
    It will not remain unchecked. The file names can be viewed once then disappear again.
    It is driving me crazy! I would be grateful for ANY solution to this that works permanently.

  • VG

    ^^ First try to reset folder view settings:

    http://www.askvg.com/how-to-fix-annoying-folder-view-type-problem-in-windows-vista/

  • u helped me a lot thnx for solving it

  • Thanks, it worked with your simple trouble shooting.

  • thanq very much for this help to solve the problem, thanx a lot.

  • thank u.......... very much

  • Thank you very much - worked a treat in XP. Don't know how they were lost - a mouse function while I was moving files between folders...

  • I didn't worked for me... What should I do?!

  • Thanks so much for the big help!... its working!

  • FYI. The folder/files names are hidden in a folder chosen to contain pictures, such as the default Pictures in your User folder.

  • Thanks...

  • VERY VERY THANKS..............................

  • Thanks!! This worked perfectly! :)

  • Hello sir....
    Its urgent...
    My desktop is showing no data on it..but internet is working.
    Update notifications also working.. Evrything is blank (black screen)on my desktop.
    Even not showing start options also..
    What to do sir

  • VG

    ^^ Looks like a corrupt or missing Explorer.exe file problem. You should try to repair Windows or try to access Task Manager using Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys combination and launch Command Prompt using cmd command in New Task. Now run sfc /scannow command to restore all default system files.

  • Thank you so much sir.....

  • I tried the right click, hold shift, select view/medium icons trick but that didn't work. How I got my folder names back.......I right clicked in the folder with the missing file names and selected refresh! That's it!

  • I wish this helped me, but unfortunately I see no text in the window.
    All I see is this:
    24.media.tumblr.com/7445a4e01827700f8674c23d7d92d06d/tumblr_n4sxdvzE2k1rdq9f1o1_500.png

    So I have no idea where the options are :(

  • Thanx it worked

  • THanks. Sir for his Great solution

  • Hello sir....
    Its urgent...
    A folder in my removable disk not showing any file or folder that it contain.
    on exploring this particular folder "this folder is empty" is shown in the explore area.
    even other folder and files are showing their titles and icons.
    plz give me solution for the problem
    Thinking you

  • VG

    ^^ Did you try to enable "Show hidden files" and disable "Hide protected system files" options in Folder Options?

  • Thanks.. this work for me on Win XP :)

  • Thanks Machaanee ...! <3

  • Thank you very much.

  • Thanks. It worked for XP.

  • Thank you so much, I work with over 10,000 photos and not seeing their catalog numbers made the job nearly impossible.

  • Thanks for this article.

    I have an issue where just a few files "disappear" from certain folders (happens most often with word files, but maybe I just notice this because I use word a lot). I'll open windows explorer, go to the folder in question, and a file I know is there won't be listed (I tend to list by name and organize by date saved), even if I was just working on it the day before. A search of the folder does not yield any results. I always back up my writing projects, so if I go to my external drive and attempt to copy the backed up version file back to my documents folder, I'll get a message that the file in question exists, and do I want to copy and replace blah, blah, blah. If I do so, the file may appear for a while, or it may be "missing" again the next time I open it.

    Seems to be completely random. I have Windows 7 professional, 64 bit version, and I'm using word 2003 (old, I know, but aside from this issue it works fine, and I hate the ribbon in newer versions of word). Next time this happens, I'll have to see if your solution makes the folder re-appear.

  • thanks working its is very simpel

  • Thankyou, but what makes it automatically change the folder details in the first place?

  • thank u soooo much

  • thanks a lot

  • a few minutes before i lost all the names of one of my folders and i was so confused but im so relaxed now. Bundle of thanx. this is really informative and useful.
    Jazak Allah Hoo Khaira (arabic language translation is as May Allah reward you the Best of His)

  • Thanks for you tips. This work!

  • Been there done that - still does not work.
    Next??

  • I have two computers, one using Windows 7 and the other windows 8. When I create a folder using Windows 8 I cannot see it from Windows 7 unless I reboot the computer. Then I can see the folder but cannot open it as it says it cannot open it and the files or directory is corrupted. But when I go back to the folder from Windows 8 it is fine. Help!

  • VG

    ^^ It might be a permission issue. Did you try to take ownership of the folder?

  • Had this issue in a removable disk with music. Tried everything until I read the tip from Jan : refresh !
    Nothing more was needed !

  • For Windows 10
    Right Click on desktop ---- Personalization-- Color---Choose your recent color the choose any color.
    now problem has been resolved.

  • this issue regarding color setting.

  • The path you entered, is too long. Enter a shorter path
    File Name could not be found. Check the spelling of the filename,
    and verify that the file location is correct.

  • I had disabled indexing and that helped, but tried just once now.
    Win 7 pro 64 bit

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