File Explorer helps you find your files and folders, but sometimes it doesn't seem like any files or folders are showing. Even if the file is there because it can be accessed from the command prompt, Explorer may not display it.
If you're facing this problem, you can do a few things to fix it, but before that, make sure you're in the correct folder. File not showing and File not available are two different things. The first is due to File Explorer issues, while the second is where the files are actually missing.
Fix File Explorer Not Showing Files Even If There
I suggest these troubleshooting tips fix the issue of File Explorer not displaying files even if they exist. To be able to use any of the methods below, you will need admin rights.
1. Use Refresh
When you open a folder in File Explorer, it may take some time to load, depending on the number of files. While this is not a problem with SSDs, it can be a problem if you are loading them from an old hard drive.
So, you can either wait or right-click an empty space in Explorer and select Refresh or press the F5 key on the keyboard. Sometimes the process gets stuck because there are too many files, and doing a refresh will help.
2. Restart File Explorer
If Refresh doesn't help and takes more time than expected, we recommend restarting File Explorer.
You can use Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Alt + Ctrl + Del to open the Task Manager, which will display a list of currently running programs in Windows. Notifications for Windows Explorer are registered and must be not-responding. Next, right-click on it and select Restart.
Once you have done this, try to reaccess the folder, and hopefully, your problem will be resolved.
3. Clear Icon Cache
When a file is loaded from a folder, it also loads an icon, which is why you can quickly identify the file type. Windows keeps a cache for these files, so it doesn't take time to display icons and images of the file type when opening any folder. However, if this cache icon is corrupted or missing, then loading will take some time.
I suggest rebuilding the icon cache to solve the problem related to this. Once you have rebuilt your icon cache, you can then upgrade your icon cache.
4. Check If Files Are Hidden
When you are in the folder, click View and check the box that says Hide items. If a folder is marked as hidden, it will now be visible. They will look different from regular folders, but you will be able to access them, including all the files.
Select the parent folder and go to Properties by right-clicking the folder if you want to show the folder. Then uncheck the Hidden box. Click Apply, then select Apply changes to this folder, subfolders, and files and click OK. Then click OK again in the properties window.
You can read here for another complete method of displaying it. One more thing you need to know is that you did not set the folder to be invisible.
5. Repair File System
If nothing else works, it would be best to run System File Checker. You can read it here or here to repair the damaged file system.
After the repair process is complete, restart your PC and reopen File Explorer to check if you can see the file or folder.
That's it for this tutorial. I hope it's useful for you. Don't forget to leave your comments below to share your experiences in following this tutorial. Thank you.