Hidden files clogging HD

Recently noticed my C: drive had almost maxed out (47 GB free of 457 GB). Knowing this wasn't right I did a quick total of all the files which came out at about 250 GB. I then went back and carefully checked each folder and file and still came up with 250GB. Then I downloaded an analytical software WinDrStat and it confirmed my total...until I selected Show Unknown files and sure enough there are about 154 GB of files residing somewhere on my HD. In fact the amount corresponds very closely to my Users folder which is 158 GB. So where are the "hidden" files lurking and how do I access them and delete them?


Active Member
...So where are the "hidden" files lurking and how do I access them and delete them?
Have you tried this?

In order to delete a folder or a file you have to become owner:



Windows Forum Team
Staff member
I prefer to use Tree Size Free. Some items that can chew up a lot of space are 'System Protection' which creates backup snapshots in the System Volume Directory and Hibernate (size will be up to the amount of memory in the system)

I'm still baffled. I've run properties on every C: drive folder - including hidden files - and it still totals approx. 253 GB. The two big ones are Windows @ 76.6 GB (24 GB hidden) and Users @ 161 GB. The "missing" hidden files are suspiciously the same size as the Users files. I've checked all the folders in the Users folder and they total 161 GB. So where else do I look???


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Welcome to the forum.
What were the names of the hidden folders/files?

I'm not sure how I show just hidden files/folders

Well, it just got curiouser and curiouser....and more scary. Out of desperation I decided to run a system restore - after I had copied all my important stuff to an external drive. After I began the process I had second thoughts but too late so I let it run which took most of an hour. Finally the system came back to life but with a message that it hadn't been able to complete the restore so it left everything as it was. Not so. I checked the C: drive only to discover that I now had 33 GB LESS than before system restore process began. I then checked all the folders to see what might have gained that much but nothing. Absolutely nothing. All my folders still total 253 GB. I need help!
I've run Disk Cleanup and Defragmenter more than once and I've checked all the folders for hidden files. Is it possible that the HD is duplicating some of the data? That doesn't make sense but neither does the feeling that aliens have invaded my system. Is it possible that there is a hidden folder or file that won't show up? BTW, I have Bitdefender installed and always check the status. My HD is almost maxed out so it's critical - code red!


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
For the hidden and system files.
Open the file manager. Select view on the top menu. Over on the right, is a small iem "options"
click it and select view.
Scroll down and select to show
1. Hidden files folders..etc
2. UNhide the protected operating system. You will get a popup warning, which you can, at this stage, acknowledge as YES. Remmeber, though, to reverse this process when you are finished with the examination.

You should now be able to see some unidentified folders. Look particularly for any which are starting with an asterisk of dollar sign.

A real problem!!!
Resumed troubleshooting again this afternoon and when I turned the monitor on discovered all the icons were gone. Although I've got Bitdefender I decided to do a virus scan with HouseCall and - shock! - it discovered a trojan (6D94671?) and, I hope, removed it. Or who knows? Anyway, I discovered that my HD now has about 10 GB free space (last night it was less than 1) and when I try to access File Explorer (Manager ?) it takes me to a Library folder. Also, the Recycle Bin folder now has a $ in front and it's got about 1 GB of files in it (it was emptied two days ago). When I check on the folders it always says This Folder Is Empty but under Properties it shows the correct amount of data.
Really looking for suggestions. Is there any way to undo what has happened?


Essential Member
Premium Supporter
Are you able to reinstall any important prgrams you have? Have you also backups of your personal data?

if so, I would suggest, with the state you are in, that a fresh install might be the better way to proceed.

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