Explain the 'pale' yellow folders in Win-XP


David Cook

I don't recall exactly when NT / XP first implemented the
'pale' yellow folders. These are some sort of 'hidden' or
'system' or 'private' folders?

It also now appears that these special 'attributes' can also
be placed on 'files' as well as 'folders'?

I need to learn some way 'unhide' all of this, so that I can
find and manipulate these files and folders.

For example, one problem I'm grappling with is that I am
trying to do 'data recovery' of a customer's .PST files that
Outlook keeps in:
...\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

But, when I try (either in a 'cmd' window or via the GUI in Explorer)
I get conflicting results. This seems to be because certain folders
such as "Local Settings" and "Application Data" have this 'pale'
attribute. So, when I navigate in a cmd-window, I can NOT see
such folders, yet I can (blindly) 'CD' into them if I know they are

Even more confusing is that some other folders (e.g. 'Cookies')
is NOT 'pale', yet it too becomes hidden when navigating in the

Finally, when I get all the way into Local Settings\Application
folder, even in the GUI (File Explorer) I can then NOT see the .PST file(s),
tho a 'dir /s' command reveals that they are there. This is DAMN

So, is there a 'white paper' or something that explains this stuff?

And, are there ways to tweak the GUI and the CMD line 'DIR' cmd, so
that these files/folders can become always visible (e.g. for that session)?






pale yellow folders are hidden folders. you can show hidden files and
folders by going to the folder options and choosing to show them.

you can also choose to show protected files. you should not have any
problems viewing these files/folders. i've never had a problem.

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