SOLVED: Can’t see hosts file in Windows 10 Pro 64-bit.

Today I discovered that I couldn’t make Windows 10 Pro 64-bit show me the hosts file. I wanted to make a few changes to the file for reaching some internal networks instead of memorizing IPs and found myself unable to do so. Ultimately I found a solution and it leads me to additional questions.

The first thing I tried doing was checking my File Explorer settings to make sure I had hidden files and operating system files shown. Here is what I saw:

As you can see nothing should be hidden from me, in theory. But I still couldn’t see the hosts file for whatever reason.

At first I thought maybe Windows 10 had moved this file somewhere else, but googling seemed to indicate that wasn’t the case. I kept working on a solution and eventually found one.

What I found was that running Notepad as “Administrator” allowed me to access the file. After opening Notepad I went to File->Open and navigated to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc. I still couldn’t see the hosts file. However I tried simply typing “hosts” into the “File name” text box and hit “Open”. Boom! Hosts file is now open in Notepad and I can edit it.

Editing C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc file!
Editing C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc file!

I’m still not sure why I can’t see the file, but at least I can still edit it. I’ll be working on finding out why the file is hidden.