JSI Tip 3109. How do I get the DIR command to show System and Hidden files?


When you issue a DIR command in a CMD prompt, the default behavior is to NOT show System and Hidden files.

To show everything, use the /A switch without any modifiers.

You can set the dircmd environment variable, to make /A the default.

I prefer using setting dircmd to /a /ogne, to also group directories first and sort by name and extension.

When you type dir /?, you receive the following short help:

Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.

DIR \[drive:\]\[path\]\[filename\] \[/A\]attributes \[/B\] \[/C\] \[/D\] \[/L\] \[/N\]
  \[/O\]sortorder \[/P\] \[/Q\] \[/S\] \[/T\]timefield \[/W\] \[/X\] \[/4\]

  \[drive:\]\[path\]\[filename\]
              Specifies drive, directory, and/or files to list.

  /A          Displays files with specified attributes.
  attributes   D  Directories                R  Read-only files
               H  Hidden files               A  Files ready for archiving
               S  System files               -  Prefix meaning not
  /B          Uses bare format (no heading information or summary).
  /C          Display the thousand separator in file sizes.  This is the
              default.  Use /-C to disable display of separator.
  /D          Same as wide but files are list sorted by column.
  /L          Uses lowercase.
  /N          New long list format where filenames are on the far right.
  /O          List by files in sorted order.
  sortorder    N  By name (alphabetic)       S  By size (smallest first)
               E  By extension (alphabetic)  D  By date/time (oldest first)
               G  Group directories first    -  Prefix to reverse order
  /P          Pauses after each screenful of information.
  /Q          Display the owner of the file.
  /S          Displays files in specified directory and all subdirectories.
  /T          Controls which time field displayed or used for sorting
  timefield   C  Creation
              A  Last Access
              W  Last Written
  /W          Uses wide list format.
  /X          This displays the short names generated for non-8dot3 file
              names.  The format is that of /N with the short name inserted
              before the long name. If no short name is present, blanks are
              displayed in its place.
  /4          Displays four-digit years

Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable.  Override
preset switches by prefixing any switch with - (hyphen)--for example, /-W.
For additional information, use tip 2815.


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