cPanel file manager – show hidden files (dot files, .htaccess and more)

When logging into cPanel to use the browser based file manager, you may find that some files appear to be “missing” from the file manager. This is because by default, cPanel does not display files outside of the standard .html or .php files and directories. The reason for this is to prevent these files from potentially being deleted. If you find yourself in a position where you need to access these files but they appear to be missing, simply follow the steps below to enable them. Depending on which cPanel theme you are using, there are two separate ways to access the setting to enable them.

Paper Lantern cPanel Theme:

If you are using the cPanel theme called “Paper Lantern”, you will need to first open the file manager from within cPanel, as shown in the image below.



You’ll click on the option shown above for “File Manager” and you’ll then be taken into the browser based file manager, as shown below.




You will then want to click on the “Settings” button found at the top right of the screen, which is shown in the image above. After you click the settings button, you’ll be presented with a “Preferences” window that contains a few check boxes.




To enable the hidden files to be displayed, you’ll need to ensure the check box for “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) is checked, then click “Save”. Now, when you go into your file manager you will see the previously hidden files.


x3 cPanel Theme:

If you are using the x3 cPanel theme (most common) you will simply need to navigate to the bottom of the control panel page and locate the “Reset All Interface Settings” link.




After clicking this link, you can now go back up to the file manager icon and click to enter the browser based file manager. Once you have clicked to open the file manager, you should be presented with a similar popup window titled “File Manager Directory Selection”.




On the lower half of this popup preferences screen as shown above, simply check the box for “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles)” and then click “Go”. Now, the hidden files will be displayed when opening the cPanel file manager.

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