As a powerful and versatile development platform, Eclipse IDE has become a go-to choice for developers working with various programming languages and tools. Among its many features, the Project Explorer stands out by offering a hierarchical view of projects, folders, and files in your workspace. By default, some files are hidden in the Project Explorer to keep the interface clean and organized. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of displaying these hidden files within the Eclipse IDE’s Project Explorer.

Understanding the Rationale Behind Hidden Files in Eclipse

Before we dive into the steps for revealing hidden files, it’s essential to comprehend why some files are concealed in the first place. In order to maintain an organized Project Explorer view, Eclipse hides certain files and folders, such as configuration files, temporary files, or system files, that aren’t directly related to the development process. This reduces visual clutter, allowing developers to focus on the crucial aspects of their projects. However, there are instances when hidden files need to be accessed or modified, which is when it’s crucial to know how to reveal them in the Project Explorer.

Revealing Hidden Files in Eclipse’s Project Explorer: A Step-by-Step Guide

To display hidden files in the Project Explorer, follow these steps:

Access the Project Explorer View

Launch the Eclipse IDE on your computer. If you haven’t installed Eclipse yet, download it from the official website: Select the appropriate package for your operating system and follow the installation instructions. Once Eclipse is open, locate the Project Explorer view on the left side of the IDE. If you can’t find it, open it by navigating to Window > Show View > Project Explorer in the menu bar.

Open the Customize View Dialog

To reveal hidden files, access the “Customize View” dialog by clicking on the small downward-facing triangle in the upper-right corner of the Project Explorer view. This will open a dropdown menu, from which you can select the “Customize View…” option.

Modify Filters

Upon selecting “Customize View…”, a new dialog will appear, allowing you to modify various settings related to the Project Explorer’s appearance. In the “Filters” tab, you’ll see a list of checkboxes that determine which file types are hidden from view.

To show hidden files, uncheck the box next to “.* resources”. This filter hides any file or folder whose name starts with a period, which is a common convention for hidden files in Unix-based systems, including macOS and Linux. If you wish to reveal other types of files or folders, review the list of filters and uncheck the relevant boxes.

Save Changes and View Hidden Files

After modifying the filters, click “OK” to save your changes and close the “Customize View” dialog. The Project Explorer will now update to show the previously hidden files. To ensure all hidden files become visible, refresh the Project Explorer by right-clicking on the view and selecting “Refresh” from the context menu or pressing the “F5” key.


Eclipse’s Project Explorer is an invaluable tool for developers, and knowing how to customize its view is essential. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily reveal hidden files in the Project Explorer, allowing you to access and modify them as needed. Keep in mind that showing hidden files can clutter your workspace, so it’s a good practice to reapply the filters when you no longer need to access the hidden files.

With this knowledge in hand, you’re now better equipped to navigate the Eclipse IDE and manage your projects more efficiently. Whether you need to access a configuration file, a hidden folder, or any other concealed item, you can now confidently reveal it in the Project Explorer.

Additional Tips for Working with Eclipse Project Explorer

While this guide focused on revealing hidden files in the Project Explorer, here are some additional tips to help you make the most out of this powerful feature in Eclipse:

Searching Files and Resources

To search for specific files, resources, or text within your projects, use Eclipse’s built-in search functionality. To access it, press “Ctrl + H” or navigate to “Search > Search…” in the menu bar. This feature allows you to perform file and resource searches, text searches, and even Java-specific searches within your projects.

Grouping and Sorting Project Items

You can customize the way items are displayed in the Project Explorer by grouping or sorting them based on various criteria. To access these settings, click on the downward-facing triangle in the upper-right corner of the Project Explorer and choose “Layout” from the dropdown menu. From there, you can select options like “Group by Project” or “Sort by Name” to organize your Project Explorer view according to your preferences.

Navigating to the Source Code

To quickly navigate to the source code of a specific class, method, or variable, you can use the “Open Declaration” feature. Place your cursor on the desired element in the source code editor, then press “F3” or right-click and select “Open Declaration”. Eclipse will open the file containing the declaration and highlight the relevant line of code.

Using Working Sets

Working sets are a useful feature in Eclipse that allows you to group projects, folders, or files based on specific criteria. By creating working sets, you can focus on specific parts of your projects and filter out unrelated items in the Project Explorer. To create and manage working sets, click on the downward-facing triangle in the upper-right corner of the Project Explorer, select “Select Working Set…” from the dropdown menu, and configure your desired working sets.

Leveraging Shortcuts

Eclipse has numerous keyboard shortcuts that can help you navigate and work more efficiently within the IDE. Familiarize yourself with these shortcuts to streamline your development process. Some common shortcuts include “Ctrl + Shift + R” to open a resource, “Ctrl + Shift + T” to open a type, and “Alt + Shift + Q, P” to activate the Project Explorer view.

By utilizing these tips and tricks, you can enhance your productivity and make the most out of the Eclipse IDE’s features. Remember to keep your Project Explorer view clean and organized by only revealing hidden files when necessary and reapplying filters when you’re done.

Disclaimer: The code snippets and examples provided on this blog are for educational and informational purposes only. You are free to use, modify, and distribute the code as you see fit, but I make no warranties or guarantees regarding its accuracy or suitability for any specific purpose. By using the code from this blog, you agree that I will not be held responsible for any issues or damages that may arise from its use. Always exercise caution and thoroughly test any code in your own development environment before using it in a production setting.

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