See all hidden files on mac

What are the hidden files on Mac?
Contents:
  1. View Hidden Files in Mac Open and Save Dialog Boxes
  2. A simple keyboard trick shows you the secrets
  3. How to see hidden files and folders in macOS
  4. The Easiest Way to Show Hidden Files on Mac
  5. How to see hidden files and folders in macOS

View Hidden Files in Mac Open and Save Dialog Boxes

With both these methods, your Library folder will disappear again when you close the Finder window. That will create a shortcut to it that will persist. Now that you know how to view hidden files and folders on your Mac, you may be wondering how you can hide other files or folders, to keep them away from prying eyes. There are a number of third-party applications and utilities that offer to do this for you, but you can do it yourself in Terminal, like this:.

The file or folder you dragged onto the Terminal window will now be hidden. To see it again, use one of the methods described above to see hidden files. To make the file visible permanently again, use the steps above, but in step 2 type: As you can see, viewing hidden files and folders on your Mac is very straightforward. There are a number of ways to do it, and you can make them visible temporarily or permanently. If you want to declutter your Mac or uninstall applications, use a dedicated application like CleanMyMac X.

It will safely remove all useless files, add-ons, broken login items, caches, large and old files you didn't know about. This setting stays in place until it has been reversed or disabled, which would cause all files to become hidden again just as the default. Remember the Finder must relaunch to show hidden files and folders, they will appear as slightly translucent icons alongside the normal icons. Then the command to kill and relaunch Finder on Mac, which is where the invisible files will now be shown:. Note that refreshing Finder is always necessary.

That casing is important, however, which is why you must enter exact syntax. To hide files that are intended to be hidden again, thus going back to the default Mac settings of keeping them invisible, you can just type the following defaults command.


  • Show Hidden Files in Mac OS X!
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  • View Hidden Files and Folders on Your Mac With Terminal!
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  • Keyboard Shortcut.

Hit return, and again the command will set the file visibility change and relaunch Finder so that it can relaunch for changes to take effect. You will instantly see the change as once-hidden files are revealed. That command sequence can be used to toggle back or forth, thereby revealing and hiding the files again as needed. For many users, this keystroke is the most appropriate use for when an invisible file must be modified but there is no need to make them all visible all the time.

Another way to quickly see hidden files in OS X is by using the ls command within the Terminal, at the command line type the following:. The -a flag tells the ls list command to show all contents, including hidden files. You then just have to specify a directory if you want to see the hidden files in it:. This trick can also be used to open hidden directories into the Finder, for example with the following syntax:.

Enjoy this tip? Subscribe to the OSXDaily newsletter to get more of our great Apple tips, tricks, and important news delivered to your inbox! Enter your email address below:. Terminal comes with your Mac… No download required. Go Linux. When software is written in a way that seems to imply that it knows better than its users what should be allowed e.

You have obviously never seen my mom use a computer. It is arrogant to assume that everyone has the same ability to understand tech that you do.

A simple keyboard trick shows you the secrets

Thanks, I used to use a third party app for doing this but I find it easy to use the Terminal command. First, use the command listed above to show hidden files. Old ancient news you say, for whom? Those who have known for a while?

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For newbies it is News. Sooo simple! Now I do and I did in a few seconds. Need to turn it on an off?


  • View Hidden Files in Mac Open and Save Dialog Boxes;
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So using a plain text editor create two simple files with the commands to turn on and off. Make them executable with chmod thru Terminal. Thanks a ton!

How to see hidden files and folders in macOS

Any of you guys want to keep that particular folder or file at hand, after having hidden files again, without having to do the whole Terminal thing? Drop the folder or file onto the sidebar of your Finder window. Now, you should be able to access it, directly and easily, in the future. Type Command-S to save the edit. In my case I must add that Property List Editor made it obvious to me that I had recently fat-fingered this task at the command-line: Am on a macbook running OS X That is great. Thank you. I have a question… I saw a. Have to click in and our of folders.

The Easiest Way to Show Hidden Files on Mac

Not reliable. Works well in list view though. Great tip! Used OSX for years without knowing that shortcut…. That is probably the single easier way to completely compromise the security of your entire system. You may see your desktop disappear and reappear when you execute these commands; this is normal. Now that the Finder is displaying hidden files and folders, just what can you see? The answer depends on the specific folder you're looking at, but in just about every folder, you'll see a file named.

How to see hidden files and folders in macOS

More important than the ubiquitous. The Library folder contains many files and folders that relate to specific apps and services that you use on your Mac.

How to Show Hidden Files on Mac - Apple Mac Tutorial

For example, have you ever wondered where your email messages are stored? If you use Mail, you'll find them in the hidden Library folder. Go ahead and look around the Library folder, but don't make any changes unless you're having a specific problem that you're attempting to fix. Now that you can see all the hidden folders and files in the Finder say that three times fast , you'll probably want to hide them again, if only because they tend to clutter up Finder windows with extraneous items.