How to Show Hidden Files and Folders in Mac OS X

How to Show Hidden Files on Mac

What looks like a simple system from outside can be the most complicated one from inside. This has happened with Apple’s Mac; for any user, it can be a simple computer to operate externally. But internally, there can be a coil of files and folders that can bewilder even a seasoned Mac user.

If you think that Apple should simplify everything (like this coil), I would say that let there be confusion or complexity. Because Apple wants you to stay away from this so that you can smoothly operate the Mac.

Apple keeps some files as hidden in its Mac OS X so that nobody can tamper with those important data stored in the hidden files. As a matter of fact, this “secret treasure” should not be located by any intruder (read new user.)

As a Mac owner, if you want to show those hidden files in Mac OS X, here is a method.

Mac Terminal is one of the most popular apps used and eulogized by experts. This app allows you to control Mac OS X by using the command line to enter Unix commands. In a way, Terminal works as car bonnet, which you can open and check entire engine. The app helps you open Mac OS X and take a look what is happening there. Here is how to use Mac Terminal.

How to Show Hidden Files in Mac OS X Finder

Step #1. Launch finder → Click on Go.

Step #2. Now click on Utilities.

Click on Utilities in Mac Finder

Step #3. Click on the Terminal app.

Click on Terminal from Mac Finder


You can search for terminal from spotlight search.

Search Terminal in Mac Spotlight Search

Step #4. Copy and paste below mentioned command lines into Terminal one after another; press Return after pasting each line.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
killall Finder

You can see your Terminal window as shown below:

Enter Command Line to View Hidden Files on Mac

Post this, a Finder window on desktop may be vanished and then reappear. When the Finder reappears, you can see hidden folders.

Your Home folder would look like this (see below) in the Finder window.

Home Window After Enabling Hidden Files on Mac

With first line, setting inside AppleShowAllFiles preferences will be changed; set it to YES. Killall, though it sounds terrifying, will quit and relaunch Finder.

To restart Finder, you can select Option + Control and click the Finder icon in Dock; now select Relaunch.

How to Hide Files in Mac Using Terminal

Now, if you want to send these Hidden files back to their native place, here is a simple solution. All you need to do is to repeat the above command by adding just one word: NO at the end. Remember, you must match the case.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO
killall Finder

Hide Files in Mac Finder

Hidden files of Mac OS X Finder should be disappeared post this command.

Home Window on Mac After Disabling Hidden Files

If you require accessing hidden files frequently, you can use a few shareware apps that will program the entire procedure.

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

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