Show and Hide Hidden files on a Macintosh

September 16, 2014 / Updated: October 1, 2014 / Lena Shore

You have a lot of hid­den files on your Mac, which is a good thing — mostly. See­ing them all the time would clut­ter your expe­ri­ence. How­ever, some­times you really need to see them. Here is how you can show/hide files on OSX.

Show Hidden filesrelaunch-finder

  • Launch the Terminal Application: Finder –> Applications –> Utilities.
  • From the Terminal, paste the following:
    • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
  • Hit return.
  • Go to your Dock. Hold ‘alt’ on your keyboard, then right click on the Finder icon in the dock and click Relaunch.

This will show all hidden files.

Hide them again

To hide them again, follow the same steps but replace the Terminal command with:

  • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO
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Lena Shore

Lena is a full-time freelancer and nerd that specializes in web development, graphic design, and illustration. She enjoys building things, learning new things, pursuing creative endeavors, and giving free advice.

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