42 responses

  1. Paul
    February 27, 2009

    There is a simple app you can install to do this, called “Blind” Check it out here: http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/22495/blind

    • PAUL
      September 11, 2016

      Where on earth did you find that “blind” shows hiden files on mac ??? why you guys cannot be serious !!!!!

  2. ac_poster
    March 2, 2009

    or you could type in that command into the terminal which is far easier…. and also… this is old news how to do this in mac os x… old ancient news…

    • derpy
      October 31, 2012

      or you could just not leave an unnecessary comment and stop being a self-righteous macsnob…and also…you’re lame…and also…this is an old ancient post… and also… your mom

      • Dick.Zombi
        January 3, 2013

        Terminal comes with your Mac… No download required.
        Post = Necessary.
        It’s funny to see the self-righteous of one bash the self-righteous of another. Go Linux.

    • Bruce
      January 22, 2013

      Old, old, old news that, to this day, is still important because Apple doesn’t think its users need obvious ways to see hidden files. When software is written in a way that seems to imply that it knows better than its users what should be allowed (e.g. seeing “invisible files”), then the software writers are both arrogant and wrong.

      • Bob
        May 31, 2015

        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.

  3. YourT
    March 7, 2009

    Instead of YES it Should be TRUE

  4. Atari Dude
    March 29, 2009

    Thanks, I used to use a third party app for doing this but I find it easy to use the Terminal command.

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE;killall Finder

    That worked for me, all invisible files are now visible.

  5. bjs1990peregrine
    May 3, 2009

    Tnomeralc, I’ve found an easy way to hide folders without buying an application. First, use the command listed above to show hidden files. Then, rename the folder you’d like to hide by adding a dot (.) at the beginning of the name. For example, “MyFolder” would become “.MyFolder”
    After that, hide the folders again and you’re all set!

    Hope that helps!

  6. macbeth
    May 4, 2010

    Oh, please don’t be a crybaby ac_poster, MacOsXHints don’t owe hints and tips, they’re available for anyone – not copyrighted or nothing, so stop your whining and be happy for new Mac Users. Old ancient news you say, for whom? Those who have known for a while? For newbies it is News. – Instead consider this: Try search the internet for ‘show hidden files 10.6′. The first two hits are open/save dialogues, the third hit is this page. Instead try improving macosxhints’ GUI, it is not User Friendly when you find your tip in the comments below (jantonc)..

  7. DD
    July 21, 2010

    Sooo simple! though I’ve been a Mac user since 1987 I’ve never needed to hide a file. Now I do and I did in a few seconds. Thanxxxx

  8. Paul
    September 25, 2011

    Need to turn it on an off? I use it when working on volumes on a Mac OS X Server or other Unix boxes, typically for .htaccess files. I only need it on occasionally and don’t want the clutter or risk otherwise.

    So using a plain text editor create two simple files with the commands to turn on and off. (TextEdit won’t do, but Word will save in plain text)

    Make them executable with chmod thru Terminal. Use Finder’s Get Info to set them to open with Terminal

    From then on you can double-click it to switch between showing and hiding.

  9. Anthony
    October 6, 2011

    Thanks a ton! I’ve been using Houdini to reveal the .htaccess files so far but it’s far more convenient to have hidden files revealed by default.

  10. Arvid Nielsen
    March 19, 2012

    Great help – thanks man!

    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? (To me it’s quite scary to mess with the system like that, anyway.):

    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.

  11. radarak
    March 20, 2012

    what about ~/private/var/vm ?!
    this is the folder for creating huge snapshots of os which changes alot.

  12. JohnUlmer
    June 29, 2012

    Here’s another way:
    To show hidden files, Start Property List Editor, then with it open the file /Users/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist. Look for the key named “AppleShowAllFiles”, and change its value to TRUE. Type Command-S to save the edit. Then restart the finder, either with `killall Finder` in Terminal or by re-launching Finder in the Force-Quit Applications app (Command-Option-Esc).

    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: there was a Key in the plist named “ApplwShowAllFiles”. Oops.

  13. Don
    July 12, 2012

    Just what I was looking for. Thanks.

  14. Diyer
    September 18, 2012

    You can also you kill all on the same command line. Check out this for an example.

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE;killall Finder

  15. Nick
    October 11, 2012

    I tried to hide the hidden files again but it wont work

  16. Mohammed EL ASSAL
    October 14, 2012

    Thank you so much for your contribution !!

  17. rebecca
    November 18, 2012

    ok, this may seem ridiculous but a bit of an amateur here, how do you access the terminal to type commands in? Am on a macbook running OS X 10.5.8


    • Clark
      December 14, 2012

      Rebecca, Terminal is a utility. Look in your Utility folder (inside your Applications folder)

  18. Frank
    January 25, 2013

    Thank you! Was in a pickle and really needed to see my hidden files. This command worked great.

  19. eric
    April 1, 2013

    Whether this is old news or not, I didn’t know it, and I just tried it, and it worked. That is great. Thank you.

  20. Sam
    April 16, 2013

    On some versions of the operating system, it requires a YES to enable, and a NO to disable, instead of TRUE or FALSE.

    It will not give you any feedback if successful.

    Do a killall Finder to see the change.

  21. R
    December 11, 2013

    Thank you……. this info is really helpful !

  22. NH
    December 19, 2013

    I have a question… I saw a .dsstore and .local file on the desktop that I assume were copied there from my FTP by mistake.. after I fixed the file that was wrongly marked with the dot, is it safe to trash those ?

  23. Martin
    February 27, 2014

    Command+Shift+. on Mavericks doesn’t work well in column-view mode. Have to click in and our of folders. Not reliable. Works well in list view though.
    Great tip! Used OSX for years without knowing that shortcut…

  24. kizi
    May 31, 2014

    i did it but can’t see file (.htaccess) yet? can anyone help

  25. Chris Viljoen
    March 29, 2015

    Thanks for the article!

    It’s free and works well if anyone else stumbles onto this thread.

  26. Pristique
    May 2, 2015

    LOL giving advice to trust third party apps trust that require sudo privileges on OS X is silly. That is probably the single easier way to completely compromise the security of your entire system.

    • clueless
      May 3, 2015

      What are you even talking about? This is showing how to display hidden files by using defaults commands. All defaults commands are part of OS X system modification, they are not third party and there is no requirements to use any third party anything to make hidden files visible on a Mac.

  27. Glauco Zega
    May 9, 2015

    Thank you so much!

  28. jos.
    June 6, 2016

    More easily understood than the directions on the MAC support pages. Greatly appreciated!!

  29. ALEXA
    July 25, 2016

    Using Terminal to show hidden files on Mac killed me every time. I`ve created script files for these commands so it saves my time.
    Open Script Editor, paste to the window the following instructions:

    set vis to do shell script “defaults read com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles”
    if vis = “0” then
    do shell script “defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles 1”
    do shell script “defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles 0”
    end if
    tell application “Finder” to quit
    delay 1
    tell application “Finder” to activate

    Save the file and then just run it to change files visibility.

  30. Great
    September 3, 2016

    Great tip, using this to show hidden files in macOS Sierra. Works exactly as described.


  31. kontrol
    December 18, 2016

    my 3 tb airport extreme does not have such a folder (hidden or otherwise), mac os seirra.

  32. marty mcgowan
    March 22, 2017

    following ALEXA’s instructions (7/25/16) on … received the following Message from “Save …”, RUN, and Hammer icons:

    Expected “given”, “in”, “of”, expression, “with”, “without”, other parameter name, etc. but found unknown token.

    the only difference i see is the pasted script in the Apple Script Editor, there are no blank lines.


    i’m using Sierra 10.12.3, on a 3.4 Ghz core I5, everything’s up to date, less OneDrive and Twitter

  33. Gene Miller
    April 26, 2017

    NOTE: shift+command+period toggles hidden files in Finder list view as well!! (on macOS Sierra Ver 10.12.4)

    • Nice
      January 12, 2018

      Bruv. This is awesome.

    • Roni
      March 18, 2018

      Thanks!!! Great tip!

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