Mac OS X Tips

Some people like to know everything that is on their computer. Admittedly, I was one of these people many moons ago, when I was a Windows user. I would always make sure that Windows Explorer would show all hidden files and folders. I’m not sure why, but I liked it this way.

These days, I’m quite the opposite, as I like to see as little files and folders as possible on my Mac. But I understand some people out there have the desire to see all those files and folders, for whatever reason that may be.

In this post I will show you how to show hidden files and folders in Finder on your Mac…

How to view hidden files and folders

If you use any recent version of OS X or macOS, follow these steps to show hidden files in Finder:

1) Launch Terminal.

2) Copy/paste or type in the following command

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true ; killall Finder

show hidden files on mac

3) You should now see hidden files and folders in Finder.

view hidden files and folders on mac

How to hide hidden files on Mac

Follow these steps if you want to hide the files and folders you previously revealed. Note this works with OS X Mavericks and Yosemite.

1) Launch Terminal.

2) Copy/paste or type in the following command

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean false ; killall Finder

hide hidden files on mac

3) All hidden files that you have revealed should now be hidden again.

How to show hidden files on OS X 10.8 and prior

If you use OS X 10.8 and prior, use these command line instead:

1) Launch Terminal.

2) Copy/paste or type in the following command

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

How to hide hidden files on OS X 10.8 and prior

If you want to hide the files and folders again on a machine running OS X 10.8 and prior, follow these steps:

If you use OS X 10.8 and prior, use these command line instead:

1) Launch Terminal.

2) Copy/paste or type in the following command

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

As always, feel free to ask any question in the comments section below.