How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Mac

Like every other operating system, Mac OS X usually keeps some data in hidden files and folders so that users don’t accidentally modify them. However, you may need to show hidden files sometimes to perform advanced tasks or modify iPod’s files.

On Windows XP, viewing hidden files is very simple through Folder Options. Mac does not have a direct toggle. So here’s a simple method to toggle hidden files and folders in Mac OS X using a simple terminal command. You can also download various utilities available for Mac but this is the simplest method.

Windows 7 users should read How to Show Hidden files and Folder in Windows 7


Follow these steps:

First launch terminal. You can either type Terminal in Spotlight Search(Shortcut: Cmd+Space) or go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal

To Show Hidden files:

Type the following two lines and press “enter” after each.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

To Hide Hidden files:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

If you are new to using terminal don’t worry. Nothing can go wrong if you use these commands. The first command changes default options for Finder and the second line is to relaunch the Finder for changes to take effect.

Also Read: How to Change Mac OS X Default Login Screen

You can also restart Finder by pressing Cmd + Option + Escape on your keyboard. Then select Finder in the list and click on Relaunch.

2 thoughts on “How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Mac”

  1. You’ve got a typo in the “To Hide Hidden files” command. It should say “FALSE” instead of “TRUE”.

    But I figured out what you intended. Thanks for the tip.

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