Mac OS X: Show hidden files and folders

by Pramith

Under Mac OS X, you can use a command to display hidden files and folders. All files that begin with a dot in the name are not immediately displayed under Mac OS X. In our guide you will learn how to activate the display for hidden files.

Display hidden files and folders under MacOS with key combination

If you want to show hidden files or folders, you can do this quickly and easily with a key combination.

  • Start the Finder and open a folder
  • On the Mac keyboard, press [cmd] + [Shift] + [.].
  • The previously hidden folders and files are then displayed. They are distinguished from the other files and folders by a slightly transparent display.
  • If you want to hide the hidden files and folders again, press the above key combination once more.

Using the “Terminal” you can see all hidden files and folders with a special command. Start the programme by entering the keyword “Terminal” in the Spotlight search and selecting the first hit.

  • After starting Terminal, enter the following command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true.
  • Restarting the system is not necessary. However, a reset for the Finder is necessary. To do this, enter the command “killall Finder” in the terminal.
  • Now the hidden files and folders appear transparently in your Finder. If you now want to hide all hidden files again, enter this command in the terminal: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles false.
  • Finally, you have to restart the Finder in the terminal again. This can be done with the command “killall Finder” and confirmation with the Enter key.

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