How to View Hidden Files on Your Mac

How to View Hidden Files on Your Mac

Unlike Windows, Apple doesn’t make it obvious how to view the hidden files on your Mac. Thankfully, there are a few workaround to enable the display of your hidden files.

View Hidden files and folders in Finder

The first method to view hidden files is by using Finder. To do so, access your Mac’s Macintosh HD folder, which you can get by clicking on your Mac’s name under Locations in the side tab on the left side of any Finder window. Once you’re there, press the following keys: Command + Shift + . (period). Using this keyboard shortcut should make hidden files appear in the current folder you’re viewing. The hidden files and folders will be grayed out. Hit Command + Shift + . (period) once more when you want to make the folders invisible again.

View Hidden files using Terminal

If you want your hidden files to be visible all the time, then you’ll need to use a few Terminal commands. First open up Terminal, which can be found in Applications under Utilities. Then, enter the following code commands, followed by the Enter key:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true (then press Enter)

Killall Finder (then press Enter)

After that, you should be able to see all your hidden files in Finder. To undo the change and hide the files again, open up Terminal and type in the following commands, followed by the Enter key:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles false (then press Enter)

Killall Finder (then press Enter)

Now your files are hidden again.

View Hidden files in a specific Mac app’s contents

Another place where hidden files lurk is within a Mac app’s contents. To access them here, go to Finder and select Applications from the left side menu. Next, find the app you want to see the hidden files for. Right click on it and select Show Package Contents.

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