How to Show Hidden Files in macOS
Using the Terminal to Show Hidden Files
The Terminal is a powerful tool in macOS that allows users to access system files and execute commands. It can also be used to reveal hidden files that are not visible in the Finder.
To show hidden files in the Terminal, follow these steps:
- Open the Terminal app, which can be found in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
- Type the following command and press Enter:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
- Press Enter again to execute the command.
- Next, type the following command and press Enter:
- Press Enter again to execute the command.
- The Finder will restart, and hidden files will now be visible.
To hide the files again, simply repeat the process but replace the “YES” in step 2 with “NO” and execute the commands again. It’s important to note that modifying system files can potentially cause issues with your macOS installation, so use caution when using the Terminal and make sure to follow instructions carefully.
Using a Third-Party App to Show Hidden Files
If using the Terminal seems intimidating, there are also third-party apps available that can make showing hidden files in macOS easier.
One such app is called “HiddenMe” and is available for free on the Mac App Store. After downloading and installing the app, simply launch it and click the “Hide/Unhide Files” button. This will reveal all hidden files in the Finder.
Another app that can be used is “Funter,” which not only shows hidden files but also allows users to quickly search for and delete files they may not need. Funter is available for free on the developer’s website.
It’s important to note that when using third-party apps to show hidden files, users should exercise caution and only download and install apps from trusted sources. Additionally, some third-party apps may require additional permissions to access system files, so be sure to read the app’s instructions carefully before granting any permissions.
Hiding Files Again in macOS
After you have finished working with hidden files in macOS, you may want to hide them again to avoid cluttering your Finder. To do this, there are a few methods available.
Using the Terminal: Open the Terminal app and type the following command:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO. Press Enter to execute the command, then type
killall Finderand press Enter again. The Finder will restart, and hidden files will no longer be visible.
Using a third-party app: Some third-party apps, such as HiddenMe, have a button or toggle to easily hide and unhide files. Simply click the button to hide the files again.
Manually: If you only need to hide a few files, you can do so manually. Simply select the file(s) you want to hide, then press Command+Shift+dot (.) to make them invisible. To make the files visible again, press the same key combination.
It’s important to note that hiding files does not make them more secure or protect them from being accessed by others. It simply makes them less visible in the Finder. If you need to protect sensitive files, consider using encryption or password-protected folders.
Best Practices for Working with Hidden Files in macOS
Working with hidden files in macOS can be useful, but it’s important to follow best practices to avoid any potential issues.
Use caution when modifying system files: Modifying system files can potentially cause issues with your macOS installation, so use caution when using the Terminal and make sure to follow instructions carefully.
Only download apps from trusted sources: When using third-party apps to show or hide hidden files, only download and install apps from trusted sources to avoid any potential security risks.
Keep hidden files organized: If you frequently work with hidden files, it can be helpful to keep them organized in a separate folder or location to avoid cluttering your Finder.
Regularly check for hidden files: It’s a good idea to periodically check for hidden files to ensure that none of your important files have accidentally been hidden.
Be aware of potential security risks: While hiding files can be helpful for organization, it does not provide additional security. If you need to protect sensitive files, consider using encryption or password-protected folders.
By following these best practices, you can effectively work with hidden files in macOS while minimizing any potential issues or risks.
Showing and hiding hidden files in macOS can be a useful way to access system files or keep certain files hidden from view. Whether you choose to use the Terminal or a third-party app, it’s important to exercise caution and follow best practices to avoid any potential issues or security risks.
By keeping your hidden files organized and regularly checking for them, you can work efficiently with your macOS system files while minimizing the potential for any complications. Remember that hiding files does not provide additional security, so consider using encryption or password-protected folders for sensitive information.
Overall, knowing how to show and hide hidden files in macOS can be a valuable skill for any user looking to customize their system or improve their workflow.