How To Show Hidden Files On Mac: A Complete Guide

Show Hidden Files On Mac

There are various hidden files available on your Mac device. Apple prefers to hide files like caches, preferences, logs, and others. In the Library folder, you will find the hidden folders that contain your application data. Fortunately, there are techniques to show hidden files on Mac.

Why Mac Hides Certain Files?

In front of every hidden file, you will notice “.” (dot) symbol. If you want to view what’s inside, then you might have to modify your Mac system

Apple tries to hide specific files so no inaccurate operations can damage them. However, when you try to free up some storage space, you might delete some important files accidentally. 

In order to protect the core files from accidental deletion, Apple tries to hide those files. In Mac, there are some system-related files. The deletion of those files can stop your Mac to function properly. That’s why Apple makes these files invisible to you. 

If you don’t know how to show hidden files on Mac, then go through the following instructions. 

Ways on Make Mac Show Hidden Files 

Here, we discussed a few simple solutions to show hidden files on Mac. After following those instructions manually, you will be able to see hidden files on Mac. 

Solution 1: Use Finder to See Hidden Files on Mac 

Use Finder to See Hidden Files on Mac 

With the help of the Finder, you can check Mac’s invisible files. To do so, go through the steps mentioned here. 

  1. Go to the Finder, open the Macintosh HD folder. 
  2. Thereafter, press Command, Shift, and Dot at the same time on the keyboard. 
  3. Now, you will be able to see all your hidden files. If you want to hide them again, make sure to repeat step 2 again. 

This process is applicable to view hidden files on Mac including the Documents or the Applications folders. If you know what you are searching in the Library folder, then straight jump into it. After that, you have to perform the following steps. 

  1. Hold the Alt and Go at the same time on the keyboard. 
  2. To open the normal hidden folder, click on the Library option. 

We hope that you can locate the hidden files easily on Mac after following these steps.

Solution 2: Use Terminal Commands to Unhide Files on Mac 

Use Terminal Commands to Unhide Files on Mac 

Many users might not know that the Terminal is Mac’s command-line interface. It provides permission to use Command Prompts and help to control Mac. Using the Terminal, it helps you to see the hidden files. Let’s take a look at the steps. 

  • After opening the Terminal, enter the following command. 

“defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true [Press Return] killall Finder”

  • If you want to hide files again, then change from “true” to “false” in the step above. 

Note: You can choose Terminal over Finder as it allows hiding any file or folder. In order to hide files, perform the following steps. 

  • After opening the Terminal, enter the following command. 

chflags hidden [Press Space]

  • Now, into the Terminal window, you can drag the files or folders that are hidden from the Finder. 
  • After that, tap on the “Return to Hide” option. 

Sometimes, it might be possible that you want to make your files visible again. To do that, repeat the above steps and enter the “chflags nohidden” in the place of “chflags hidden”. 

Solution 3: To show Hidden Files Use the File Manager 

To show Hidden Files Use the File Manager 

Using the shortcuts or clicking the buttons within the apps helps you to make hidden files and folders visible. Hence, perform the following to show the hidden files and folders. 

  1. At first, click on the “View” option. 
  2. Go to the bottom of the drop-down menu to select the “View Options”. 
  3. Next to the “Show Hidden Files” option, you will find a checkbox. So make sure to check it. 

In the toolbar, you will also find a button and pressing it helps to show and hide the hidden files. 

Hopefully, with the help of these steps discussed above, you will be able to show hidden files on Mac successfully. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • How to Access Hidden Folders on Mac? 

Ans: Open Finder and then click on “Go”. Press and hold the Option /Alt key followed by the “Library” shortcut. Now, select the relevant folder like Caches, Application Support or Preferences. 

  • How to Password Protect a Folder on Mac? 

Ans: Press Command, shift and A simultaneously to launch Applications folder. Open the Utility folder> Disk utility. Now, click file > New Image >Image from Folder. Choose the folder that you want to protect and select “Open”. Click Image Format option menu > read/write > Encryption menu > 128-bit AES encryption. Enter the password twice > choose. Then, name the locked disk image > Save > Done. 

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