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Most Mac users rely on Spotlight to search for files and folders. Well, this tool is convenient and a really good assistant in finding data when it`s disorganized.
However, your Mac has thousands of useless hidden files that are out of your view and which take up much of your disk space. The macOS operating system keeps system files invisible and neither Spotlight nor Finder can show hidden files. Let`s see solutions to this issue.

Method 1

Show hidden files on Mac via Terminal

1. Open Terminal (find it in Launchpad or Finder → Applications → Utilities.)

searching for Terminal app in Launchpad

2. Enter into the Terminal Window the next command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true. Press ‘Return’ on your keyboard.

3. Relaunch Terminal with by typing killall Finder. Now you can see all hidden files.

4. To hide the files again you need to copy and paste defaults write AppleShowAllFiles false. Press ‘Return’. Then relaunch Finder by adding command killall Finder.
Terminal window with command to show hidden files on Mac

Method 2

Show hidden files on Mac with a special script

1. Open Script Editor (find it in Launchpad or Finder->Applications->Utilities)

searching for Script Editor in Launchpad

2. Copy and paste the following instructions to Apple Script box

set vis to do shell script "defaults read AppleShowAllFiles"
if vis = "0" then
do shell script "defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 1"
do shell script "defaults write AppleShowAllFiles 0 "
end if
tell application "" to quit
delay 1
tell application "" to activate

3. Save the file as a program in any directory.Script Editor window showing a script to swith hidden files visibility on Mac
4. Now get the newly created program and run it in Finder. It will change the file visibility automatically.


Method 3

Show hidden files on Mac with Funter

There is a free app called Funter for the macOS operating system that shows hidden files with one click. With Funter you can show hidden files, find hidden files, copy, move or delete them easily and quickly. Here is how to use it step by step:

1.Download Funter here. Launch the application.

searching for Funter in Launchpad

2. Click the Funter icon in the menu bar and choose ‘Show Hidden Files’.Funter app window3. After switching visibility, your Finder will be relaunched and all hidden files will be visible. To hide hidden files again just switch off the file’s visibility with the same button.

Video Guide – How to Show and Delete Hidden Files


The first two methods require a little time and manual labor. You can also write scripts in separate files, and run those commands. Here are examples of scripts we`ve prepared. Feel free to use them to switch a file’s visibility manually.
Nonetheless, we recommend using Funter to hide and unhide files and folders. It is more convenient and easy to use. Moreover, Funter is preferable due to the ability to search for hidden files and hide files.

Funter - show invisible files

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