Show hidden files on Mac

Like any operating system, macOS keeps important files hidden to prevent them from being deleted and, as a result, from system damage. However, sooner or later there may be a reason for making them visible. For example:

  • It may be necessary to delete some OS X hidden files as they take so much storage space
  • You may face a problem can only be resolved by deleting preference files or by finding applications` log files
  • You may want to explore the Library folder in order to clear it from old logs, caches or other junk files
  • You may need access to such files as .htaccess, .bash_profile, .svn directory, etc.

Below we have described four possible methods you can use to make the hidden part of your macOS operating system visible.

Note! You should be very careful with hidden files. If you delete hidden files by mistake, it may cause damage to your Mac!
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How to show hidden files on Mac

The easiest way to show hidden files is to use the free Funter application.
Funter allows you to find, hide and search for hidden files on your Mac in just a few clicks.

  • Follow these steps to show hidden files on Mac:

    1. Launch Funter to manage hidden files.
    2. Click Show Hidden Files in the menu bar.
    3. Done. Hidden files are visible on your Mac.
    4. Open Finder; there you will see your hidden files.
  • Show hidden files on mac

show hidden files on mac

Funter - show invisible files

Funter: Show Hidden Files

Free Download

System requirements: macOS 10.13-10.15
Priсe: Free

Video Guide: How to Show Hidden Files

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How to show hidden files on Mac (shortcut)

You can use a special keyboard shortcut to see all hidden files on your Mac.
Here is how to make hidden files visible:

  1. Activate the Finder application.
  2. Open a folder which may contain hidden files.
  3. Press the Command + Shift + Period (CMD+Shift+.) shortcut.
  4. Preview all the files you have in the active folder.
  5. Repeat the steps given above again if you want to hide the files again.

show hidden files mac shortcut

Please note, that even if you see hidden files with this method, it`s not possible to find them using Spotlight search.
If you need to find hidden files by their names we recommend using Funter.
Funter can find any hidden file on Mac just by entering a file name and clicking Find.

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How to show hidden files with Terminal command

Terminal is a command-line application that allows you to manage your Mac using low-level commands. To operate the app correctly, you will need to be familiar with Terminal commands.

To show hidden files on a Mac using the command line, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Terminal application from Launchpad.
  2. Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal window:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true
  3. Click the Enter button.
  4. Enter the next command to relaunch the Finder application.
    killall Finder
  5. Click Enter to finish.

This command will restart the Finder and then you will see hidden files and folders on your Mac.
If you want to hide the files again, you simply repeat the operation but change the last word in the first command to “false”. So, you should perform these two commands to make the hidden files invisible again:
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false
killall Finder

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How to show hidden files using AppleScript

AppleScript is a language developed to help you automate repetitive or time-consuming Mac actions.
You can also make hidden files visible using AppleScript. Generally, AppleScripts are created within the Script Editor tool.

Follow these steps to show hidden files with AppleScript command:

  1. Open the Script Editor application from LaunchPad.
  2. Copy and paste the following code into the editor’s window:

    display dialog "Would you like to show hidden files?" buttons {"Show Hidden Files", "Hide Files"}
    set result to button returned of result
    if result is equal to "Show Hidden Files" then
    do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool true"
    else
    do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false"
    end if
    do shell script "killall Finder"

  3. Click the Run button.
  4. Save this file to use it later.

show hidden files mac applescript

Each time you need to hide or show hidden files and folders, just open this script file and click the Run button.


Conclusion

You can display hidden files on your Mac using the Funter app, an AppleScript, a Terminal command or a keyboard shortcut.

If you are looking for the easiest solution to manage your hidden files you may want to use the free Funter tool. Funter will give you access to hidden files and folders but also will help you search for hidden files by their names. More importantly, it can make essential data invisible to prevent its accidental removal.


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