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Author: Asya Karapetyan       Last updated: June 20, 2020

Like any operating system, macOS keeps important files hidden to prevent them from being accidentally deleted and, as a result, from system damage. However, in some cases, you may need to show hidden files on your Mac, for example, to explore the Library folder and clear old logs, caches or other junk files. Below we have described four possible methods on how to show hidden files on a Mac.

  1. Show and find hidden files on mac with Funter
  2. Show hidden files on Mac using a shortcut
  3. Show hidden files on Mac with Terminal
  4. Show hidden files on Mac using AppleScript
Note! You should be very careful with hidden files. If you delete hidden files by mistake, it may cause damage to your Mac!

How to show hidden files on Mac with Funter

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 see 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

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System requirements: macOS 10.13-10.15
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Video Guide: How to Display Hidden Files


How to view hidden files on Mac using a shortcut

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

  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.


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 see 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 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 AppleShowAllFiles -bool false
killall Finder


How to show invisible 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 AppleShowAllFiles -bool true”
    do shell script “defaults write 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.

So what is the easiest way to show hidden files on Mac?

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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