Show Hidden Files in Mac OS X

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Just like the Windows OS, in Mac OS X, there are many files that are always hidden. There maybe sometime when you may need to access the hidden files. Having the knowledge about how to show hidden files Mac, one can access them in the case of need of them. If you are looking forward to know the best way to make Mac show hidden files, then you are on right place. Here I am covering it in detail. Just keep reading ahead.


Show Hidden Files on Mac

The process I am mentioning here will change the default view settings on Mac. It means, the Mac will always show all hidden files. To start with, just launch the terminal that lies in /Applications/Utilities. After launching the terminal, you just need to enter the commands.

In case you have OS X Mavericks 10.9, you need to enter the following command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

For all those out of you who own Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, 10.7 Lion, 10.6 Snow Leopard, you need to enter the following command.

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

After entering the command, hit the return button. The changes won’t take effect in real-time. Just relaunch the Finder to make the changes show impact. For this, you need to kill the Finder process. Command is required to pass to make it happen. Below is that command:

killall Finder

Once again, press Enter/Return. Finder will get killed and relaunched itself. Of course, with the new settings working in it. Since the changes have gone active now, the Finder will display all files, which include hidden files as well. The hidden files will be visible as dimmed. This indicates that particular file is actually hidden, but is visible because of the new settings.

That’s it. You are done with the process about show hidden files Mac. You can reverse to original settings anytime you want to.While there is nothing wrong in making Mac show hidden files all the time, but it may result in crowd of too many files, and finding the intended one may become tough for you in that case. So, it’s recommended to you to reverse back to original settings once you are done finding the intended hidden file.

Reverse to Default Settings

I hope by now you know about process to make Mac show hidden files. It’s time to learn the process with which you can revert to default settings. You just need to follow a few commands to make that happen. Below are those commands:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

For OS X Mavericks, the command is:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

You need to kill Finder so that changes can take effect. Enter the following command:

killall Finder

That’s it! You are back to default settings. By the way, did you notice that we just changed the TRUE to FALSE in the commands provided in this section?

Using Open or Save Dialogue Temporarily

The next way to proceed about how to show hidden files on Mac, is using open or save dialogue temporarily. For this, you just need to press Command+Shift+Period. The hidden files will be revealed in no time, and you will get access to them.

Of course, you can see hidden files whenever you want to using the open or save dialogue temporarily. This is best method for many users because there are many times when a user wants to access the hidden files just to modify them. In such case, making them visible for permanent is not any good idea at all.

Show Temporarily through the Terminal

You can perform show hidden files Mac process temporarily through the terminal. Is command is used for it. You need to enter it in the terminal. Here is the full command:

ls -a

The  -a in the command tells Mac to show all hidden files. If you want to see hidden files of a particular directory, just enter the following command:

ls -a ~/Sites/betasite 

This does not make any permanent effect. You just get quick and temporary access to hidden files of a particular directory. If you want to open a particular hidden file, you can simply use the following command:

open .not_visible_by_default

That’s it! You are all done to learn the process to show hidden files on Mac. In case you need any further help from us, you can have a discussion with us and other readers of this blog in the below comment section.

Abhilash Thakur is the founder of who has a keen eye on news, rumors and all the unusual stuff that happens around iPhone and iPad. Google

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