How to Show Hidden Files on MAC with Finder?

Hidden files on your Mac tucked away from plain sight, serve essential roles in the seamless operation of your system. However, there are instances when you need to access these hidden files to troubleshoot issues, customize settings, or explore the inner workings of your computer.

In this straightforward guide, we’ll walk you through the process of revealing those hidden files using Finder, the default file manager on macOS. By following these steps, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your Mac’s file system and have the tools to navigate, manipulate, and manage these hidden treasures.

Let’s dive in and learn how to show hidden files on macOS using Finder.

Show Hidden Files with Finder on Mac

Show Hidden Files on MAC with Finder

Grab your Mac and let’s reveal hidden files or folders with Finder. Here are the step-by-step instructions to show hidden files with Finder on a Mac:

1. Click on the Finder icon located in your Dock, or simply click anywhere on your desktop to bring the Finder into focus.

2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on the Go option. A drop-down menu will appear.

3. While holding down the Option () key on your keyboard, you will notice that the Library option appears in the drop-down menu. Click on it to access the Library folder.

4. Within the Library folder, navigate to the Preferences folder. This folder contains various preferences files, including some hidden ones.

5. To reveal the hidden files within the Preferences folder, press the Command () + Shift () + Period (.) keys simultaneously. This keyboard shortcut toggles the visibility of hidden files in Finder.

6. Once the hidden files are visible, you can navigate through the Preferences folder and other directories to access and modify the hidden files as needed. Take caution when making changes to these files, as they can impact the functioning of your system or applications.

7. If you want to hide the hidden files again, simply repeat step 5 by pressing Command () + Shift () + Period (.) keys together.

That’s it! You have successfully shown hidden files with Finder on your Mac. Remember to exercise caution when working with hidden files, as they are typically hidden for a reason.

Use MAC Terminal to Show Hidden Files & Folders

Alternatively, you can also use Mac Terminal to show hidden files on Mac. Use these steps on the Terminal on your Mac:

1. You can find Terminal by navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal. Alternatively, you can also use Spotlight (press Command+Space) and search for Terminal.

2. Once Terminal is open, click on Terminal in the menu bar at the top of the screen and select Preferences. Alternatively, you can press Command+Comma (,) to open the Preferences directly.

3. In the Preferences window, click on the Profiles tab located at the top.

4. On the left-hand side, you’ll see a list of profiles. Select the profile you typically use for the Terminal or create a new one by clicking on the + button below the profiles list.

5. With the desired profile selected, click on the Advanced tab at the top of the Preferences window. Then, check the box that says Show all files.

show hidden files with Terminal
show hidden files with Terminal

6. After enabling the Show all files option, close the Preferences window by clicking on the red Close button at the top left or by pressing Command+W.

7. To apply the changes, quit Terminal completely by clicking on Terminal in the menu bar and selecting Quit Terminal. Then, relaunch Terminal from the Applications folder or use Spotlight.

8. Once the Terminal is relaunched, you can see hidden files and directories by using the “ls” command with the “-a” option. In Terminal, type “ls -a” and press Enter. This command will list all files, including hidden ones, in the current directory.

Now you can navigate through directories in the Terminal and view hidden files and folders as needed. And that is it.

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How do I show hidden files on Mac with Finder?

To show hidden files on Mac with Finder, open a Finder window, click on Go in the menu bar, select Go to Folder, type in “~/Library“, and press Enter. Then, click on View in the menu bar, select Show View Options (or press Command+J), check the box that says Show Library Folder (or Show hidden files), and close the View Options window. Hidden files will now be visible in Finder.

How can I hide or unhide files and folders on Mac using Finder?

To hide or unhide files and folders on Mac using Finder:

1. Select the file or folder you want to hide or unhide.

2. Go to File in the menu bar and choose Get Info (or press Command+I).

3. In the Get Info window, look for the Hidden checkbox.

4. Check the box to hide the selected file or folder, or uncheck it to unhide it.

5. Close the Get Info window.

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