How To View Hidden Files And Folders On Your Mac

Just like Windows, your Mac also contains several files and folders that are hidden from view. Some of them are required to run the macOS properly and you can’t delete them right away. These files and folders are hidden to prevent it from deleting them accidentally or make changes.


Whether you want to just see the files and folders or you want to make some changes to it for troubleshooting or any other reason, the macOS allows you to view them with a quick keyboard shortcut. Here’s how you can view the hidden files and folders on your Mac.

How To See Hidden Files On Your Mac

One of the quickest ways to see the hidden files on your Mac is the keyboard shortcut,

  • Command + Shift + Period (.)

This one little shortcut can simply unhide and hide the hidden files and folders on your Mac. You should immediately see all the hidden files and folders the moment you press the keyboard shortcut. So, now you know the shortcut.

Note: You must be running macOS Sierra or later.

There are multiple reasons why the files and folders are hidden. Since some of them are system files and required to run your Mac properly, there are some folders that you can use it to hide your files and folders within it well, anyways at least I think of that.

So, what you can do is view the hidden files and folders and use one of the folders that you know where to access and hide your private data in it. And then hide hidden files again to save it from the prying eyes.


View Hidden Files Using Terminal

While the quick keyboard shortcut should do the job, another way to view hidden files on your Mac is using the Terminal. Typing the following Terminal command will unhide the hidden files and folders on your Mac.

  • Launch the Terminal using the Spotlight search or from Application -> Utilities.

Type the following command and hit Enter.

  • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Instead of using the command word TRUE, you can also use the YES word, both of them work the same.

Type the next command in the Terminal and hit Enter.

  • killall Finder

This command will unhide the files and folders on your Mac and should be visible to you in the Finder.


Hide Hidden Files Using Terminal

Similar to the Terminal command shown above, use the word FALSE or NO to hide the files and folders again.

Type the following command in the Terminal and press Enter.

  • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

Now type the next command and press Enter.

  • killall Finder

Now all hidden files or folders you’ve just viewed will be now hidden one again from the Finder.

Note: Keep in mind that these hidden files and folders are required to run the macOS properly and maintain the system healthy. Make sure you know what you’re doing, don’t manipulate them or delete them. In case you made any changes to it, revert back.


There are a lot of things you can find related to Mac apps, Siri, Safari browser, Spotlight tricks, and more here at the How-To Guides. For users who are surfing the internet through Safari, removing the browsing history on Safari is essential to protect your privacy. Also, check out these 5 cool browsing tricks that you can do on the Safari browser.

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