How to Show Hidden Files On Mac

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PCs. They are all around us. In fact, the modern world is hard to imagine without computers. One of the problems of this though is the fact that everyone now has a digital footprint and soft copies of various documents.

Now, these documents are often something entirely personal that if fallen into wrong hands can cause a lot of trouble for you. So what does one do then to protect themselves from such an unfortunate turn of events? One of the safest and preliminary measures to take is to hide important files.

While hiding files can be easy enough, sometimes we lose track of what we have hidden or need to access it for something? What does one do then? Well, unhide the files of course! So, today we are going to show you guys how to show hidden files on Mac. Apart from hiding the files, you can lock the folder on the mac using a Password or passcode. Here is how to Protect folder in Mac.


Now learning how to find hidden files on Mac can be a bit tricky. There are quite a few ways out there and a whole bunch of third-party software to help you achieve it as well. However, most of them are geared for Windows users. So today’s article is dedicated to teaching you guys on Apple’s side of the pond; how we can view hidden files, Mac.

Now we will not be using any third-party applications to show hidden folders mac primarily because of the security risk. Files that you want hidden obviously contain sensitive data and putting it in the hands of another software is a leap of faith many of you are unwilling to take.

But have no worries, we are here with the solution, it’s simple easy and most importantly entirely organic to Mac OS X Yosemite. Just a little warning, since we are dealing with code in here and the files are sensitive, be very careful of what you type in! With that said, let’s get this show on the road!

How to Show Hidden Files On Mac: The Easiest Method

Now I know I day say the easiest method but to make it actually easy there need to be two methods and not one! “Why?”, you ask! Well, that’s because if you have to see hidden files mac on a regular basis, it gets tedious by the first method. Hence the second method, a batch script designed specifically for those who need to show hidden files on Mac on a daily basis for some reason or the other.

#1. How to Show Hidden Files On Mac using the Terminal

There are not a lot of complicated steps or instructions here to follow so I’ll run through the steps really fast.

Step 1

Navigate to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

Step 2

With Terminal opened, type in the following code snippet:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

Press return

Step 3

Now we got to relaunch Finder for the code above to do its magic! Hold the ‘Option/Alt’ key, and then click on the Finder icon in your dock and click on Relaunch.


Step 4

Once relaunched, you will ow be able to access all hidden files. To hide them again, follow the same steps but type this instead into the Terminal:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO

And you’re done! However sometimes even doing this every time we need to show hidden files on Mac can become tedious. Hence our solution!

#2. How to Show Hidden Files On Mac using Terminal Aliases

Now we are going to wrap up all of those above steps into one easy to use Terminal Alias. What’s a Terminal Alias though? It’s actually a sort of wrapper that when invoked does a set of predetermined commands so that you get to save time and don’t have to commit long command lines to memory!

Step 1

Open the Terminal app like we did before. In Terminal, type the next line in

sudo nano ~/.bash_profile

If you are using a password, then you will be asked to enter it now. Once done, just hit enter and proceed to the next step

Step 2

The bash profile will be enabled and at the bottom of the open .bash_profile file, we are going to add the following lines:

alias showFiles='defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/'

Step 3

Below that, we are going to add this bit of code

alias hideFiles='defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/'

Step 4

Once done, press Ctrl + O and hit return to save the file. Then hit Ctrl + X to exit the file to come back to the command line

Step 5

When you’re back in the terminal write the following:

source ~/.bash_profile to refresh your profile and make the aliases available

Adding aliases to .bash_profile via Terminal

Now, whenever you want to show or hide files just type in the command,showFiles then hideFiles your job is done!

That leads us to the conclusion of this article! If you have any questions or queries, leave them in the comments below! If you wanted to hide apps on the iPhone, you can easily hide apps on iPhone. Along with apps, also see how to hide photos on iPhone.


A 22-year-old Bong from Kolkata, Amartya's passion for 'sondesh' is matched only by his curiosity in tech. Rumour has it, that he once got a nasty electric shock. Ever since then he has been found to dismantle electronics with a vengeance and mod everything that goes beep. He can be found lurking around Facebook or in the comments section of this blog. He is also a part of the editorial team at Expert Hoot and at MegaBlogging

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