Your Mac has a secret. Thousands of them in fact, in the form of hidden files and folders lurking on its hard drive or SSD. Don’t worry, though. These files and folders are all supposed to be there. In fact, many of them are essential.
Many of these files are in your Mac’s main Library folder or in the ~/Library folder, which is in your User folder. Both these Library folders are hidden, but inside them are folders and files that hold things like preferences for apps.
Use Funter to show hidden files, switch hidden files visibility in Finder, hide files, copy, move or remove them on your Mac. With Funter, you can show hidden files or hide files with just one click. The application allows you also to find any file, including hidden ones, by its name. Free Download. Jan 10, 2020 Now, you can view all of your hidden files in Finder. Unhide Files or Folders on macOS If you wish to unhide the specific files you had concealed earlier, you can do so with ease. Launch the Terminal app on your Mac and then enter the below-given command. May 24, 2019 This app looks and functions similar to the native Finder so it might be easier for you to manage and reveal the files and folders. To view the hidden files, select View, then Viewing Options at the bottom of the menu. Tick the box in front of the “Show hidden files” option and you are good to go. Mar 21, 2018 If you still want to view hidden files on your Mac, you need to go to the Finder and do the following: Open a new Finder window and click on the name of your Mac under ‘Devices’ in the sidebar. Click on Macintosh HD, or whatever you’ve called your startup drive if you’ve renamed it. Jul 09, 2020 Any files that with a period on a Mac are considered hidden files in the Mac Operating system and are not visible from within the finder. You can see these hidden files within the Terminal utility by using the Is -s command, but that is not convenient when you wish to see all files on your computer through the finder. This article will teach you How to See Hidden file on a Mac.
In this article, we’ll tell you how you can view hidden files on your Mac and make your Library folder visible.
What are the hidden files on Mac?
The hidden files are a throwback to macOS’ Unix roots. In fact, the convention of naming them starting with a “.” comes from Unix. For that reason, you can’t use a “.” at the start of a regular file name, otherwise OS X will hide it.
The files themselves contain data like access rights and privileges for files and folders, application support files, and preferences.
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There are a number of reasons files and folders are hidden. Mostly, though, it’s because they contain data critical to the smooth running of your Mac and that you shouldn’t interfere with. In addition, there’s no real reason for most users to see or access them. Also, if they were all visible, your Mac would look horribly cluttered.
How to view hidden files on Mac
Before you make your Mac show hidden files, it’s important to remember they’ve been hidden for a reason. The data they contain could cause havoc if you delete or alter it and don’t know what you’re doing.
If your goal in viewing, for example ~/Library is so you can manually delete application support files for a program you’ve uninstalled, consider using a dedicated uninstaller like CleanMyMac X. That will make it easy to remove all the files associated with an application with one click. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here.
CleanMyMac X will also allow you to get rid of all the hidden files you no longer need. Many of these files are created and used then not needed anymore. They just sit there clogging up your hard drive. CleanMyMac X scans your Mac, identifies this system junk and allows you to quickly and easily get rid of it, potentially several gigabytes of disk space.
If you still want to view hidden files on your Mac, you need to go to the Finder and do the following:
- Open a new Finder window and click on the name of your Mac under ‘Devices’ in the sidebar.
- Click on Macintosh HD, or whatever you’ve called your startup drive if you’ve renamed it.
- Press Command-Shift-. (period). You should now see lots of files and folders who’s name starts with “.” become visible.
- To re-hide the files and folders, hold down Command-Shift-. again.
How to view your Mac’s ~/Library folder
There are a couple of methods for making your ~/Library folder visible. Here’s the simplest:
- Click on the Finder in the Dock.
- Open a new Finder window and navigate to your user folder (Tip: if it’s not in the sidebar, go to the Finder menu, choose Preferences, click Sidebar and check the box next to your Home folder)
- Click on the Go menu.
- Hold down the Option (Alt) key.
- You should see that in the dropdown menu, Library appears below Home. Click on it.
Alternatively, do this to view your Library folder:
- Click on the Finder in the Dock.
- Click on the Go menu and choose Go to Folder.
- In the window that opens, type “~/Library”
With both these methods, your Library folder will disappear again when you close the Finder window. It’s easy enough to run through the steps above again to make it visible again when you need to, but if you want it permanently accessible, there are a couple of ways to do it.
The quickest is to drag the Library folder to the Finder’s sidebar. That will create a shortcut to it that will persist. If you want to keep ~/Library visible but don’t want it clogging up the sidebar in Finder windows, do this:
- Click on the Finder in the Dock.
- Click on the View menu and choose Show View Options.
- Check the box labelled Show Library Folder at the bottom of the window.
How to make macOS show hidden files using Terminal
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can use the Terminal command line interface to view hidden files and folders. Here’s how to do it:
- Open Terminal from the Utilities folder in Applications, or by searching for it using Spotlight. You can also use the Go menu in the Finder to go directly to the Utilities folder.
- Type, or copy and paste, this command: defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true
- Press Return
- Type: killall Finder
To hide the files again, repeat the above steps, but replace ‘true’ with ‘false’ at the end of step 2.
How to hide any file or folder using Terminal
Now that you know how to view hidden files and folders on your Mac, you may be wondering how you can hide other files or folders, to keep them away from prying eyes. There are a number of third-party applications and utilities that offer to do this for you, but you can do it yourself in Terminal, like this:
- Launch Terminal.
- Type: chflags hidden
- Press the spacebar.
- Drag the file or folder you want to hide from the Finder onto the Terminal window.
- You’ll see the path to the file or folder displayed in Terminal after the command you typed.
- Hit Return to execute the command.
The file or folder you dragged onto the Terminal window will now be hidden. To see it again, use one of the methods described above to see hidden files.
To make the file visible permanently again, use the steps above, but in step 2 type: chflags nohidden
As you can see, viewing hidden files and folders on your Mac is very straightforward. There are a number of ways to do it, and you can make them visible temporarily or permanently.
However, just because you can view hidden files, doesn’t mean you should — the files are usually hidden because accidentally deleting them or altering them could cause chaos on your Mac. So, while it’s fine to have a peek, don’t do anything with the hidden files unless you know what you’re doing.
If you want to declutter your Mac or uninstall applications, use a dedicated application like CleanMyMac X. It will safely remove all useless files, add-ons, broken login items, caches, large and old files you didn't know about. Most likely, you won't even need to look for hidden files — CleanMyMac will do all the job for you.
We also showed that many of those files are stored in Library folders, including the one in your User folder, ~/Library. That folder is hidden by default, but you can view it or make it permanently visible using the techniques described above.
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Are you among the many Mac users who depend on Spotlight when searching for folders and files? Then you are not alone. It is understandable because the tool is convenient to use. In fact, it is a good and reliable assistant when sorting disorganized data. However, did you know that your Mac has hundreds or thousands of useless hidden files that Spotlight cannot see and are taking up too much of your disk space? Well, we have solutions that can help you show hidden files on mac but before we give out help, allow us to discuss a few important things.
The Hidden Files on Mac and the Reason Why They Are Hidden
Files that are preceded by a “.” are not always visible in a normal file list. Also, folders like /bin, /etc/, and /usr are hidden away. By default, macOS hides all critical system folders and files. Others are kept out of view because they may be too confusing to understand for typical Mac users.
Now, no matter how familiar you are with your Mac, there are instances when you cause data loss or damage if you mess up with these files. You can either accidentally change them or worse, delete them, resulting in a catastrophic system-wide issue. That is obviously the reason they are hidden away.
Use Terminal to Show All Files on Mac
The first solution involves using the Terminal to show hidden files on your Mac.
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- Launch Terminal. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities > Terminal.
- Once it is launched, type in the command defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true.
- On your keyboard, press
- Relaunch Terminal by typing killall Finder. Now, you can view all hidden files.
- If you wish to hide the files again, simply type in the Terminal Window this command: defaults write apple.FinderAppleShowAllFiles false.
- Now, press
- Finally, relaunch Finder by typing the command killall Finder.
Show Hidden Files Using Show Hidden Files App
Here is an easy way to view hidden files on Mac. Use the Show Hidden Files application. This app makes searching hidden files as easy as possible. You can even delete any useless hidden data with just one click! Roland m400 software for mac.
- Download Show Hidden Files app from the Mac App Store.
- Install and launch the app.
- In the search field, input the file or folder name. For example, you can type in “cache”.
- A list of hidden files and folders will be shown to you. Select one item and then click the Show in Finder button or the arrow sign.
- The file or folder will then be shown in the
- From there, you can manage and view the hidden files.
- Once you close or relaunch Finder, the hidden file or folder will become invisible again.
Use the Show Hidden Files App and a Special Script
There is another way to use the Show Hidden Files app to view the hidden files you have on Mac. Use a special script! Follow the steps below:
- Download Show Hidden Files app from the Mac App Store. If you already have it, then proceed to step 3.
- Install the app.
- Download the following archives and unpack them:
- Go to Finder and go to this directory: ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.nektony.FindFiles. To do this, open the Finder window ->Go -> Go to Folder. Type ~/Library/Application Scripts/com.nektony.FindFiles.
- Move the archives you downloaded and unpacked in step 3 to the com/nektony.FindFiles Be sure you don’t change the file names of the scripts.
- Relaunch the Show Hidden Files There should be a new option in its window. Click on the Grant Access button to confirm and verify access to the Home folder.
- Once you have successfully followed the steps, you can already enable or disable the feature to show or hide hidden files and folders.
- To enable or disable the visibility of files, you just have to use the Switch
It is important to understand that there are many hidden files and folders in your Mac’s system. While some of them play an integral role, others only eat up your Mac’s memory space. Even so, you should not modify or delete them unless you are completely aware and certain of their roles. After all, you can’t afford to mess up with the system.
In addition, some of the methods may require a bit of manual labor and a little of your time. But if you are not that confident with your technical skills, we suggest you install Tweakbit MacRepair first. If things seem too confusing, seek assistance from Apple experts. Take your Mac to the nearest iStore and ask an Apple genius to show the hidden files for you.