How To Show Hidden Files and Folders On A Mac

Like all other operating systems, the macOS also has important hidden files and folders. On Windows 10, you can make your hidden files in File Explorer. Although it’s easy to find, it makes it easy to make changes and commit mistakes. 

Mac prevents this by hiding these files well, and it isn’t easy to find a way to view them. However, there are times when you need those files to fix a problem and clear out all the old cache, logs, and junk files. Read on some ways to solve your problems when you can’t find hidden files. 

Use Your Keyboard Shortcuts

One of the quickest ways to show your hidden files on Mac is by using your keyboard shortcuts. All you have to do is press the Command + Shift + Period keys at the same time to show your hidden files. The files will appear more transparent than your regular files. 

You can hide the files if you press the keyboard combination once again. Once you’ve pressed this combination, all the hidden files will be present in all folders of your Mac. Unfortunately, this feature is only available if your Mac runs with macOS Sierra or above. 

Find Hidden Files Through the Terminal

Another way to fix why you can’t find hidden files is by using terminal commands. The terminal is a Mac command-line interface included in your macOS. It allows you to perform actions and control your Mac by using command prompts. 

To open up the terminal, open up the Spotlight search bar or use Command + Spacebar. Type in “Terminal” and press enter or double-click on the search result. You can also launch the terminal by going to the “Utilities” window. 

The next step is to copy the following command and paste it into your Terminal app. Here is the command: 

  • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true

Press the Enter key once you’ve pasted the command. Then, type in “killall Finder” to restart Finder so the effect can take effect. Another alternative is to hold the Option key and right-click on the Finder’s icon in the Dock. 

Click on the Relaunch option, which also refreshes your files and folders. To hide the files, simply replace “true” with “false.” One of the main advantages of using the terminal is that you can hide any file or folder. 

Enter “chflags hidden” and press the space key to add the path of your chosen file or folder. All you have to do is drag the file or folder from Finder into the terminal window. Make your files or folders visible by repeating the steps above using “chflags nohidden.”

Show Hidden Files With AppleScript 

AppleScript is a language created by Apple to automate repetitive macOS actions. It can interact with apps and use Finder to automate the tasks for you. The AppleScript can do simple tasks, such as copying files from one folder to another. 

It can also do complicated tasks, such as creating a real estate catalog. Open up your Spotlight search bar and find the Script Editor tool. You then copy and paste the following script on it to give yourself access to hidden files.

Then, you click on the Run button to execute the script. A dialog box will appear to choose between the two options: show files or hide files. You can save the script as an app so you can use it for future use. 

Look in File Managers

Still can’t or don’t know how to show hidden files on Mac? Try using third-party file managers to show your hidden files and folders. Apps like Forklift and DCommander can show hidden files in the interface of the apps. 

You won’t have to use commands or keyboard shortcuts to find your hidden files. Some file manager apps have features like hidden file finder, which can help less tech-savvy users. Ensure you understand the file manager well so that you won’t damage your files. 

Why Are There Hidden Files and Folders? 

Hiding files and folders prevent administrators and computer manufacturers from accidentally deleting them. It also prevents others from damaging any system-related files and folders. Some files get marked as hidden since they do not need moving, deleting, or changing. 

This is to protect the device and the user to cause irreparable damage to their devices. Accidentally tampering with these files means that you’ll need to take your device to professional technicians, and it will also void your warranty with the device.

Businesses hide their files to have a smooth transaction with partners and customers. You won’t notice these files at all, even if they perform essential tasks. These are sensitive files that can cause errors in your computer if you remove them. 

If you want to access these files, you have to be extra careful when handling them. Try not to move or change the files unless you know what you are doing. 

Again, tampering with these files can cause harm to you or the business you’re engaging with. It can cause all transactions within the brand to go awry and cause major setbacks. These can also tamper with the client’s sensitive data, causing a breach in security and disgrace the business along the way.

How to Show Hidden Files on a Mac

Can’t find files on your Mac? Well, now you can by using the keyboard shortcut, terminal, file managers, and AppleScript. Start with easier methods before using command prompts or scripts. 

Remember that these files are automatically hidden for a reason. They are part of how your computer runs and processes the tasks that you do on your computer. Only access them when you need to fix them, or you’ve accidentally hidden a file or folder that you need.

Do you want to learn more about how your Mac works? Check out more tech guides at techlobsters to learn all you can today!

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