How to See Hidden Files on Your Mac? – (Complete Guide)

If you are a Mac user and you are having difficulty finding hidden files in your system then this article is just for you.

If you go back to the days when a message was trolling around on the internet of Delete System 32 hoax and naive PC user that does not know a thing deleted the files from their system which resulted in the crash of the system.

Since then developers are taking precautions of hiding the most essential files from the user’s eye so they do not mess up with the system again. 

There are many different files in the Mac that need access sometimes and those files are mostly hidden files.

The hidden files are mostly hidden in the Library folder of your system but the truth is that Mac holds a lot of files that are no longer need or have to be troubleshot because some files can be corrupted or are useless for your system or can contain the virus as well.

So if you are interested in finding the hidden files then this article is for you because we will help you find the hidden files that Mac developers have hidden from you because of the system safety.

How to See Hidden Files on Your Mac?

There are three ways to see the hidden files on Mac and we will discuss all three of them in this article.

See Hidden Files on Your Mac

As we go further we would like you to tell those hidden files can be found by just a one-click or you will have to look further deep in your system to find them.

We would like to tell you one thing about finding the hidden files that you have to be really careful because you might end up with crashing your system.

Hidden files can be in a sacred place so you should know which file you are looking for then start searching for that file.

See Hidden Files With a Shortcut

See Hidden Files With a Shortcut

If you are thinking that finding hidden files is hard on Mac then you are wrong. Finding hidden files are very easy on Mac in fact you can find by performing these steps. 

First, start the finder!

  1. Then, in finder open up your Mac HD folder
  2. After that, press command + shift + dot
  3. Your hidden files will appear and if you want them to disappear then repeat the third step to hide them again

This process can be work in all the folders of Mac even in the Application folder and Document folder as well.

But if you know the thing or the file that you are looking for in in the library folder then you should perform these steps to unhide the files. 

  1. First, open the finder
  2. Then, in finder hold down Alt button on your keyboard and then click the Go button on top of your screen 
  3. Then, click on the library folder to open up the normally hidden folder

If you think this thing will be easy then be prepared for all the clutter files that will be filling your whole desktop.

If you are just an average Mac user or an amateur then you will find only some system files and some Microsft words documents in the hidden files that will be hard to understand for you. 

some times people find what they are looking for which the missing files that were lost in the system crash and are unsaved files.

So it seems that this method can be useful for finding missing files, you should keep this in your back pocket for future use. 

See Hidden Files With Terminal

See Hidden Files With Terminal

Every operating system has a window from where you can control your system. This type of window also exists in Mac which is called Terminal.

With the help of the Terminal, you can control the whole system by just typing commands.

If you are familiar with the terminal then you will not find any difficulty in typing these commands to make appear your hidden files.

  1. First, open Terminal
  2. After that, type this command on the Terminal window: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true then press the return or enter button on your keyboard and then type: killall Finder 
  3. If you want to hide the files again, the command will be the same you just have to change the true word in to false 

Hide Hidden Files With Terminal

Hide Hidden Files With Terminal

It is not a big deal if you are using the Finder and rejecting Terminal or you are using Terminal instead of the Finder.

If you use this command in the Terminal it does not matter as the command and the Finder are used for the same purpose that is to unhide the hidden files. 

However, there is a plus point in using Terminal for unhiding the hidden files that you have the access of all the files and you can hide or unhide the particular file as you see fit.

As this will give you an upper hand if you want to put any passwords on the file or if a file that has a password on it can curious you so you should hide him as well.

You should perform this instruction to perform a certain command to happen. 

  1. First, open the terminal
  2. After that, enter the following command on your Terminal window: chflags hidden and then press space from your keyboard
  3. After pressing space drag and drop the files or folders that need to be hidden from Finder window to Terminal window, in the Terminal there will be sown the paths of the files
  4. Then press the enter button on your keyboard to make them return to hide

If you want to rehide the files then just change the above command to “flags no hidden”. 


As the article comes to an end we would like you to understand how to unhide or hide the hidden files on Mac as they can be very much helpful in the future.

There three ways will definitely help you achieve what you are finding in those hidden files.

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