Home » Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10 Yosemite

OS X YosemiteUnlike Microsoft Windows, by default OS X hides system files from end users. There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. Some of the files which are hidden, are important and damaging them could prevent your system from booting all together.

However – on the flip side, there is often a valid reason for needing access to those files. Anything from needing to change a system setting to removing files an unruly application has left behind.

There are several ways to show hidden files in OS X, the easiest would probably be to follow this tutorial on how to build an Automator script. This will give you an icon that you simply have to double-click on to show or hide the files.

Alternatively, if you are just looking for something in your Library folder, did you know that if you click “Go” in the menu bar whilst in Finder, then whilst the menu is expanded click the Alt key on your keyboard the Library menu will appear.

Another method would be to run a command in a terminal window to change the system setting. To do this all you need to do is:

  1. Open Finder
  2. Open the Utilities folder
  3. Open a terminal window
  4. Copy and paste the following line in:
    SUDO defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder
  5. Press return
  6. Enter your administrator password when prompted
  7. Press return

You should find the finder window will disappear, along with the icons on your desktop. However, if you now launch a new finder instance you will now be able to see any hidden files or folders. Once you are done, perform the steps above however, replace the terminal command in step 4 with:

SUDO defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO; killall Finder

If the above is not working for you, you may want to try switching YES/NO to TRUE/FALSE .. Beware that this is case-sensitive!

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

If you are experiencing issues using the examples above, please post a comment using the comments system below.

Home » Show hidden files Mac OS X 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10 Yosemite


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  • http://twitter.com/digihead Girts Dumpis

    any ideas how to change folder from hidden to visible permanently? renaming using dot in front not working for user/library for instance….

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      The above code in Terminal should unhide the folder permanently, unless you switch it back off again obviously. 

      Hope that answers your question. 

      Thanks
      Mike

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1080372091 Shaurjya Banerjee

        Hi Mike, I’m sorry to say my terminal returns “No such file or directory” I copied the hidden files out from my iPod (I needed to get music from my iPod onto my computer). The command I entered was-

        chflags nohidden /Users/Shaurjya/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music

        that IS the path that contains the hidden files, but i can’t seem to get Terminal to make them visible permanently. Cos iTunes won’t see it otherwise.

        Thanks for the help.
        Cheers.

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Hi 

          You may want to wrap the path in ‘ symbols, the error message I got when I tried your terminal command was splitting the path due to the space.

          So try:

          sudo chflags nohidden ‘/Users/Shaurjya/Music/iTunes/iTunes Media/Music’

          Thanks

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1080372091 Shaurjya Banerjee

            Thanks so much for your help mate :D
            Cheers.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1080372091 Shaurjya Banerjee

            Thanks so much for your help mate :D
            Cheers.

    • Ben Mazin

      The ~/Library folder has a hidden flag. To change the flag of a folder use the chflags command. You type the command + hidden/nohidden + path.

      For example:chflags nohidden ~/Library

      Hope that answers your question

      Ben

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WH354UB6WHVXRCHUP3FEXSQJLU Randall

        Why does terminal say no such file or directory, when I enter this:

        chflags nohidden ~/Users/my_name/Library

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Hello Randall

          Typing in the tild symbol (~) removes the need to type in the rest of the path.

          So at the terminal prompt type: 

          chflags nohidden ~/Library

          Thanks Mike 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WH354UB6WHVXRCHUP3FEXSQJLU Randall

            Thanks Mike, it worked.  Now I can migrate to a new Mac manually, since I missed the opportunity on the first startup!

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            Glad I could help.. Happy transferring!

    • Ben Mazin

      The ~/Library folder has a hidden flag. To change the flag of a folder use the chflags command. You type the command + hidden/nohidden + path.

      For example:chflags nohidden ~/Library

      Hope that answers your question

      Ben

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        Thanks for your contribution Ben.

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        Thanks for your contribution Ben.

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        Thanks for your contribution Ben.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WH354UB6WHVXRCHUP3FEXSQJLU Randall

        Why does terminal say no such file or directory, when I enter this:

        chflags nohidden ~/Users/my_name/Library

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Hello Randall

          Typing in the tild symbol (~) removes the need to type in the rest of the path.

          So at the terminal prompt type: 

          chflags nohidden ~/Library

          Thanks Mike 

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WH354UB6WHVXRCHUP3FEXSQJLU Randall

            Thanks Mike, it worked.  Now I can migrate to a new Mac manually, since I missed the opportunity on the first startup!

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            Glad I could help.. Happy transferring!

    • Ben Mazin

      The ~/Library folder has a hidden flag. To change the flag of a folder use the chflags command. You type the command + hidden/nohidden + path.

      For example:chflags nohidden ~/Library

      Hope that answers your question

      Ben

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  • http://brajeshwar.com Brajeshwar

    I’d suggest adding a “killall Finder” to Relaunch it automagically!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for your comment and suggestion :o)

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for your comment and suggestion :o)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a ton. Had 30GB missing on my macbook air. It seems it was a MobileSync folder, 30 bloody GB! I now have half my hard drive back, thanks a lot.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad I could help Paul! 

      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment.

    • http://twitter.com/Bulldog34471 Srin D

      I realize this is six months old.  But in case someone else is reading this…the Mobile Sync Folder is where your iphone and ipad back ups are stored

    • http://twitter.com/Bulldog34471 Srin D

      I realize this is six months old.  But in case someone else is reading this…the Mobile Sync Folder is where your iphone and ipad back ups are stored

  • Paul W Mather

    Thanks a ton. Had 30GB missing on my macbook air. It seems it was a MobileSync folder, 30 bloody GB! I now have half my hard drive back, thanks a lot.

    • http://twitter.com/Bulldog34471 Srin D

      I realize this is six months old.  But in case someone else is reading this…the Mobile Sync Folder is where your iphone and ipad back ups are stored

  • Walter Moore

    You are a God and a life-saver.  I could not for the life of me find my iWeb website.  You saved me HOURS of work.  Memo to the folks who designed iWeb and Lion:  I love you, I really do, but PLEASE don’t hide my critical files from me.  I’d like to know where they are, and what they’re called.

  • Walter Moore

    You are a God and a life-saver.  I could not for the life of me find my iWeb website.  You saved me HOURS of work.  Memo to the folks who designed iWeb and Lion:  I love you, I really do, but PLEASE don’t hide my critical files from me.  I’d like to know where they are, and what they’re called.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for the comments Walter, it’s feedback like this that fuels my blog posting! Glad I could help!

  • Yiannis Pavlou

    Mike. Its people like you that make the Apple world continue to go round. After hours of frustration looking for Lotus Notes files hidden under the Library folder I used your recommendation and resolved all my issues. Thank you so much. 

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Yiannis, I am glad you found my blog post useful! 

  • Yiannis Pavlou

    Mike. Its people like you that make the Apple world continue to go round. After hours of frustration looking for Lotus Notes files hidden under the Library folder I used your recommendation and resolved all my issues. Thank you so much. 

  • Anonymous

    Hello,
    I definitely appreciate the help here, as some files I need to see are suddenly invisible!

    However, I don’t get a couple of things in your instructions:
    Step 6.  I have a Finder window open, but I don’t know what you mean by “icon” in this case.
    Step 7. “Relaunch” what?  Do you mean “restart” the computer from the Apple menu?

    Please help!

    Thanks,
    Matthew

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hello Matthew

      Sorry you found the instructions difficult to follow.

      On step 6, I meant right click on the Finder icon in the Dock, it’s generally the icon on the far left of the dock and is a face with two shades of blue. Right clicking with the alt button pressed will give you the force relaunch option.

      Step 7, as per step 6 really – or a reboot would force the relaunch too.

      If you get stuck, let me know.

      Cheers
      Mike

      • Jennifer Bailey

        Not working as of 10/2/11

        Nothing happens, no change, hidden files still showing :(

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Hello

          Do you get any errors in the terminal? Have you restarted ‘Finder’? Are they still visible after a reboot?

          Thanks
          Mike

          • Anonymous

            After weeks when I thought sanity had gone – YOU saved the day(s) !!

            Now located the missing folder and file – thanks a zillion, huge help .

            :-)

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            Glad I could help Ian, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/alabastida Adrian E. Labastida Cañizares

        THanks i was actually looking to which finder icon did you meant, i was doing right click on the icon at the top right corner of the screen lol, worked great!!

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Ahh – Sorry for the confusion, I mean the finder icon in the dock. 

  • MatthewSchenker

    Hello,
    I definitely appreciate the help here, as some files I need to see are suddenly invisible!

    However, I don’t get a couple of things in your instructions:
    Step 6.  I have a Finder window open, but I don’t know what you mean by “icon” in this case.
    Step 7. “Relaunch” what?  Do you mean “restart” the computer from the Apple menu?

    Please help!

    Thanks,
    Matthew

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hello Matthew

      Sorry you found the instructions difficult to follow.

      On step 6, I meant right click on the Finder icon in the Dock, it’s generally the icon on the far left of the dock and is a face with two shades of blue. Right clicking with the alt button pressed will give you the force relaunch option.

      Step 7, as per step 6 really – or a reboot would force the relaunch too.

      If you get stuck, let me know.

      Cheers
      Mike

  • Jennifer Bailey

    Not working as of 10/2/11

    Nothing happens, no change, hidden files still showing :(

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hello

      Do you get any errors in the terminal? Have you restarted ‘Finder’? Are they still visible after a reboot?

      Thanks
      Mike

  • Ian948

    After weeks when I thought sanity had gone – YOU saved the day(s) !!

    Now located the missing folder and file – thanks a zillion, huge help .

    :-)

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad I could help Ian, and thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTEFCDAVK3DUSZFGWG32FNKP7Y Phil Doughty

    Thanks – Worked nice

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad I could help Phil.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTEFCDAVK3DUSZFGWG32FNKP7Y Phil Doughty

    Thanks – Worked nice

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad I could help Phil.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Mark Clemons

    It worked great.  Thanks for the help.  A question though, the files are visible but greyed out? I’m the only user on this macbook pro so I guess there’s a higher login than I’m aware of.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Mark

      Glad you managed to get it working. The fact they are greyed out is just to indicate they are hidden files. Mainly so you don’t go deleting them. You can still access them like a normal file.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • Mark Clemons

    It worked great.  Thanks for the help.  A question though, the files are visible but greyed out? I’m the only user on this macbook pro so I guess there’s a higher login than I’m aware of.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Mark

      Glad you managed to get it working. The fact they are greyed out is just to indicate they are hidden files. Mainly so you don’t go deleting them. You can still access them like a normal file.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZTCOQOZABX2ITDXZPPFXR5LFVE ms

    WORKS NICELY!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad it worked for you.

  • Edwirdude

    Thanks or sharing this, I had trouble migrating my Thunderbird mailboxes and account from a HD with Os Leopard to Os Lion on a bigger HD, I couldn’t find the Thunderbird folder on the system running Os Lion. Now my account is up and running. Thanks again. Do you recommend turning “Show all files” off?

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. As long as you don’t go deleting files you don’t recognise or tinkering with things you don’t understand leaving it on is safe enough :)

  • Silvis Samitis

    This is great user friendly tutorial. Thanks. 

    • e2912

      Hi, thanks for the info…i want to know how to make it with an iPod touch,

      Thanks,
      Matt

  • Silvis Samitis

    This is great user friendly tutorial. Thanks. 

  • http://twitter.com/wirtzepol Pol Wirtz

    Thanks a lot. This post helped me out when I had for no known reason hidden files SHOWING  all over my Finder…   I only used the second half of your recommendation and this solved it all!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, glad I could help out..

  • http://twitter.com/wirtzepol Pol Wirtz

    Thanks a lot. This post helped me out when I had for no known reason hidden files SHOWING  all over my Finder…   I only used the second half of your recommendation and this solved it all!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, glad I could help out..

  • Dave Davidson

    Hi, I followed the advice as written. On my terminal when I hit return, I received the error message:
     
    2011-11-16 00:09:49.141 defaults[2499:707] Could not write domain com.apple.Finder; exiting.

    Has any one got any ideas?

    Thank you

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      This could maybe be permissions Dave, are you logged on with an Admin user account? 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4SCWRR3VD67DXAOXCWB73BQUUY Arash

    This is nice, do you know how to make a specific folder visible , not all of them?- Tnx!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Sorry for the delay Arash

      You can use: 

      chflags nohidden  

      Replacing with the path/name of the file or folder

      Thanks
      Mike

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PE6D2UJXOYAOXYA63ET2NPCU4A Brandon

    Awesome.  Thank you very much, this worked perfectly.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_PE6D2UJXOYAOXYA63ET2NPCU4A Brandon

    Awesome.  Thank you very much, this worked perfectly.

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  • Christian Dubuc

    Great! Now, is there a way not to control the visibility of these files but per folders? I like the ability to see all the files but would like to keep them hidden from my desktop.

    Thanks for the help,

    Chris

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Cristian

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. As far as I know it’s an all or nothing approach I’m afraid.

      Thanks
      Mike

      • http://about.me/liy liy

        thanks! some folders went hidden in my hard drive for no reason and this helped me find them :)

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad I could help.

          Mike

  • Christian Dubuc

    Great! Now, is there a way not to control the visibility of these files but per folders? I like the ability to see all the files but would like to keep them hidden from my desktop.

    Thanks for the help,

    Chris

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Cristian

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. As far as I know it’s an all or nothing approach I’m afraid.

      Thanks
      Mike

  • http://about.me/liy liy

    thanks! some folders went hidden in my hard drive for no reason and this helped me find them :)

  • Sharan Maharjan

    HI Mike, i guess there’s not any answer to remove the “.” that is in front of hidden files. I wish  to know about this and if u can help me…waiting..
    isharan

  • Sharan Maharjan

    HI Mike, i guess there’s not any answer to remove the “.” that is in front of hidden files. I wish  to know about this and if u can help me…waiting..
    isharan

  • Anon Internet

    Thank you so much! I need to uninstall a program and I can’t completely uninstall it unless I can see hidden files. 

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      I’d suggest using a third party application to remove software, something like AppCleaner if you are on a budget http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/25276/appcleaner 

      Or – http://www.mikesel.info/cleanmymac-os-x-lion/ 

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. 

  • http://twitter.com/IDEA_org IDEA.org

    Also, you can adjust visibility of individual files with: 
    chflags nohidden filenamehere
    or for all the files, recursively, in the current directory: 
    chflags -R nohidden *

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZTCOQOZABX2ITDXZPPFXR5LFVE ms

      WORKS NICELY!

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. Glad it worked for you.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks or sharing this, I had trouble migrating my Thunderbird mailboxes and account from a HD with Os Leopard to Os Lion on a bigger HD, I couldn’t find the Thunderbird folder on the system running Os Lion. Now my account is up and running. Thanks again. Do you recommend turning “Show all files” off?

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            Thanks for taking the time to comment. As long as you don’t go deleting files you don’t recognise or tinkering with things you don’t understand leaving it on is safe enough :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seppl-Kretz/643905209 Seppl Kretz

       Very usefull comment! But what did you mean by that last code? chflags -R nohidden *     Because I can’t seem to get that working.

    • http://twitter.com/JordanDBoston Jordan Boston

      This is what I’m after for .htaccess files. Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/JordanDBoston Jordan Boston

      This is what I’m after for .htaccess files. Thanks!

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  • zohnyandgazz tarekandhussein

    omg you saved my life man thank you so much, my life was missing and it just popped back up lol
    cheers man

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad I could help :)

      Cheers
      Mike

  • MikeAlgar42

    Do you know if this works or a similar code works for 10.6.8?

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  • Anonymous

    You’re a lifesaver! Thanks.

  • Keith Shauger

    Beautiful. Very clearly explained.

  • http://www.creatingfilm.com/ SamWelkerTV

    Thank you very much :)

  • Jim Sander

    I took this to the next step and created a “toggle alias”, and if somebody has an api method to do the relaunch of finder, the function will be complete

    I put the following in my .bashrc:
    toggle_hidden() { val=`defaults read com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles` case $val in YES) newval=NO ;; NO) newval=YES ;; esac defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles $newval  && echo display all $newval}

    alias th=”toggle_hidden”

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks Jim

      That’s a good idea, thanks for sharing and taking the time comment.

      Do you think you could use the AppleScript in this tutorial here: http://still-scripts.com/applescript/how-to-relaunch-finder-with-applescript-and-save-as-an-application/

      Thanks
      Mike

  • Jim Sander

    I took this to the next step and created a “toggle alias”, and if somebody has an api method to do the relaunch of finder, the function will be complete

    I put the following in my .bashrc:
    toggle_hidden() { val=`defaults read com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles` case $val in YES) newval=NO ;; NO) newval=YES ;; esac defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles $newval  && echo display all $newval}

    alias th=”toggle_hidden”

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  • nitin bharara

    guys forget this crap use “totolfinder”

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks Nitin

      However, I am a bit of a purest, I’d rather use stock tools rather then 3rd party apps :)

  • nitin bharara

    guys forget this crap use “totolfinder”

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks Nitin

      However, I am a bit of a purest, I’d rather use stock tools rather then 3rd party apps :)

  • gio kanaan

    Thanks a lot dood , It helped solve why my hard drive was auto ejecting it would help a lot if you could do a post on that subject.

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  • http://twitter.com/sirvonsirvon sirvonsirvon

    thanks man!

  • Taylor Cichy

    Worked Great!! I am using it to get music off an old iPod, I can now see everything but it won’t let me move the files anywhere. Do you happen to know another clever trick to save my music?? My old computer crapped out and now this is the only thing I have left with most of the music! I really don’t want to resort to a 3rd party app… Thanks!!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Taylor

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m not aware of anyway of doing it without a 3rd party app.. I generally use iExplorer http://www.macroplant.com/iexplorer/

      Let us know if you do manage to do it without apps..

      Cheers
      Mike

  • Taylor Cichy

    Worked Great!! I am using it to get music off an old iPod, I can now see everything but it won’t let me move the files anywhere. Do you happen to know another clever trick to save my music?? My old computer crapped out and now this is the only thing I have left with most of the music! I really don’t want to resort to a 3rd party app… Thanks!!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Taylor

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I’m not aware of anyway of doing it without a 3rd party app.. I generally use iExplorer http://www.macroplant.com/iexplorer/

      Let us know if you do manage to do it without apps..

      Cheers
      Mike

  • lovedbyGod2

    this worked perfectly for me! Thank you!! 

  • http://twitter.com/lovedbyGod2 Lee

    this worked perfectly for me! Thank you!! 

  • e2912

    Hi, thanks for the info…i want to know how to make it with an iPod touch,

    Thanks,
    Matt

  • http://twitter.com/nickopris Nick Opris

    Thanks Mike, works like a charm.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment Nick.

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  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NGVIQUJQTOVBWEJZYUYR2PIG7I Aldy

    Hi Mike.. this is very help full. last time i use Houdini to show/hide files and folders on Finder (Snow Leopard).

    My issue is now my macbook pro running OSX Lion 10.7.3 and i already Installed Tuxera NTFS since my External Drives were on NTFS. But Lion hide all the Files/Folders with the attribute ‘hidden’ set in PC. (it still show up in Snow Leopard) now and i can’t get it back.. 

    My question is, is there anyway i can set the attributes back to ‘unhidden’ to show it back to normal in Lion? in Terminal maybe?

    Thank you so much.
    Regards.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Aidy

      I would try cd’ing to the drive/folder in terminal, then running: 

      chflags -R nohidden *

      That should clear the flag.

      Thanks
      Mike

      • http://twitter.com/JordanDBoston Jordan Boston

        I only want to show one hidden file, but once I am in the directory and run:

        chflags -R nohidden filename

        I get:

        No such file or directory

        But I know the file is there.

        Any thoughts?

        • http://www.facebook.com/grweiner Garrett Weiner

          I have the same issue, but have no clue why I can’t find ‘the utilities’ folder in finder.  at least not the folder you are talking about. Then now to open up a terminal window in Mac?  sorry, just not good with this – but need the help.  Thanks

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            How about if you launch finder, then in the menu bar click utilities? 
            Or type terminal into spotlight?

            Thanks
            Mike

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Hi Jordan

          Try
          sudo -i
          First, then enter your password. Now CD back to the folder containing the file and try the chflags command again. Not in a position to test it right now, but that should work.

          Thanks
          Mike

      • http://twitter.com/JordanDBoston Jordan Boston

        I only want to show one hidden file, but once I am in the directory and run:

        chflags -R nohidden filename

        I get:

        No such file or directory

        But I know the file is there.

        Any thoughts?

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          Hi Jordan

          Try
          sudo -i
          First, then enter your password. Now CD back to the folder containing the file and try the chflags command again. Not in a position to test it right now, but that should work.

          Thanks
          Mike

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  • Richard Peterson

    Do you know how a file I use regularly would somehow go invisible for no reason?  How do I make that one file visible again permanently, without making everything visible? 

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Without knowing the file, or what you are using it for Richard that’s difficult to say. You can use the following in terminal:

      chflags nohidden 

      Passing the path and name of of the file in place of the , thanks for taking the time to comment. An let me know how you get on.

  • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

    Hi Mike, I no longer have access to 10.6.8 but there’s no reason this shouldn’t work.

    Thanks

  • Ilesh Patel

    Hello. I was using an app called Secret Service (v 1.0) to hide some work docs. Just upgraded to 10.7 and now the app won’t launch due to no PPC support. I restored the entire Time Machine backup done prior to the 10.7 upgrade to another mac. Secret Services launches but it shows the path to the hidden folder but is not able to unhide the folder.
    Is there some way to retrieve the hidden folder without launching that app? none of the suggestions below bring up the hidden folder.
    I was not sure about doing a complete restore of the backup to the original computer incase it deletes the hidden folder in the process.
    Many thanks for any help you can give.

    Ilesh

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi do you know the path to the files/folder? If its just hidden then you should still be able to navigate to it. If its protected too, it may be harder, but not impossible.

  • http://twitter.com/IAmMarveloso Marvis Brown

    I followed the advice as written. On my terminal when I hit return, I received the error message: 2011-11-16 00:09:49.141 defaults[2499:707] Could not write domain com.apple.Finder; exiting.
    Has any one got any ideas?

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      • David Scharf

        I’ve written a small cocoa tool which wraps exactly these commands into an interface which resides in the toolbar. Finder restarting is also supported: http://filetoggle.huesforalice.com/

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Marvis, Check out the post over at https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3340019?start=0&tstart=0 that should resolve your issue.

      Thanks
      Mike

  • http://www.facebook.com/grweiner Garrett Weiner

    I have the same issue, but have no clue why I can’t find ‘the utilities’ folder in finder.  at least not the folder you are talking about. Then now to open up a terminal window in Mac?  sorry, just not good with this – but need the help.  Thanks

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      How about if you launch finder, then in the menu bar click utilities? 
      Or type terminal into spotlight?

      Thanks
      Mike

  • Jono James

    Awesome Thanks.

  • David Scharf

    I’ve written a small cocoa tool which wraps exactly these commands into an interface which resides in the toolbar. Finder restarting is also supported: http://filetoggle.huesforalice.com/

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks David

      That’s a handy util, thanks for sharing.

      Mike

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  • jimhales

    here is what I get when I try and unhide hidden files to find malware applications running on my iMac. can’t seem to access files containing adware releventknowledge.ba or bearsharemanagerfree.exe
    Last login: Sun Apr 22 07:47:26 on ttys000cpe001f5be74ccb-cm001bd7a6efae:~ jimhaleschuk$ bashbash-3.2$ defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YESbash-3.2$ bash-3.2$ defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YESbash-3.2$ bash-3.2$ com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YESbash: com.apple.Finder: command not foundbash-3.2$ 
    Can anyone help me with this. Email me at jshales@rogers:disqus .com, then I can for sure get the info i need

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hello Jim – you might want to try David Scharf’s link in the below comment: http://filetoggle.huesforalice.com/ this should do it for you.

      Thanks 
      Mike

  • Cary_Wolfson

    I feel like I’m missing something here. After pasting the command into Terminal, why the reference to the “alt” key, which doesn’t exist on a Mac? Where is the Finder icon I’m supposed to click on?

    OK, what I’m trying to do: on startup I get the message that the file Library/StartupItems/ProTecb cannot launch. No idea what that is, but I want to trash it. However, I don’t see any files in the StartupItems folder, and it doesn’t show up in a Spotlight search, so figure it must be invisible.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Cary 

      I’m in the process of making a video to make this easier, however in the mean time… 

      The alt key is the one that looks like the attached, and finder is the two faces in your dock (see attached)

      Once you’ve done that, you should find you can see the files your after

    • Cary_Wolfson

      Thanks for the quick response, Mike.

      OK. In my world we call that the Option key, but whatever.;-}>

      In the meantime, I’ve found a freeware app, Lion Tweaks, that avoids all the command line stuff. Check it out here: http://ifredrik.com/applications/download_step.html

      Even so, I still have not been able to find that “ProTecb” file. No idea what it is or is supposed to do. Must be a dreg left over from an anti-virus program or something.

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        Hehe, well on my mac it’s labelled as Alt :P 

        Thanks for the link, I am not a massive fan of tweak apps, but if you prefer that.. 

        Have you tried something like CleanMyMac http://www.mikesel.info/cleanmymac-os-x-lion/ Should find and clean up any application left overs.

        Thanks

        • Cary_Wolfson

          Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out. I was using something called MacKeeper. “Upgrading” to Lion last week hosed so many things I was running under 10.6.8. It seems like I’ve done nothing but put out fires since I made the change. Feels like my head is about to split open. Glad there are people like you willing to help out.

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            Yeah I’ve tried that. I prefer CleanMyMac. Much easier interface.

            Upgrades between OS versions are always best doing from fresh installs in my opinion. :o)

            Stick with it, Lion will earn its right to your disk space :)

            Like you say. There’s plenty of people like us out there willing to help.

            Cheers
            Mike

        • Cary_Wolfson

          Thanks for the tip. I’ll check it out. I was using something called MacKeeper. “Upgrading” to Lion last week hosed so many things I was running under 10.6.8. It seems like I’ve done nothing but put out fires since I made the change. Feels like my head is about to split open. Glad there are people like you willing to help out.

          • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

            Yeah I’ve tried that. I prefer CleanMyMac. Much easier interface.

            Upgrades between OS versions are always best doing from fresh installs in my opinion. :o)

            Stick with it, Lion will earn its right to your disk space :)

            Like you say. There’s plenty of people like us out there willing to help.

            Cheers
            Mike

  • http://raamdev.com Raam Dev

    Thank you, Mike! Very helpful. :)

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad my tutorial helped out :o)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://raamdev.com Raam Dev

    Thank you, Mike! Very helpful. :)

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad my tutorial helped out :o)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • J Dr

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE killall Finder

    will do the job. if you have trouble, you should copy paste the whole line only until TRUE and then type killall Finder by hand.

    and then to reverse:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

    hit enter and then type:

    killall Finder

    hit enter and magic done.

    ps. I post that because YES or NO commands didn’t work for me

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and for your suggestions. :o)

    • http://twitter.com/hamishegen Hamish Egen

      Awesome! The Yes or NO didn’t work for me either, but this did! Legend!

    • http://www.facebook.com/thisisablogforryansinclair Wesley Notter

      TRUE worked for me as well but not YES

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        Thanks Ben – glad I could help.

    • http://twitter.com/Jacquelineast Jacqueline

      Thanks it worked with TRUE, but my folders are transparent how can I change that?

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        This means that they are hidden. Do you want to unhide them?

    • http://twitter.com/JoeBobLee JoeBob Scruggs

      Thanks J Dr!

  • J Dr

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE killall Finder

    will do the job. if you have trouble, you should copy paste the whole line only until TRUE and then type killall Finder by hand.

    and then to reverse:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

    hit enter and then type:

    killall Finder

    hit enter and magic done.

    ps. I post that because YES or NO commands didn’t work for me

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and for your suggestions. :o)

    • http://twitter.com/hamishegen Hamish Egen

      Awesome! The Yes or NO didn’t work for me either, but this did! Legend!

    • http://www.facebook.com/thisisablogforryansinclair Wesley Notter

      TRUE worked for me as well but not YES

    • http://twitter.com/Jacquelineast Jacqueline

      Thanks it worked with TRUE, but my folders are transparent how can I change that?

      • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

        This means that they are hidden. Do you want to unhide them?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IVVYW7VTJDJQVKPEWLFA3QGLT4 Cartoonist Miller

    Oh my gosh thanks Mike, that was very helpful. I have a 16 GB flash drive and I could never get stuff on there. Turns out the flash drive actually keeps the items it had before. I went into trashes and then got rid of 503 and 505. I now have 15.987 GB!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad my tutorial helped out :o) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • http://twitter.com/Nanusja Nanusja

        Thanks a lot!! It really helped!! 

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad my tutorial helped out :o) Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • http://twitter.com/Nanusja Nanusja

    Thanks a lot!! It really helped!! 

  • http://twitter.com/Hopkinslaxkid Michael Pellegrini

    Hi
    i tried doing the terminal command and the hidden files are showing, but i cant seem to find the mobile sync folder in the directory.  I have tried the path posted in one of the comments and i even searched it, but nothing came out.  please help!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi

      Are you trying to find old iPhone backups? Is this to delete them? As its best to do this through iTunes.

      The mobile sync folder should be under the application support folder. I’ll get the full path later.

      Thanks
      Mike

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi

      Are you trying to find old iPhone backups? Is this to delete them? As its best to do this through iTunes.

      The mobile sync folder should be under the application support folder. I’ll get the full path later.

      Thanks
      Mike

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  • http://twitter.com/megatronman Mark Blackmore

    Holding the alt key and right clicking the finder icon didn’t work for me (Lion 10.7.4)
    Instead, I clicked the apple logo on the top left and went to force quit then clicked on ‘Finder’ then ‘Relaunch’

    • http://twitter.com/readysetnet readysetnet

      Yipeeee! That’s what I needed to know – thanks, Mark, that worked for me-

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    • Macisus

      Awesome tips Mike! One problem, after rebuilding a good friends desktop I am unable to re-hid the system files. After the command is entered (NO at the end of course) it states that
      2012-07-06 10:57:13:119 defaults [247:707] Could not write domain come.apple.Finder; exiting.
      Any help would be amazing. Thanks!

  • Macisus

    Awesome tips Mike! One problem, after rebuilding a good friends desktop I am unable to re-hid the system files. After the command is entered (NO at the end of course) it states that
    2012-07-06 10:57:13:119 defaults [247:707] Could not write domain come.apple.Finder; exiting.
    Any help would be amazing. Thanks!

  • Macisus

    Awesome tips Mike! One problem, after rebuilding a good friends desktop I am unable to re-hid the system files. After the command is entered (NO at the end of course) it states that
    2012-07-06 10:57:13:119 defaults [247:707] Could not write domain come.apple.Finder; exiting.
    Any help would be amazing. Thanks!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Macisus

      Try preceding the text with Sudo

      Cheers
      Mike

  • Macisus

    Awesome tips Mike! One problem, after rebuilding a good friends desktop I am unable to re-hid the system files. After the command is entered (NO at the end of course) it states that
    2012-07-06 10:57:13:119 defaults [247:707] Could not write domain come.apple.Finder; exiting.
    Any help would be amazing. Thanks!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Macisus

      Try preceding the text with Sudo

      Cheers
      Mike

      • Macisus

        Thanks for such a quick reply. Ended up I had to re-enable permission/ownership back to her account! Thanks so much!
        Cheers
        Cam

        Webpage : http://www.macisus.ca
        Contact : cam@macisus.ca
        You break it, and we’ll fix it!

  • Shining Chen

    thanks a lot. it worked!

  • Shining Chen

    thanks a lot. it worked!

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    • http://twitter.com/sirvonsirvon sirvonsirvon

      thanks man!

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  • T Hazlett

    Automating this script into a toggler is really quite simple…
    Launch -> /Aplications/Automator
    Select what type of workflow you would like. I feel a service is a good choice for this so go ahead and;
    Select -> Service
    At the top of the window there should be 2 combo-boxes.
    Select -> no input
    Select -> Finder.app
    Drag -> Run shell script; from the left panel to the right and enter the following:

    is_shown=$(defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles)
    if [ $is_shown != “YES” ]
    then
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
    else
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
    fi

    (You may have to retype the quotes around the “YES” in the if statement).

    Below that
    Drag -> Ask for confirmation and enter a message to the effect of “Do you want to relaunch finder? This will cancel any file transfers etc.”

    Under that,
    Drag -> Run shell script and enter killall Finder

    Save it, naming it whatever you want it to appear as under the services submenu of the Finder menu.

    With Finder in the foreground, click Finder in the top left -> down to Services and click your newly created Service.

    I hope this is found to be useful to some people.

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    • http://twitter.com/Wasp546 Wasp

      Thank you! i found this most useful

      • http://twitter.com/JordanDBoston Jordan Boston

        If I would like to show only .htaccess files for web development, can I do that and leave the other files hidden?

      • http://www.sutanaryan.com/ Ryan S

        I tried this method and didn’t work, I’ve updated the code above in IF to if() as it give error and still nothing happen :(

        • Christian Koefoed Johnsen

          It did work for me!

          • MikeSel

            defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE or FALSE;killall Finder

    • Chris M

      The thing with this is this: How can typing one line of code be harder than going into Automator and creating a script? You will lose most people once they fire up Automator. I speak from experience having tried one of these and I stopped and asked myself, “dude, you would’ve been done already if you typed the one line and stopped messing around”. It’s all good either way, I’m just trying to save people time by working smarter, not harder.

      • Jadem

        So true!

      • Matt

        I realize that my comment is a bit late. I agree that typing one line of code is easy. However, for those who want the ability to quickly change this setting, an automated script is a great way to go! Using Automater is fairly straight forward and the author did provide great instructions. Took about 30 seconds to create and test. Thanks T.H.!

      • Christian

        Is it worth the time? http://xkcd.com/1205/

    • Kiki

      WORKED GREAT!! THANK YOU!!

  • T Hazlett

    Automating this script into a toggler is really quite simple…
    Launch -> /Aplications/Automator
    Select what type of workflow you would like. I feel a service is a good choice for this so go ahead and;
    Select -> Service
    At the top of the window there should be 2 combo-boxes.
    Select -> no input
    Select -> Finder.app
    Drag -> Run shell script; from the left panel to the right and enter the following:

    is_shown=$(defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles)
    if [ $is_shown != “YES” ]
    then
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
    else
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
    fi

    (You may have to retype the quotes around the “YES” in the if statement).

    Below that
    Drag -> Ask for confirmation and enter a message to the effect of “Do you want to relaunch finder? This will cancel any file transfers etc.”

    Under that,
    Drag -> Run shell script and enter killall Finder

    Save it, naming it whatever you want it to appear as under the services submenu of the Finder menu.

    With Finder in the foreground, click Finder in the top left -> down to Services and click your newly created Service.

    I hope this is found to be useful to some people.

    • http://twitter.com/Wasp546 Wasp

      Thank you! i found this most useful

      • http://www.sutanaryan.com/ Ryan S

        I tried this method and didn’t work, I’ve updated the code above in IF to if() as it give error and still nothing happen :(

    • Chris M

      The thing with this is this: How can typing one line of code be harder than going into Automator and creating a script? You will lose most people once they fire up Automator. I speak from experience having tried one of these and I stopped and asked myself, “dude, you would’ve been done already if you typed the one line and stopped messing around”. It’s all good either way, I’m just trying to save people time by working smarter, not harder.

    • http://twitter.com/ivanmh IvanMH

      Great advice, thanks. It wasn’t working for me in Automator so I re-write your instructions for beginners like me with the True/False statement that solved my problem:

      1. Launch -> /Applications/Automator
      2. Select workflow type -> Service (It is a good choice for this)
      3. In the 2 combo-boxes at the top of the window:
      (Service receives) Select -> no input
      (in) -> Select -> Finder
      4. From the left panel Library Drag -> “Run shell script”; to the right panel
      (if the “Run shell script”box has any content already – i.e. ‘cat’- please delete it)
      5.Enter or copy/paste the text between the lines below :
      ——–
      is_shown=$(defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles)
      if [ $is_shown != “TRUE” ]
      then
      defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
      else
      defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
      fi
      ——-
      (You may have to retype the quotes around the “TRUE” in the if statement)
      6. Below that, from the left panel Library Drag -> “Ask for confirmation” to the right panel.
      7. Enter a message to the effect:
      (Subject Box): “Do you want to relaunch finder?
      (Detail box): “This will cancel any file transfers”
      8. Under that, from the left panel Library Drag -> “Run shell script” to the right panel.
      9. Enter or copy/paste the text between the lines below :
      ——–
      killall Finder
      ——–
      10. Save it, naming it whatever you want (i.e. “hide-unhide files”), you’re done. It will now appear in: Finder Menu-> Services submenu -> (general) “hide-unhide files”.

      11. To launch it, just open a Finder window and go to Finder Menu-> Services submenu -> (general) “hide-unhide files”.

      12. Enjoy :)

      • Jennifer Gayapersad

        Thank you, this works perfectly.
        ;o)

    • Nguyen Hoang Anh

      Thank you so much for your awesome tutorial. Cheers.

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  • http://twitter.com/JordanDBoston Jordan Boston

    If I would like to show only .htaccess files for web development, can I do that and leave the other files hidden?

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  • Vitalii Varbanets

    a simple app for that http://nektony.com/funter

  • Puzzled

    I was able to unhide files using “defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES” and restart finder, but was unable to reverse it no matter what incantation I used. Beware, you may not be able to reverse the unhide system files in 10.8.2 — I’m completely perplexed by it – I’ve tried killall finder, I’ve tried relaunching the finder, I’ve tried upper case, lower case, yes, no, YES, NO, TRUE, FALSE – but I still see the “hidden files” when I click on finder. I tried fixing permissions, I even tried “chflags -R hidden *” — anyone else experience this recently?

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  • http://twitter.com/pixelliquid Peter Emil

    In Mountain Lion, to open the user-Library-folder without Terminal you just hold alt & than choose Library in the Go-dropdown from the Findermenu.

  • http://twitter.com/pixelliquid Peter Emil

    In Mountain Lion, to open the user-Library-folder without Terminal you just hold alt & than choose Library in the Go-dropdown from the Findermenu.

  • http://twitter.com/SoIAmAnRN SoIAmAnRN

    Thanks Mike! This is EXACTLY what I needed… followed your instructions and it worked perfectly. Once I found what I was looking for (the MobileSync file – why does it need to be hidden, anyway??) I created an alias for it to keep available in case I need to find it again. Easy Breezy! Thanks a bunch!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/SoIAmAnRN SoIAmAnRN

    Thanks Mike! This is EXACTLY what I needed… followed your instructions and it worked perfectly. Once I found what I was looking for (the MobileSync file – why does it need to be hidden, anyway??) I created an alias for it to keep available in case I need to find it again. Easy Breezy! Thanks a bunch!! :)

  • http://twitter.com/SkinnyBill William Meade

    Quick Tip:
    It’s easier to type “killall Finder” while in the terminal than to relaunch the way described above. Finder will always relaunch upon termination so there is no problem doing this.

  • http://twitter.com/SkinnyBill William Meade

    Quick Tip:
    It’s easier to type “killall Finder” while in the terminal than to relaunch the way described above. Finder will always relaunch upon termination so there is no problem doing this.

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    • http://www.facebook.com/RaviJSingh Ravi J Singh

      Thanks a ton for this info. I accidentally saved one Excel Spreadsheet in the Outlook Temp folder and it had 3 hours of calculation I did for one project. Was not able to retrieve it, however, i could see it. Then I googled and landed on this link and it worked for me. And, Special thanks to T Hazlett for the automating script info.

    • aiman

      Hi.. i can unhide the all files. but seem i can’t find the file or folder that i want.. how it be guys?

  • Michele K

    From a total computer klutz, thanks!! Nice easy instructions that worked first time… I’ll be bookmarking this site, that’s for sure.

  • Nao

    Hi, I found this useful and even able to view my hidden folders initially. Now I have a new problem which is I can’t view the files in the folder.. Its like hidden too. There’s even nothing in the utility folder. Can someone please2 help! Greatly appreciate it!

  • Nao

    Hi, I found this useful and even able to view my hidden folders initially. Now I have a new problem which is I can’t view the files in the folder.. Its like hidden too. There’s even nothing in the utility folder. Can someone please2 help! Greatly appreciate it!

  • Ben

    Cool Nice Methard

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Thanks Ben – glad I could help.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RaviJSingh Ravi J Singh

    Thanks a ton for this info. I accidentally saved one Excel Spreadsheet in the Outlook Temp folder and it had 3 hours of calculation I did for one project. Was not able to retrieve it, however, i could see it. Then I googled and landed on this link and it worked for me. And, Special thanks to T Hazlett for the automating script info.

  • aiman

    Hi.. i can unhide the all files. but seem i can’t find the file or folder that i want.. how it be guys?

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaPMorgan JP Morgan

    Thank you so much this was so helpful i had a heck of time finding an applications support file and this was just what i needed!

  • Don Peterson

    When I open Automator the word cat appears on the screen. Should I leave it there and enter the text after it or on a separate line or should I delete the word cat?

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Don

      Is it possible to upload a screenshot and link to it? Automator is just an editor so deleting it won’t harm anything. Although if you’d like to post a screen shot I will double check

      Thanks
      Mike

      • Don Peterson

        Sorry, didn’t realize the previous upload had worked. Thanks for your help.

        • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

          That’s fine Don. Comments don’t appear until I ‘moderate’ them. This is to prevent spam etc :)

  • Don Peterson

    When I open Automator the word cat appears on the screen. Should I leave it there and enter the text after it or on a separate line or should I delete the word cat?

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Don

      Is it possible to upload a screenshot and link to it? Automator is just an editor so deleting it won’t harm anything. Although if you’d like to post a screen shot I will double check

      Thanks
      Mike

  • Don Peterson

    Mike, here’s a screen shot of my “cat” problem. (Some irony there having a cat problem in Mountain Lion ;0)

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Don

      Yes! That is ironic :)

      Cat is a unix command for working with files. You can safely delete it from that window an paste in the code

      Thanks

      Mike

  • Don Peterson

    Mike, here’s a screen shot of my “cat” problem. (Some irony there having a cat problem in Mountain Lion ;0)

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Don

      Yes! That is ironic :)

      Cat is a unix command for working with files. You can safely delete it from that window an paste in the code

      Thanks

      Mike

  • JRod4U

    I was able to view hidden files, but I can not find the file://localhost/users/username/.Trash/iTunes Music where all my music has ended up. Can you explain to this dummy where I go to find it? Thanks in advance!

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hello

      If you ensure finder is in focus, then click Go > Home, with hidden folders enabled you will see the ‘trash’ folder (slightly greyed out – see attached) in there should be what you are looking for.

      Thanks
      Mike

      • http://twitter.com/Jacquelineast Jacqueline

        You know why my files are transparent after I unhidden them?

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hello

      If you ensure finder is in focus, then click Go > Home, with hidden folders enabled you will see the ‘trash’ folder (slightly greyed out – see attached) in there should be what you are looking for.

      Thanks
      Mike

      • http://twitter.com/Jacquelineast Jacqueline

        You know why my files are transparent after I unhidden them?

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  • arcseldon

    Thanks very much to everyone that contributed to this post. The comment by T Hazlett to use Automator did exactly what I needed too.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad the post helped :o) – Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • arcseldon

    Thanks very much to everyone that contributed to this post. The comment by T Hazlett to use Automator did exactly what I needed too.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Glad the post helped :o) – Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • disqus_p6srZoaEar

    Thank you, it works :) !
    I used the “automator” way
    ivo

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  • Mike Raison

    Everytime I start up my imac i get a window saying “You can’t open the application tar because PowerPC applications are no longer supported” – I’ve deleted all my PowerPC applications, but this still keeps coming up and I can’t find the application tar anywhere?? I’m running OS 10.7.5 – any ideas or help would be gratefully recieved, thanks very much, Mike

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Mike, You may want to check your ‘login items’ .. To do this, launch System Preferences from the Applications Finder Window, Now Click on Users & Groups, highlight your user, and click login items at the top. Try disabling all of them, and enable one at a time and reboot to see which is causing the issue.

      You may also want to check out CleanMyMac http://www.mikesel.info/cleanmymac-os-x-lion/ this can check for and remove orphaned settings and files etc.

      Let me know how you get on.
      Cheers
      Mike

  • James

    ok, I’m not an expert but I tried this both ways (automator script and terminal) – they both worked (many thanks) and I think you are all clever people. I have to say the automator option is really neat though (and less to remember), so it gets my vote. Thanks again.

  • http://classically.me/ edgellj

    Thanks!

  • http://classically.me/ edgellj

    Thanks!

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  • http://www.iforce2d.net iforce2d

    Would it kill them to have made this an option in the preferences?!?! This is not the kind of thing that I should have to Google for.

  • Mark Kevin Cardente Besinga

    realy i need terminal to open unhidden files.. hmm no wonder why there still choose windows.

    • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

      Hi Mark
      I understand what you are saying, but hiding system files is done primary to prevent accidental damage to the operating system.. You can use applications or scripts to enable/disable this setting. The post focus’s on doing it manually, simply because some of us like to do it manually.

      Thanks
      Mike

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  • h4rr4r

    Why would you ever set it back to hide anything?
    If I wanted to be treated like a child I would use a windows computer.

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  • Spazturtle

    This is better:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true

    killall Finder

    The reverse is

    defaults delete com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles

    killall Finder

    • Matt

      This is the only one for 10.9 that worked for me. Thanks. Before, running:
      $ defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE and then
      $ defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles
      gave me:
      The domain/default pair of (com.apple.Finder, AppleShowAllFiles) does not exist

      So I think adding the “-boolean” worked

  • Juffee Sason

    Had to remove the quotes for it to work for me:

    if [ $is_shown != “YES” ]

    to

    if [ $is_shown != YES ]

  • Neto Neto

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE && killall Finder

  • grunt

    YES or NO do work. The difference is that “com.apple.finder” wants the F in lowercase.

    • DemetersRest

      This was the one that worked for me – thank you.

    • David Snead

      This worked for me!!! :D :D :D

    • Nikki

      +1. The examples with “Finder” didn’t work for me and I’m running Mavericks (10.9.4)

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  • mbd

    As of Jan 22, 2014, the above will NOT work on Mavericks.

    Use:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true

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  • Peter J. Nicholls

    OS X Mavericks 10.9 – this is the correct way:

    on:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles 1 && killall Finder
    off:
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles 0 && killall Finder

    • Frank

      worked for me, thanks

  • Daniel

    Hi,

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles 1

    finder NOT Finder

    1 NOT Yes/True

    works for me

    Software OS X 10.9.1 (13B42)

    • deva

      This worked for me, also typed killall Finder after entering the above

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  • reggiejaxx

    THANKS works great!!!

  • mbi

    I know those comments are right and work but I can not show hidden Files in OSX 10.9.4 any ideas what to change ?

    • mbi

      this did the trick:

      defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles 1

      killall Finder

  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf9O-mJh76NTHcFp557qKGA Felix Von Der Lieth

    All the people who don´t like messing around with the Terminal may use this little program which does the same in an easy way: http://adf.ly/1652412/visibilitoren

  • John Umbanhowar

    I have a user folder that was migrated over from an older computer. I copied all the documents into my new user on the new computer. so now the old user folder is empty, however get info shows that it is still using 28 gb of space. I have tried both terminal commands above to show hidden files but nothing shows up. is there another way to find if there might be files linked to this empty folder? i know there were applications associated with this user when it migrated over, but those have been put into the general apps folder. any other suggestions? i’d like to delete this folder but don’t want to lose 28 gb of information if it actually exists…

  • Roger Mason

    If it were Linux all you’d have to do is press Ctrl + H to show / hide hidden files. But Mac OS X is soooo much more user friendly, right?

  • maapgaptek

    I’m using OS Yosemite and I’ve try to make the library user back to original setting which is hidden .

    I’ve try your Terminal language
    SUDO defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO; killall Finder

    the finder relaunch but the libary is still shows, how i revert this into original setting? Please help

    thank you

  • jens

    In an open/save ass dialog box you can use ‘command + shift + .’ to toggle between showing and hiding hidden files, however this does not seem to work in the normal finder window.

  • Speranza89

    Just spent a bit turning this off on Yosemite. What worked for me was:

    defaults delete com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles; killall Finder

    For some reason “defaults write … NO … ” wasn’t working for any way of entering that boolean.

  • Tavo Castillo

    Hello friend, your explanation seems convincing, so how can I do the same procedure for a MS Windows 8.1 system?

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  • Puzzled

    I was able to unhide files using “defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES” and restart finder, but was unable to reverse it no matter what incantation I used. Beware, you may not be able to reverse the unhide system files in 10.8.2 — I’m completely perplexed by it – I’ve tried killall finder, I’ve tried relaunching the finder, I’ve tried upper case, lower case, yes, no, YES, NO, TRUE, FALSE – but I still see the “hidden files” when I click on finder. I tried fixing permissions, I even tried “chflags -R hidden *” — anyone else experience this recently?

  • http://www.mikesel.info/ Mike Hudson

    Have your tried the suggested Automator script?

    http://www.mikesel.info/use-automator-show-hide-hidden-files/

    Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/JoshuaPMorgan JP Morgan

    Thank you so much this was so helpful i had a heck of time finding an applications support file and this was just what i needed!

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  • http://twitter.com/ivanmh IvanMH

    Great advice, thanks. It wasn’t working for me in Automator so I re-write your instructions for beginners like me with the True/False statement that solved my problem:

    1. Launch -> /Applications/Automator
    2. Select workflow type -> Service (It is a good choice for this)
    3. In the 2 combo-boxes at the top of the window:
    (Service receives) Select -> no input
    (in) -> Select -> Finder
    4. From the left panel Library Drag -> “Run shell script”; to the right panel
    (if the “Run shell script”box has any content already – i.e. ‘cat’- please delete it)
    5.Enter or copy/paste the text between the lines below :
    ——–
    is_shown=$(defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles)
    if [ $is_shown != “TRUE” ]
    then
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
    else
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
    fi
    ——-
    (You may have to retype the quotes around the “TRUE” in the if statement)
    6. Below that, from the left panel Library Drag -> “Ask for confirmation” to the right panel.
    7. Enter a message to the effect:
    (Subject Box): “Do you want to relaunch finder?
    (Detail box): “This will cancel any file transfers”
    8. Under that, from the left panel Library Drag -> “Run shell script” to the right panel.
    9. Enter or copy/paste the text between the lines below :
    ——–
    killall Finder
    ——–
    10. Save it, naming it whatever you want (i.e. “hide-unhide files”), you’re done. It will now appear in: Finder Menu-> Services submenu -> (general) “hide-unhide files”.

    11. To launch it, just open a Finder window and go to Finder Menu-> Services submenu -> (general) “hide-unhide files”.

    12. Enjoy :)

  • Chubalishous

    in step 3
    (in)–> Finder
    There is no finder app in my mac someone please help me I just looked for ike an hour


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