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.



Apple have just released the first update in the OS X Lion series, version 10.7.1 update is available now using the built in Software Update facility. Or can be downloaded direct from Apple’s website using this link.

Before upgrading it’s always advised to ensure all of your backups are up to date, and many people suggest booting into Single User Mode when installing updates to ensure there are no issues with the update process.

The OS X Lion v10.7.1 Update is recommended for all users running OS X Lion and includes general operating system fixes that enhance the stability and compatibility of your Mac, including fixes that:

    • Address an issue that may cause the system to become unresponsive when playing a video in Safari.
    • Resolve an issue that may cause system audio to stop working when using HDMI or optical audio out.
    • Improve the reliability of Wi-Fi connections.
    • Resolve an issue that prevents transfer of your data, settings, and compatible applications to a new Mac running OS X Lion.
    • Resolve an issue in which an admin user account could be missing after upgrading to OS X Lion.

    For detailed information on this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4764.

    The download is approximately 17.4 MB and is available now.



    iTunes, and the Mac App store can be a funny and frustrating place sometimes.. Yes, I understand they need to ‘protect’ less tech savvy people.. However if you are running the pre release Lion Golden Master, perhaps you know what your doing when you attempt to download the released OS X Lion from the app store.

    If you try and buy OS X Lion from the AppStore on a mac that’s running OS X Lion Developer Preview the ‘buy’ button will simply say Installed, and you will be unable to purchase it.

    That is of course, unless you hold the ‘Alt’ key and click on the lion above the button, it will then change to the expected buy button.

    Which takes you to challenge number 2! OS X Lion Golden Master has a higher version number then the one in the app store. Meaning you will get the following window popup:


    Now, if you press and hold the Alt key and click the Buy App button it will bypass the version check and Lion will start downloading!

    Installing OS X Lion over the Golden Master image may also be a challenge, watch this space for a blog post on how to perform the installation as soon as I have done it!



    EDIT: There is now an even easier way to control Launchpad contents! <- Click

    Frustratingly the current implementation of the ‘LaunchPad’ in OS X Lion (10.7) seems to have one or two fairly major pit falls. One of which really frustrated me until now. On day of released I downloaded and installed Parallels Desktop 6, which the LaunchPad decided it would try and help and ‘dump’ all of the Windows App’s in the LaunchPad. Which would have been fine, however after I removed Parallels Desktop 6 trial all the Windows app’s where left orphaned on the LaunchPad.

    Now users of the LaunchPad will already be aware that removing apps from LaunchPad isn’t easy unless the apps where installed via the AppStore.

    But – if you are willing to dip your toe’s in SQL water you can remove the apps ‘manually’

    First of all you will need a good SQL database editor. I have been using SQLite Database Browser for my iPhone app development. So grab a copy of that – and pull up your socks!

    For the next part, you will either need to unhide the hidden folders and files, or open finder and use the ‘Go To Folder’ menu option to launch the hidden Library folder..


    Once inside the folder locate the ‘Application Support’ folder, then inside there the ‘Dock’ folder. You should see a file with a pretty random name, and a .db extension. Create a backup of this file and copy the file into another folder such as you desktop, or your documents.

    Now, launch the SQLite Database Browser you downloaded earlier, and open the .DB file from your documents folder.

    The database contains a collection of tables, the important one we will be working with are:

    1. Items – Each item on the LaunchPad is listed in this table
    2. Apps – Each application(parent) is listed in this table
    Now, click on the ‘Browse Data’ button and change the table name to ‘apps’. Navigate down the table and find the title of the application you would like to remove from the LaunchPad, once you have found it make a note of the value in the ‘bundleid’.
    Now, select the Execute SQL button and copy and paste the SQL below into the window.

    DELETE FROM `items` WHERE `rowid` IN (SELECT `item_id` FROM `apps` WHERE `bundleid` LIKE ‘bundleidhere‘);
    DELETE FROM `apps` WHERE `bundleid` LIKE ‘bundleidhere‘;

    Replace the green bundleidhere text in the pasted code with the value you made a note of earlier. So for my example I wanted to get rid of anything Parallels had left behind, so my SQL code looks like:

    You may notice the % symbol in my code, this essential means remove an apps who’s bundleid starts with com.parallels.winapp – which captures all of the Parallels apps.

    Once you have made the required changes, click the ‘Execute Query’ button. If all is well the ‘error message’ filed should read ‘No Error’. Now you can press on the Save button and close down the SQLite app.

    Copy the .db file back into it’s original location (~/Library/Application Support/Dock), making sure you keep a copy of the original, just in case.

    You will now need to relaunch the Dock in order for the changes to take effect. You can do this by either logging off and back on again, rebooting, force quitting or using the killall dock command in the terminal.

    That’s it.. All being well your LaunchPad should now be free of the offending applications! Hopefully in the next OS X update this issue will be addressed and will be slightly more straightforward.




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