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.



With all the excitement around iOS6 and the iPhone 5, don’t overlook this evenings Mountain Lion Update. The update is packed with features and fixes, and can be downloaded from the Mac App Store more..

Additional Information

This update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users, and includes new features and fixes:

Facebook

  • Single sign on for Facebook
  • Adds Facebook as an option when sharing links and photos
  • See Facebook friends’ contact information and profile pictures in Contacts
  • Facebook notifications now appear in Notification Center

Game Center

  • Share scores to Facebook, Twitter, Mail, or Messages
  • Facebook friends are included in Game Center friend recommendations
  • Added Facebook “Like” button for games
  • Challenge friends to beat your score or achievement

Other new features

  • Adds Power Nap support for MacBook Air (Late 2010)
  • iMessages sent to your phone number now appear in Messages on your Mac*
  • You can now add passes to Passbook (on your iPhone or iPod touch) from Safari and Mail on your Mac*
  • FaceTime can now receive calls sent to your phone number*
  • New shared Reminders lists
  • New sort options allow you to sort notes by title, the date you edited them, and when you created them
  • Dictation now supports additional languages: Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, Korean, Canadian English, Canadian French, and Italian
  • Dictionary app now includes a French definition dictionary
  • Sina Weibo profile photos can now be added to Contacts

* Requires iOS 6


General fixes

The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.2 update also includes general operating system fixes that improve the stability, compatibility and security of your Mac, including the following fixes:

  • Adds an option to discard the changes in the original document when choosing Save As
  • Unsent drafts are now opened automatically when launching Mail
  • Receive Twitter notifications for mentions and replies from anyone
  • URLs are shortened when sending tweets from Notification Center
  • Notifications are disabled when AirPlay Mirroring is being used
  • Adds SSL support for Google searches from the Smart Search Field in Safari
  • Adds a new preference to have Safari launch with previously open webpages
  • Resolves an issue that may cause the “Enable Autodiscover” checkbox to always remain checked
  • Enables access to the Mac App Store when Parental Controls are enabled
  • Support for @icloud.com email addresses
  • Resolves a video issue with some VGA projectors when connected to certain Mac notebooks
  • Addresses an issue that may prevent Active Directory accounts from being locked out
  • Resolves an issue that may cause the policy banner to re-appear prior to logging in
  • Improvements to SMB
  • Addresses an issue with NIS users when auto-login is enabled
  • Addresses an issue in which the Keychain may not be accessible
  • Ability to pre-authenticate a FileVault protected system
  • Addresses an issue that may cause Xsan to not automatically start after migrating from Mac OS X Snow Leopard

For information about the security content of this update, please visit this website.



Along with several small fixes in the recently recently released 10.8.1 update to Mountain Lion, the tech boffins over at Cupertino managed to ‘break’ the purge command. Now, as this isn’t a widely advertised OS X command, a fix should be along in the next OS X update all being well.

In the meantime, should you need to use the command to free up memory, you can use terminal to create a ‘soft symbolic’ link. Although this tricks OS X into allowing the command to be used, it’s not a permanent solution. Thus meaning it will be overwritten with the next update.

To do this, fire up Terminal then type or copy and paste the following commands:

cd /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/CoreProfile.framework/Versions/A/Resources/Devices/
sudo ln -s osx-12.0.0.xml osx-12.1.0.xml

You may be prompted for your password, if so enter it as normal into the terminal window, bear in mind nothing will appear as you type your password.

Once done you will then be able to type purge into terminal to free up memory resources once more.



This blog posts is one of the several guest blog posts to MikeSel.info. Posted by one of my readers Thomas Hazlett, Thomas has converted the terminal commands in my earlier post Show hidden files in OS X 10.7 or 10.8

  1. Launch -> /Aplications/Automator
  2. Select what type of workflow you would like. I feel a service is a good choice for this so go ahead and;
  3. Select -> Service
  4. At the top of the window there should be 2 combo-boxes.
  5. Select -> no input
  6. Select -> Finder.app
  7. 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).

8.   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,
9.  Drag -> Run shell script and enter killall Finder
10.  Save it, naming it whatever you want it to appear as under the services submenu of the Finder menu.
11.   With Finder in the foreground, click Finder in the top left -> down to Services and click your newly created Service.

Thomas Hazlett is from and still lives in Belfast, N. Ireland. He is currently studying with the Open University towards his BSc in Computing and IT however has decided to take a year out to work on his own projects; start a blog; and spend more time doing home renovations. You can find more about him at www.hazlett.info



By default the ‘Library’ folder is a hidden folder in OS X Finder. However, if you need temporary (GUI) access you can use this simple AppleScript below to remove the ‘hidden’ flag from the folder.

tell application "System Events"
	set libvis to (get visible of folder "~/Library")
end tell

if libvis = false then --~/Library is currently invisible
	tell application "System Events" to set visible of folder "~/Library/" to true
else --~/Library is visible
	tell application "System Events" to set visible of folder "~/Library/" to false
end if

This script could also be easily amended to show and hide any folder of your choice, simply by replacing the ~/Library/ with the path of the folder you’d like to toggle.




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