Mac Show Hidden Files: A Step-by-Step Guide to Uncover Hidden Data

Are you a Mac user looking to poke around in your computer’s hidden files? You’re in the right place! In just a few simple steps, I’ll show you how to reveal those sneaky files that are tucked away from plain sight. Get ready to unveil the mysteries of your Mac’s hidden treasures!

Mac Show Hidden Files Tutorial

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about what we’re going to achieve. By following the tutorial below, you’ll learn how to make the hidden files on your Mac visible. This can be incredibly useful for troubleshooting, accessing system files, or simply satisfying your curiosity.

Step 1: Open Terminal

The Terminal app is your gateway to revealing hidden files on your Mac.

Terminal might seem a little intimidating if you’re not used to it, but it’s actually a very powerful tool. You can find it in your Applications folder, under Utilities. Once you’ve got it open, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 2: Enter the Command

Type the command defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true and press Enter.

This command is like a magic spell for your Mac. It tells your computer, "Hey, show me all the files, even the hidden ones." It’s important to type the command exactly as it appears here, or it won’t work.

Step 3: Relaunch Finder

Hold down the ‘Option/Alt’ key, then right-click on the Finder icon in the dock and click ‘Relaunch’.

Relaunching Finder is kind of like restarting it. This makes sure that the changes you made with the command take effect. After you do this, you’ll be able to see all the files that were hidden before.

After you complete these steps, all the hidden files on your Mac will become visible. They’ll be slightly dimmed compared to regular files, so you can tell them apart easily. Remember, these files are hidden for a reason, so be careful with what you modify or delete.

Tips for Mac Show Hidden Files

  • Make sure you’re typing the command in Terminal exactly as it’s written. Even a small typo can prevent the command from working.
  • If you want to hide the files again, simply use the same command but replace true with false.
  • Hidden files can be important system files. Be careful not to change or delete them unless you know what you’re doing.
  • You can easily spot hidden files because their icons are slightly transparent.
  • Remember to relaunch Finder after entering the command, or the hidden files won’t show up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would I want to see hidden files on my Mac?

Viewing hidden files can be useful for advanced troubleshooting, accessing system files that aren’t typically visible, or if you need to find files that start with a period (.), which are automatically hidden by the system.

Can showing hidden files harm my Mac?

No, simply showing the hidden files won’t harm your Mac. However, modifying or deleting system files that are usually hidden can cause issues if you’re not sure what the file is for.

How can I hide the files again after I’m done?

To hide the files again, go back to Terminal and use the same command from Step 2, but change true to false. Then, relaunch Finder.

Do I need to use Terminal to see hidden files?

Yes, Terminal is the easiest way to show hidden files on a Mac. There are third-party apps that can do this, but using Terminal is quick and doesn’t require any extra downloads.

Will these steps work for all versions of macOS?

These steps should work for most versions of macOS, but if you’re running a very old version, the process might be slightly different.


  1. Open Terminal.
  2. Enter the command to show hidden files.
  3. Relaunch Finder.


So there you have it, folks – the easy way to show hidden files on your Mac. Whether you’re troubleshooting an issue, digging into system files, or just curious, knowing how to reveal these hidden files is a handy trick for any Mac user. Just remember to tread lightly and not to alter anything unless you’re sure about it, as these files are often hidden for a reason. With this newfound knowledge, you can confidently explore the depths of your Mac’s file system. And who knows what secrets you might uncover when you mac show hidden files?