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How To Show Hidden Files In Finder on Apple Mac OSX

Recently, I needed to locate an obscure file on my Apple Macbook Pro. I quickly realised that showing hidden files in OSX Finder is not a very intuitive process. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t appear to even be possible to change the “show hidden files” setting through the gui. So, to google I went. I found a defaults command line option to enable and disable the “AppleShowAllFiles” option, which toggles the ability to see hidden files through the Finder gui. It’s a relatively easy process. Here is how it’s done.

How to show hidden files in OSX

To show hidden files in Finder, open Terminal (command prompt) and run the following commands.

$  defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
$  killall Finder

It’s important to capitalize the “F” in finder, when running the killall command, otherwise it will not kill the service properly. After running killall Finder, Finder will restart and reopen the windows you had open before.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.12.53 AM

You will quickly notice how many files are hidden and find that it’s pretty annoying. Once I did what i needed to do, I was ready to re-hide all those annoying files.

How to re-hide hidden files in OSX

Re-hiding hidden files in OSX is just as easy as showing them. Just run these commands.

$  defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
$  killall Finder

Again, make sure you capitalize the “F” in Finder.

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 9.13.17 AM

That’s all there is too it. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask for help in the comments below. Thanks!

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