How to Display Hidden Files in Mac

by karen minton I am a software engineer

Apple’s Mac has loads of files and folders hidden somewhere in it and they cannot be interfered. Sometimes, we need to access these folders to troubleshoot an error continually occurring in Mac. Also, the system, at times, asks to delete or remove the files from the system, and when we perform the task, it becomes a headache since we cannot find or locate the file.

You might be confronting the same issue and wondering how you will locate the files which need to be deleted. The situation becomes worse for the users who switched to Mac from Windows. Windows system has the facility to show the hidden files with a few clicks but, the Mac takes a little effort which could be complicated without proper knowledge about the process.

You might be thinking that why these files and folders are hidden. Well, these files and folders could be harmful if modified or changed and cause a serious to the operating system. In order to keep these files away from the reach of users, the developers have kept these hidden in the system. But don’t worry, there is a way through you can also show the hidden files in your Mac system. The guide will direct you to locate the hidden files in the ~/Library folder.

Here’s how to display hidden files in Mac

Open Finder in your system.

  1. Go to Applications and select Utilities.
  2. Now, click Terminal to open.
  3. Type defaults write apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles Yes and press Return button.
  4. Now, press the Option key from your keyboard and right-click on Finder
  5. Now, click Relaunch.
  6. Now, you will able to see the hidden files.

There is another method that you can follow to show the hidden files.

  1. Open Finder and got Applications.
  2. Now, select Utilities and click Terminal.
  3. Type sudo nano ~/.bash_profile and press the Return
  4. Now enter the administration password and press Return
  5. Now, type alias showFiles= ‘defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/’
  6. Now, type alias hideFiles= ‘defaults write AppleShowAllFiles No; killall Finder /System/Library/CoreServices/’
  7. Press Ctrl + O buttons and press Return button to save the file.
  8. Press Ctrl + X. It is a shortcut to exit the file, and you will return to the command line.
  9. Open, Terminal and type source ~/.bash_profile.
  10. It will refresh your profile and make the aliases available.

View ~/Library Folder

  1. Open Finder in your Mac.
  2. Click Device and navigate to Macintosh HD folder.
  3. Long hold “Cmd + Shift +.” button to show the hidden files.
  4. Hold the same key combination to hide the files.

Or else, do the following:

  1. In Finder, choose Go from the menu bar.
  2. Now, select Go to Folder or press Shift + Cmd + G key combination.
  3. A text will appear.
  4. Now, type ~/Library in the text box and click Go.
  5. Now, the files and folders will be visible which you can access in your Mac.

As mentioned above, the hidden files if modified then the chances of system damage increases. So if you are a professional user, then try to access the hidden content or else your system will face problems.

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Karen Minton is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Karen has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as

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About karen minton Senior   I am a software engineer

99 connections, 1 recommendations, 560 honor points.
Joined APSense since, June 18th, 2018, From Miami Beach, United States.

Created on Sep 20th 2018 04:28. Viewed 190 times.


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