How to Unhide Files on Mac

Alicia Santos

Mac, Tutorials

Unhiding files on a Mac can sometimes be a tricky task, especially if you’re new to the world of macOS. But fear not!

In this tutorial, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, so you can easily unhide those hidden files and regain access to them. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Open Terminal

To begin, open the Terminal application on your Mac. You can do this by searching for “Terminal” in Spotlight or navigating to Applications > Utilities > Terminal.

Step 2: Navigate to the desired directory

Once the Terminal window is open, you’ll need to navigate to the directory where the hidden file is located. You can do this by using the ‘cd’ command followed by the path of the directory. For example:

cd /Users/YourUsername/Documents/HiddenFiles

Step 3: Unhide the file

Now that you’re in the correct directory, it’s time to unhide that elusive file! In terminal, type in one of the following commands depending on your macOS version:

  • For macOS Sierra and later:
    • Show hidden files:
    • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles -bool true && killall Finder

    • Hide hidden files again:
    • defaults write com.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool false && killall Finder

  • For OS X Mavericks and earlier:
    • Show hidden files:
    • defaults write com.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE && killall Finder

    • Hide hidden files again:
    • defaults write com.Finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE && killall Finder

Step 4: Refresh Finder

After executing the command, you’ll need to refresh the Finder for the changes to take effect. You can do this by holding down the ‘Option’ key and right-clicking on the Finder icon in your Dock, then selecting ‘Relaunch’ from the context menu.

Troubleshooting Tips:

If you’re still having trouble unhiding files, here are a few tips to help you troubleshoot:

  • Double-check the file path: Make sure you’ve navigated to the correct directory in Terminal.
  • Restart your Mac: Sometimes a simple restart can resolve any lingering issues.
  • Contact Apple Support: If all else fails, reach out to Apple Support for further assistance.

Congratulations! You’ve successfully learned how to unhide files on your Mac. Now you can easily access those hidden files whenever you need them!


If you want to hide these files again in the future, simply repeat Steps 1-4 and use the appropriate command to hide them once more.

I hope this tutorial was helpful and that you feel more confident navigating through macOS. Stay tuned for more informative articles!

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