How to View Hidden Files in Mac

Kyle Wood

Mac, Tutorials

Have you ever wondered how to view hidden files on your Mac? Hidden files are typically system files that are not meant to be seen or modified by users.

However, there may be instances where you need to access these hidden files for troubleshooting purposes or to make specific changes. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the process of viewing hidden files on your Mac using a few simple steps.

Method 1: Using Finder

If you prefer a graphical interface, Finder provides an easy way to view hidden files on your Mac. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open a new Finder window by clicking on the Finder icon in the dock.
  • Step 2: In the menu bar at the top of the screen, click on “Go” and then select “Go to Folder..”
  • Step 3: A dialog box will appear. Type in “~/Library” (without quotes) and click “Go”.
  • Step 4: You will now be in the Library folder.

    To view hidden files, press Command + Shift + Period. This keyboard shortcut toggles the visibility of hidden files in Finder.

  • Step 5: Hidden files should now be visible in the folder. To hide them again, simply press Command + Shift + Period.

Method 2: Using Terminal

If you prefer using commands and have some experience with Terminal, this method might be more suitable for you. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Launch Terminal from Applications > Utilities > Terminal, or by using Spotlight search.
  • Step 2: In the Terminal window, type the following command and press Enter: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
  • Step 3: Next, type the command killall Finder and press Enter. This will restart Finder with the new settings.
  • Step 4: Now, you should be able to see hidden files in Finder. To hide them again, repeat Step 2 and Step 3, but change “YES” to “NO” in Step 2.

Method 3: Using a Third-Party Application

If you prefer a more user-friendly approach or need additional features, there are several third-party applications available that can help you view hidden files on your Mac. One popular option is “Show Hidden Files” by XYZ Software. Simply download and install the application from their website, launch it, and toggle the visibility of hidden files with a single click.


Remember that hidden files are usually hidden for a reason. Modifying or deleting them without proper knowledge can potentially harm your system or cause instability. Exercise caution when working with hidden files and always make backups before making any changes.

Congratulations! You now know how to view hidden files on your Mac using different methods.

Whether you prefer using Finder, Terminal, or a third-party application is entirely up to you. Use this newfound knowledge responsibly and only access hidden files when necessary.

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