How To Show Hidden Files On Mac

Whether you are a seasoned Mac user or a newbie, there may be times when you need to access hidden files on your Mac. By default, macOS hides critical system files and folders to prevent accidental deletion. However, sometimes, you might need to access these hidden files for troubleshooting or other purposes. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the quick and easy steps to show hidden files on a Mac.

Use Finder to Show Hidden Files

The easiest and safest way to show hidden files on a Mac is through Finder, which is the default file manager on macOS. Here’s how:

  1. Open Finder.
  2. Hold down the Command + Shift + . (dot) keys at the same time.
  3. The hidden files and folders will appear slightly translucent.
  4. To hide the files again, simply press the same key combination.

Using Terminal to Show Hidden Files

If you’re comfortable with the command line, you can use Terminal to show or hide hidden files.

To show hidden files, open Terminal and enter the following command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
killall Finder

To hide the files again, use the following command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE
killall Finder

In these commands, the defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE/FALSE portion changes the setting that determines whether Finder shows hidden files or not. The killall Finder part then restarts Finder so the change takes effect immediately.


While it’s generally recommended to keep system files hidden to avoid accidental deletion, knowing how to show hidden files on your Mac can come in handy in certain situations. Whether you choose to use Finder or Terminal, ensure you hide the files again after you’re done to preserve the safety of your system.