Quick Tip – Showing Hidden Files In OS X

In Windows it is incredibly simple & fast to show hidden files in Explorer and if you’ve made the move from Windows to OS X, you may be wondering how you can do the very same thing in OS X. It’s not in any menus as such which is a pain, so it can not be as quickly toggled as it can in Windows. But there is a way and it is as follows. This method is known to work in OS X Lion 10.7 and OS X Mountain Lion 10.8, I would imagine the method will be the same for OS X Mavericks 10.9, it may work on older iterations of OS X, but use at your own discretion.

Let’s get started:

  1. Open a new finder window.
  2. Open the Applications folder.
  3. Open the Utilities folder.
  4. Open the application called “Terminal” (This is essentially the command prompt of OS X)

Another quick tip: A quicker way to open an application is by pressing Command + Space and searching for the application’s name, check to make sure you have the correct one highlighted then just hit enter.

  1. Paste this code into Terminal then hit enter:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

  1. Hold the Alt key and right click on the Finder icon in the dock and hit relaunch.
  2. And that’s it! You should now see any hidden files you may have been looking for. Hooray!
  3. You can either leave hidden files visible or when you’re done just paste this code into terminal and your hidden files should be hidden once again:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles NO