If you are experiencing issues trying to find certain files on your Mac computer. You might be interested to know that by default Apple hides access to a number of different files types. To help prevent any unwanted deletions and errors from occurring. Although this is very handy if you are new to the macOS operating system, there comes a time when Mac users will need to show all hidden Mac files. This quick guide will take you through the process of making sure you can see every file on your Mac computer and nothing is left hidden when conducting a search.
Apple hides files in its macOS operating system to make sure that certain system files and folders cannot be deleted by accident. If you are new to the Apple macOS trying to find files on your Mac that maybe hidden by default, can be a little annoying. Especially when you’re trying to carry out certain actions or tasks that need access to files within the Library folder or certain system folders.
Thankfully Apple has provided a couple of ways to easily show hidden Mac files and the hidden Library folder on your iMac, MacBook or other Apple computers. You can do this either graphically using the Finder file manager app or using the command-line terminal application. Just choose whichever way you feel most comfortable using.
Show hidden files on Mac
Follow these steps to show hidden files on Mac. Simply open the Finder application and select the ‘Macintosh HD’ drive on the left-hand side under the ‘Locations’ section and use the shortcut “Command + Shift + . “to reveal all the hidden Mac system files greyed out, but listed in Finder. Repeating the shortcut will then reverse the process quickly hide the files once again from view.
Sometimes it’s necessary to view the hidden ~/Library folder on Mac computers and this is just a simple to reveal using Finder once again, if you haven’t already used the show hidden file shortcut above. If you have, then the Library folder will already show in the Finder Go menu as in the image above.
To show the Library folder without using the above shortcut, open a new Finder window and then select ‘Go’ to reveal the drop down from the top text menu. Once it shows press the “Option” key on your Mac keyboard, between ‘Control’ and ‘Command’ and the Library folder will be revealed in your list of locations, its position is roughly in the middle of the list just under ‘Home’ as in the image above.
If you would like to permanently show the Mac ~/Library once revealed, you can drag it to the left-hand-side shortcut section of Finder where it will remain for easy access even after closing down your Mac.
Using the terminal to reveal macOS hidden files
If you prefer using the command line you can carry out the same action using the Mac Terminal app by entering the following code one at a time :
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true killall Finder
To reverse the process and hide all your files once again on Mac enter the lines of code below one at a time :
defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles false killall Finder
These simple shortcuts and terminal commands provide easy ways for you to reveal hidden files on your Mac permanently or temporarily. Allowing you to carry out certain maintenance on your own computer or others, returning them to a hidden state after completion to avoid accidental deletion.
If you are still experiencing issues finding certain files within your Mac operating system it might be worth reaching out to Apple for more support or if you are experiencing issues was running the macOS software or applications on your computer perhaps booking in to your nearest Apple Genius bar. More information and help is available from the official Apple support website.
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