How to view hidden files on Mac?

Why are files hidden in macOS?

Files are usually hidden because they are important for the operating system to work correctly. Hiding the files prevents them from being deleted by mistake.

There might come a time where you need to access a hidden file or a hidden folder, and this article will show you how to enable to see hidden files in macOS.

Hidden files starts with a period [ . ], an example is .htaccess file. There is also hidden folders in macOS.

How to view hidden files on macOS

Open Finder and navigate to Macintosh HD by going up to the menu, click Go, then choose Computer.

Select Macintosh HD

Press [CMD] + [Shift] + [ . ]

Now you will see all hidden folders and files in macOS

Just press [CMD] + [Shift] + [ . ] again to hide/show hidden files and folders.


Show hidden files and folders using the terminal

  1. Open the Terminal
  2. Run this script: (to show hidden files)
    1. defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true
    2. killall Finder
  3. Run this script to hide the files again:
    1. defaults write AppleShowAllFiles false
    2. killall Finder

Where is the home folder?

Nowadays the Home folder is not actually named Home folder anymore. It has your username as folder name.

How do I go to my home folder?

The home folder can be accessed in different ways:

  • Open finder and press [CMD] + [Shift] + [ H ]
  • Open finder, click on Go in the meny, choose Home
  • Open finder, go to Finder in menu => Preferences, go to the Sidebar tab, check the box with your home folder and it will be placed as a shortcut in your sidebar


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I've been using MAC for over 10 years. I am well versed in Apple technology. I love helping people solve problems. In my free time I like to draw.

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