How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Mac

Discover the hidden files and folders on your Mac that Apple keeps out of sight for system stability and security. Learn why tampering with these files can have unintended consequences.


macos hide files view

Did you realize that beyond the usual directories, your Mac harbors a multitude of hidden files and folders? These concealed elements, safeguarded by Apple, remain out of sight, as meddling with them could potentially jeopardize both the software and hardware integrity of your Mac. Nevertheless, it’s entirely feasible to unveil and reach these obscured components of your Mac.

Within the confines of this piece, I will elucidate the process of uncovering hidden files and directories on macOS. To steer clear of any unintended complications, it’s imperative to meticulously adhere to the outlined steps.

How to View and Access Hidden Files in Finder

  1. Navigate to Finder.
  2. Select the folder whose hidden files you wish to view.
macos hidden files view
  1. Utilize the key combination Command + Shift + . (Period).
    • Subsequently, the covert directories will adopt a semi-transparent appearance within this space.
    • Clicking on these folders grants you access to them.
    • Upon doing so, an array of hidden files and directories will be unveiled.

Should you desire to revert to the previous state of not displaying these discreet folders, just return to your earlier window and apply the identical key sequence.

How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Mac Using Terminal

Equivalent outcomes can also be achieved using Terminal. However, the process to unveil hidden files on a Mac involves several additional steps:

  1. Initiate Finder – Within the search bar, input “Terminal” and press the return key.
  2. Select and open Terminal.
  3. Successively insert the subsequent commands – After pasting each command, press the return key.
    • defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true
    • killall Finder
terminal hidden files macos

Subsequently, the Finder window will shutter and promptly reopen, revealing an exhibition of all concealed directories. These hidden folders and files will manifest in shades of gray, appearing either dimmed or semi-transparent.

How to Access Hidden Files Inside ~/Library

Unlocking the door to your Mac’s hidden internal folders entails uncovering the ~/Library pathway. Refer to the following guidelines for multiple pathways to access your Mac’s invaluable Library.

Using Keyboard Shortcut

  1. Access Finder on your system.
  2. Press Command + Shift + H on your keyboard.
  3. This keyboard shortcut will transport you to the Home folder.
  4. Utilize Command + Shift + . to display concealed directories.
  5. Subsequently, press the same combination to hide them again.
  6. Initiate the Library folder.

View Using “Go to Folder” 

macos hidden file
  1. Launch Finder.
  2. Navigate to the menu bar and choose Go – Opt for the Go to Folder feature.
  3. Type in ~/Library and Press the return key.

How to Keep the Library Folder Always Visible

Having familiarized yourself with various methods for reaching the Library folder, let’s delve into ensuring consistent visibility and access to this directory, just as you would with any other folder. The process is quite simple:

macos library folder hidden file
  1. Launch the Home folder using any of the approaches detailed earlier.
    • Utilize the shortcut Command + Shift + H.
  2. Employ Command + Shift + . to reveal concealed directories.
  3. Easily add the Library folder to the sidebar within the Favorites section through dragging and dropping.

How to Find Hidden Files on Mac Disc

In addition to the commonly apparent folders and the ones located within the Home and Library directories, numerous other files are concealed within your Mac system.

To reveal these hidden files within the Macintosh drive, adhere to the subsequent instructions:

  1. Access Finder – Select Finder from the upper menu.
  2. Opt for Settings.
macos finder settings
  1. Navigate to Sidebar – In the Locations section, mark the checkbox next to your Mac’s designation.
    • Usually, it’s the first option.
macos settings finder
  1. Return to Finder.
  2. Choose your Mac’s label beneath the Locations category.
  3. Click on the desired drive.
macos hidden view files

Presently, you find yourself within the root directory. The hidden files might appear faded or partially see-through.

Employing the key combination Command + Shift + . or following the procedure through the Terminal allows you to observe and reach concealed directories and files on macOS.

However, we reiterate our strong recommendation that you refrain from altering any of these files, as it could have an impact on your system.