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How to Show / View Hidden Files on macOS

Learning how to show / view hidden files on Mac OS X Mavericks and other OS X operating systems can be helpful in numerous situations such as accessing a .htaccess file when working on your website.

There isn’t a simple on / off switch to enable and disable the hidden files features without installing a third-party application.

Therefore, the easiest method to show hidden files on Mac OS X is to run a couple of command line commands in Terminal.

The command to show hidden files in Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks is:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Please not that terminal IS caps sensitive and that entering an incorrect command could really mess things up on your computer. Only use terminal when you know exactly what the commands are doing!

See Also: Mac OS X – Change / Set Default Application for File Type [Video]

The command to show hidden files on Mac OS X 10.6, 10.7 and 10.8 is nearly the same but slightly different:

defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE

Once you’ve run the correct command for your operating system, you need to restart find to actually see the hidden files. You can reinitiate finder using the following command:

killall Finder

If you wish to, at some point in the future, you can do so using the same command above but replacing the word “TRUE” with “FALSE”. For example, on Mac OS X Mavericks you would type:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE

As always, if you find this video helpful, I would really appreciate a thumbs up and you may also want to think about subscribing to my YouTube channel.

Anson Alexander

I am an author, digital educator and content marketer. I record, edit, and publish content for AnsonAlex.com, provide technical and business services to clients and am an avid self-learner. I have also authored several digital marketing and business courses for LinkedIn Learning (previously Lynda.com).

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