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View hidden files and folders on a Mac

MacOS has files and folders hidden from users' eyes. In particular, these are system components and temporary files of installed applications, which usually no one touches. But if you still need to access them, then read the article to know how to show hidden files on Mac.

Commander One offers the easiest and more convenient way, however, there are also several other ways to reveal hidden files on Mac. Continue reading to know more.

File manager for Mac - Commander One

Why can some files and folders on Mac be hidden?

Security is the main reason why certain files and folders are hidden in macOS. Some data must remain invisible to avoid third-party interference. By default, service and system files, caches, logs, and settings of installed applications are hidden. So as you can see, Mac hidden folders and files are systemic and are needed for the normal functioning of the computer's operating system, that is, you should not change or delete them.

However, there are exceptions everywhere and experienced users often resort to methods that allow them to make hidden files visible on Mac - for example, to completely remove applications, to configure some system parameters, or for other operations.

Why the easiest way to work with hidden files is using a third-party file manager?

The great plus of using third-party file managers is that they allow you to show hidden folders on Mac as well as files without leaving the app’s interface, without using Terminal or shortcuts. In other words, you do not have to remember all the commands or hit the panic button each time you hear the work Terminal and pray the Lord your Mac to continue working after executing the command. Or simply using the wrong shortcut and hoping that it will not kill your Mac.

That is why to unhide files Mac users are more likely to choose third-party file managers. As all you need to do is to click the only button. Besides that, third-party file managers save time, which is a great plus in our modern world, and also they offer more enhanced features for perfect file management.

Show hidden files and folders on Mac using Commander One

Commander One offers the easiest and more convenient way of showing hidden files on Mac. So how to see hidden files on Mac via Commander One? Follow the steps below and see yourself that it is not so difficult:


Launch the app. In the upper right corner of the main menu, you can find several buttons. To see hidden files Mac users need to click the corresponding button on the toolbar.

see hidden files Mac
Also, to enable hidden files Mac users can use the Show Hidden Files option in the menu.

Definitely, it is not all the features Commander One can boast about. The app is equipped with the necessary and handy tools to facilitate your workflow and provide you with the best possible file management.

How to show hidden files on Mac using Terminal commands

Most settings and system actions on a Mac can be done through the Terminal app. Showing hidden files on Mac is no exception.

  1. Launch the Terminal application in any convenient way.

    Terminal commands

  2. In the command line window, enter and confirm the following command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE; killall finder

  3. Finder will then restart making hidden files on Mac visible.

  4. To disable the option, use the following command: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE; killall finder

This method is not complicated, but it assumes that you remember by heart UNIX commands to enter into the Terminal. This method to view hidden files Mac users can find inconvenient if you often have to show hidden files on Mac.

Showing hidden files via Mac Finder

Modern versions of macOS (starting from macOS 10.12) offer a quick and easy way to view hidden files on Mac using a keyboard shortcut. A simple keystroke will instantly show hidden files and hide them again. This is currently the fastest way to display invisible files on Mac.

  1. Open Finder and navigate to any folder that might contain hidden files (for example, the Macintosh HD root folder or home folder).

    show Mac files

  2. Press ⌘ CMD + Shift + Period keyboard shortcut to show Mac hidden files.

    show Mac hidden files

  3. To hide them, press ⌘ CMD + Shift + Period again.

As you can see, when you press the above key combination, all hidden content is displayed in the folder. OS X hidden files can be easily identified by their slightly faded names and icons. It is worth noting that when displaying files, hidden files in all folders on the Mac will become visible, just as in the case of using the corresponding commands.

If the keyboard shortcut didn't work, it means that you haven't updated for a long time or you don't have the most recent version of macOS. If you don't want to update your system to a new one but you need to display hidden files on Mac, you have to resort to other methods.


Initially, Apple's operating system does not allow the user to see hidden folders on Mac. It is done for the system’s stable operation and is a kind of protection from a novice user. In the article above, we have gathered the most common ways on how to view hidden files on Mac. Choose the most appealing to use and enjoy your file management.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can view all your files differently. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s up to you to decide which one is the most suitable for you. We recommend you try CommanderOne and show Mac hidden files with ease.
There are several ways to show hidden files in Mac. You can use, shortcut, run a special script or even use a third-party file manager.
To find hidden files on mac use the following shortcut ⌘ CMD + Shift + Period.
To show all hidden files Mac users can use either the corresponding button on the toolbar or click View/Show Hidden files.
Use the following command to hide files: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE; killall finder

To show hidden file Mac users need to open Terminal and execute the following command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE; killall finder
Most of the folders and files you create are stored in the user folder with your account. If you have multiple accounts on your computer, each has its own user folder.

To do this, you need to take the following steps:

  • Open Finder.
  • In the top menu, select "Go to".
  • Press the Option key, the "Library" section will appear in the menu.
  • Click the folder to open its contents. This will make documents on the Mac invisible outside the Library folder.
You can use Commander One to recover hidden files on Mac. Besides that, the app offers a lot of other handy features that can be useful for file management.
Most file managers have a special button to show hidden files, besides that you can click View/Show Hidden files.

Commander One

This dual panel file manager for Mac is fully compatible with MacOS 10.10 and later. Requires 58.68MB of free space, latest version 3.3(3508). Released 8 Sep, 2021.

4.5 rank based on 90+ users, Reviews (15)
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