Show hidden files
on Mac

There are a lot of hidden files and folders on your Mac that you have never seen or have never thought about their existence. However, sooner or later you would need to access some of them. As there exist many cases for accessing Mac hidden files, for example: to fix the problem by finding the log file or by deleting a preference file or when you want to configure something by following tips from the Internet or even to delete some OS X hidden files as they use so much disk space.

Hidden files on Mac

What types of hidden files Mac usually won’t show

It’s a well known that usually in UNIX hidden files start with a (.), for instance: .svn directory, .htaccess file, .bash_profile. Also, we don’t need to forget that folders such as /usr, /bin, and /etc are also far from our sight. However, all the most wanted hidden folders Mac usually stores in the Library (~/Library).

The reasons why Mac hides files and folders

For safety reasons, Mac hides files that can be dangerous for non-advanced users, harm your computer or cause data loss if you aren’t confident with actions in the Library. Basically, there exist 3 Library folders on your Mac: the first one is accessible to all users, but only the administrator can make changes there. The second one is ~/Library folder and is located in the Home folder. The third one can be found in System and has files needed for MacOS run.

How to view hidden files and folders via Terminal

In order to view hidden files Mac users need to run Terminal and proceed the following steps:

  1. Launch Terminal.

  2. Execute the following command:

    $ defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true
    $ killall Finder

If you want to make these files invisible again change true to false when executing the above command.

However, it’s not always convenient all the time to proceed the above steps in order to show hidden folders and files. And it’s obvious that users want to find the easiest and fastest way of how to show hidden files on Mac and in this case third party applications came to rescue!

Take a closer look at Commander One. The app is very simple to use allowing you to see hidden files in two different ways.

So, in order to show invisible files Mac users would need:

  1. Find the corresponding button on the toolbar and click it.

  2. Use the “Show Hidden Files” option from the drop-down menu
    (Commander One/View/ Show Hidden Files).
Show hidden files on Mac

And that’s all. With just a couple of clicks, you can make all the hidden files visible and vice versa and won’t spend time executing commands.

Commander One

Requirements: MacOS 10.10+ , 37.64MB size
Version 2.4.1(3173) (13th Jan, 2020) Release notes
Category: Utilities
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