3 Ways to Show Hidden Files on a Mac

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Thomas
Sep 8, 20223 min read

Don’t know how to show hidden files on your Mac? Look no further. From this blog post, you will get to know 3 ways to get that done.

Apple hides files that are critical to your system to prevent them from being accidentally modified or deleted. But sometimes you need to access them to see how your disk space is being used or to delete application files to fix some problems with your apps.

Don’t know how to unhide secret files on your Mac? Read on for detailed steps.

3 Ways to Access Hidden Files on Mac

How to Quickly Show User Library Folder on Mac

There is more than one Library folder on your Mac. But the most commonly used is the User Library folder, also known as ~/Library, which contains all the important files for the current user, such as app cache, crash reports, preferences, logs, etc.

The User Library folder is in your Home folder, but is hidden from your view by default. If you wish to show it in the Finder, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Go menu in Finder.
  2. Press Option and you will see the Library option.
  3. While holding down Option, click on Library and you will find all the files it contains in Finder.
Show Library Folders on Mac

How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Mac with Shortcut

The above method only shows the user library folder. So how to show all hidden files and folders on your Mac?

A quick and easy way to do that is to use the shortcut: Shift + Command +.(period). Just press them in the Finder and all the hidden files should be shown up in the Finder. To hide these files, press these 3 keys again.

Show All Hidden Files on Mac with Shortcut

How to Show Hidden Files and Folders on Mac with Terminal

Another way to access the hidden files on your Mac is to use Terminal. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Terminal via Launchpad or Spotlight.
  2. Type the command defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE in Terminal and press Enter.
  3. Continue to run the command killall Finder and the Finder will restart.
How to Show Hidden Files on Mac with Terminal
Notes
  1. Replace TRUE in the command in step 2 with FALSE to hide the files.

  2. To hide a specific file from prying eyes, type in chflags hidden, then drag the file you want to hide to the Terminal and press Enter.

Bonus Tip: How to Manage Files on Your Mac

You probably have a large number of files on your Mac. As you know, managing them is not an easy task. But if you have a tool like BuhoCleaner at hand, this won't be a problem for you.

BuhoCleaner is one of the best Mac file managers. It helps you manage files on your Mac visually, including hidden files. You can easily know what files are on your Mac, how much space each file is taking up, and which ones can be deleted.

Here’s how to manage files on your Mac with BuhoCleaner:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoCleaner.
  2. Click on ToolKit and select Disk Space Analyzer.
  3. Click the Scan button and you will see all the files and folders on your disk, along with their size.
  4. Preview them and remove the ones you don’t need to free up space.
How to Manage Files on Mac with BuhoCleaner

It’s worth noting that BuhoCleaner is more than just a file manager. It’s also a handy cleaner with many practical features, including junk file cleanup, app uninstallation, large and duplicate file removal, startup program management, and more. Click here to explore more features.

How to Clean Up Mac with BuhoCleaner

The Bottom Line

Now you know how to find hidden files on your Mac. Which way do you like best and want to give it a try first?

Note that showing hidden files is for better control over your files and to fix app issues. Under no circumstances do we recommend deleting files that you are not sure are critical to your macOS.

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