How to Access Your Mac’s Hidden Files? - Wepicker

The operating system of your computer is maintained by backend directories, libraries, and files. There is a possibility that something will go wrong if you delete or move these files. Therefore, we recommend that you don’t experiment with them unless you know what you’re doing.

There are many hidden files and folders on a Mac. Files and folders are hidden for a good reason: They prevent users from damaging their operating systems. Occasionally, though, these files and folders may need to be accessed. You can view hidden files and folders on a Mac by using various options. Be careful, however: If you damage or alter system files, your operating system may suffer serious consequences.

These files can be found in Windows 10’s File Explorer, where changes and mistakes are easy to make. The default setting in macOS hides many of these files to prevent Mac users from doing the same thing. In other words, you don’t have to worry about destroying your computer, but it does make things a bit more difficult when you need to access it.

These hidden files can be found in a few ways thanks to Apple. Your Mac’s Terminal application or Finder can be used to view them. If you’re looking to free up hard drive space, there are other ways to do it. Please be aware that there are a few reasons to mess with these files, such as relocating program directories or troubleshooting drivers.

What is the purpose of hiding some files and folders?

In operating systems, there are good reasons for hiding files and folders. To prevent users from accidentally deleting or damaging system-related files and folders, computer manufacturers and administrators hide files. Other times, your employer may hide documents and folders that are essential for customer and business partner data exchange. In most cases, these files will not be noticed by you, even though they perform important tasks.

If you still wish to view and access the hidden folders and files on your Mac, you must be extremely cautious to prevent causing damage to your operating system.

Using keyboard shortcuts to show hidden files in Mac Finder

There is probably no easier way to display hidden folders and files in the Finder on a Mac than by using keyboard shortcuts. By pressing the Command, Shift, and Period keys simultaneously, you can show hidden files.

Step-by-step instructions

The following steps can be used to hide or show files in the Finder:

1. Open the Finder and navigate to Macintosh HD or the folder where you want the hidden files to appear.

2. Hold the Command, Shift, and Period keys simultaneously: cmd + shift + [.

Your hidden files and folders will now appear partially transparent on your Mac.

4. Once the files are hidden, you can reveal them again using the same keyboard shortcut.

The hidden files on your Mac appear transparent.

How to view the hidden Library folder in Finder?

Using the key shortcut mentioned above on a Mac, hidden files can be seen in any folder in the Finder. This exception is the Library folder, which is normally hidden. The Library folder houses system files and automatically saved copies of Microsoft Office documents. Including the Library, the folder can be especially useful when you’re looking for old Word documents and can’t find them. The Library folder should be the first place you look if your computer crashes before it allows you to save your data. To access this folder, use the following shortcut:

1. Press the Option (Alt) key in the Finder.

2. Click the “Go” button in the menu bar.

3. Click the “Library” button.

If you press the Option key and select the folder under “Go”, you can access the Library.

Microsoft Office documents are automatically saved as hidden files in the Library, so you might see a lot of unorganized files here.

Here’s a tip

Macs have several useful and commonly used keys, including the Option key. Find out what the Option key on a Mac can do and how it can be used.

Using Terminal commands to display hidden files on a Mac

To show hidden files and folders on your Mac, you can use Shell commands instead of keyboard shortcuts and the Finder. There is a built-in command-line interface in the Mac operating system called Terminal. To replace sequences of multiple steps in the Finder and perform an action, use Terminal commands. You can view hidden files using Terminal by following these steps:

Step 1: Open the terminal

Use the following keyboard shortcut to launch Terminal on Mac: Cmd + Space. Type “Terminal” into the Spotlight search field after pressing Command and space. Select the search result by double-clicking it.

The Terminal on a Mac looks like this.

If you prefer, you can double-click “Terminal” in the Utilities Window to launch it. This option can be found in the menu bar under “Go” or in the Dock at the bottom of the screen under “Applications”.

Step 2: Accessing hidden files on your Mac by entering a command

In Terminal, you must enter two commands and press the Enter key to view hidden files and folders. Enter the following commands in Terminal:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true


killall Finder

You can see hidden files and folders on your Mac by typing the following commands into Terminal.

Step 3: Check your Mac’s hidden files

Your Mac’s hidden files and folders are now visible in the Finder. The files are transparent as previously mentioned. In addition, folders that are not hidden appear paler.

Step 4: Hide the files once again

The files can be shown again by replacing “true” with “false” in the command above. Here is the command:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles false


killall Finder

 Here’s a tip

You can use Terminal to perform basic and advanced support, repair, and maintenance tasks. Mac Task Manager is another tool that you can use to perform these tasks. If you are already familiar with Windows Task Manager, this can be especially helpful.

What you need to know about hiding files on a Mac

On your Mac, Terminal can be used more than just to show and hide hidden folders. Additionally, you can use it to hide specific files from nosy users who might have access to your system. Follow the steps below:

1. Open a Terminal window.

2. Enter the following code into Terminal:

chflags hidden 

3. You can hide files and folders by dragging them into the Terminal window with the mouse. A window displays the location of the files.

4. The files will disappear once you press Enter.

Using these commands, you can hide files and folders on a Mac.

If you want to view hidden files and folders again on your Mac, you can use the same process. You can do this by typing “chflags nohidden” instead of “chflags hidden”.