Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Is there a way to hide folders in OSX like you can in Windows? And if so then how?

share|improve this question
up vote 12 down vote accepted

The command-line way:

Open Terminal (/Applications/Utilities) and type

chflags hidden /path/to/folder

replacing /path/to/folder with the POSIX-style path to the folder you want to hide (for example, a folder on your desktop called test would be ~/Desktop/test).

To unhide it, type chflags nohidden /path/to/folder.

The freeware way:

I haven't used it, but I've seen the app Hide Folders, by Altomac.

share|improve this answer

Any file or folder that begins with a . will be hidden by default, although you can use a utility like TinkerTool to override this.

share|improve this answer
Unfortunately, in 10.6, Finder won't let you rename something to start with a . – Nathan Greenstein Jun 15 '11 at 0:56
@Nathan Terminal lets me rename files to start with a ., but you're right that Finder does not. – Troyen Jun 15 '11 at 3:03
Hm, maybe that's another feature of TinkerTool or something else I've added, as I'm able to rename files in the Finder with a beginning dot. But using mv in Terminal is always available, as per @Troyen – Chuck Jun 15 '11 at 4:32

In terminal enter the following to show hidden folders:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE; killall Finder;

This will make all hidden folders visible, and will also allow you to prefix a folder with "." directly from finder (making it hidden).

To hide folders again, enter the following:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles FALSE; killall Finder;
share|improve this answer
If you don't want to always be opening terminal and typing this in, make an automator command so you can assign it to a hotkey or menu option or something. – mopsyd May 17 '13 at 18:36

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.