I have looked everywhere, but the command defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE killall Finder and all variations thereof does not work since I upgraded to Mavericks. Why is this?? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. All advice for 10.8 does not seem to carry over to this new OS


It worked for me in 10.9. You should be using -bool TRUE (not just TRUE), although it worked for me either way. Also, are you running it as two commands (killall Finder is a second command)? The only other thing I can think of is that cfprefsd might have the old setting (or lack therof) cached, so you may have to shut it down it first. If I understand the setup right, that shouldn't be necessary, but just in case:

killall cfprefsd
defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -bool TRUE
killall Finder
  • FWIW /usr/bin/defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE && killall Finder and /usr/bin/defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE && killall Finder are also definitely working for me on 10.9.0
    – TJ Luoma
    Dec 1 '13 at 7:37

To answer your question, you can also use YES or NO as the boolean flags (See below). I have been using this setup for a few years now, and it does also work in Mavericks.

I have my computer setup such that I created an Automator workflow that runs the following shell script:

STATUS=`defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles`
if [ $STATUS == YES ]; 
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles NO
    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES
killall Finder

I then used the Keyboard shortcuts panel in System Preferences to map a keyboard shortcut to this automator workflow to make it even faster.

The only downside to this method is that if you have a Finder window already open, it doesn't always reopen the Finder windows, but it's a much quicker way of enabling/disabling the showing of hidden files.

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