On prior versions of OS X, it was possible to display hidden files in a Finder dialog box (Open, Save, etc.) using Command-Shift-Period.

In Mavericks, that feature isn't working for me. Is there another command that one can use? I would prefer not to globally enable hidden files.

EDIT: I'm the one offering the bounty. It seems I cannot comment because I don't have enough rep now :)

So... yes, I'm also running 10.9.1 and it does not work. I have used it in previous versions of OSX and it worked fine. The script mentioned is OK to show the hidden files in Finder, but it does not work that well when using the open/save dialog.

My use case: sometimes I need to open/save files to the /tmp directory. In previous versions of OSX I just used the dialog to get to the disk root, and then press CommandShift. and then I was able to see the /tmp directory (actually /private/tmp).

So, if you guys are using the same version of OSX and it does work for you, I guess there must be a way to re-activate this. Any ideas?

  • 5
    I just tried Cmd-Shift-. in an Open... dialog (in Chrome on 10.9.1) and it worked great. Are you: 1) sure that the folder you're using the short cut in actually has hidden files in it (I used it in ~)?; 2) That Cmd-Shift-. hasn't been remapped to something else on your system?
    – Ian C.
    Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 23:38
  • 3
    This still works on my 10.9.1
    – markhunte
    Commented Dec 25, 2013 at 0:11
  • @Cristian: My machine is currently not experiencing the issue you are having, so it's hard to replicate/resolve the issue for me; however, hopefully I can help you isolate what may be causing it. Is the user account you are using on your machine set up as an Admin account? Also, when was the last time you performed a Repair Permissions on the computer?
    – Anil
    Commented Dec 31, 2013 at 6:27
  • @Cristian and Boyd, I just wanted to clarify something. Does this issue occur in any open/save dialog box, basically is it application independent, or does it occur in only a finite number of applications.
    – Anil
    Commented Jan 1, 2014 at 19:55
  • 1
    i confirm that the old toggle shortcut stopped working for me too on 10.9.1. had to resort to globally showing all files always with defaults write -g AppleShowAllFiles -bool true Commented Jan 14, 2014 at 4:23

8 Answers 8


The key bindings doesn't work in Column view mode on Maverick, but it works in e.g. List view mode. Switching back to Column view mode after doing the toggle in List view mode then shows the hidden files.

  • 6
    This!! This is the answer! +1 thank you. I can't imagine what inspired them to disable it for column mode
    – Anentropic
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 16:15
  • @Anentropic: I am late in this discussion. I find your answer and works for me, I can see the hidden files but I cannot open them like I could in previous versions. Do you know how to open the hidden files?
    – Nrc
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 11:03
  • @Nrc if you are in a dialog box for opening a file it is likely the program you are using has specified only certain file types (i.e. file extensions) as suitable to open... hidden files are often unix files beginning with a period and so will be filtered out by most programs unless you select the 'all file types' option... maybe this is your issue?
    – Anentropic
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 12:01
  • +1 Thanks for the tip. But seriously... how stupid is this ? Why would the key combination work in one display mode and not the other ? Damn... Commented Mar 19, 2015 at 10:17
  • 3
    It isn't disabled, it's just buggy. After pressing Cmd + Shift + ., click to another folder then click back and you can see the hidden files, even in column mode.
    – Tamlyn
    Commented Sep 13, 2015 at 13:50

I'm currently running OS X (10.9.1) and just tried the + + . keyboard shortcut in a save dialog box and it worked just fine.

I've also setup an AppleScript on my machine with a keyboard shortcut of ^ + + + . which toggles the visibility of hidden files within Finder whenever I want. This way I don't have to manually run a terminal command to show hidden files, and I can quickly turn it off to avoid accidentally modifying system files. I use FastScripts (also available in the Mac App Store) to allow me to set the keyboard shortcut for my AppleScript, and placed the AppleScript in my ~/Library/Scripts Folder.


I've updated my script so that Finder does not need to be killed every time you wish to show/hide the display of hidden files. As markhunte pointed out, you can toggle the view state of the Finder window which will refresh the listing of contents. Thanks markhunte for pointing that out to me! Here's the updated script:

    Author: Anil Natha
        This script toggles the visibility of hidden files in OS X. This includes
        showing hidden files in Finder windows and on the desktop.
    Last Updated: 2015-02-20
tell application "System Events"
        set hiddenFilesDisplayStatus to do shell script "defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles"
    on error
        set hiddenFilesDisplayStatus to "NO"
    end try
    set hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus to "NO"
    if hiddenFilesDisplayStatus is "NO" then
        set hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus to "YES"
    end if
    do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles " & hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus
end tell

tell application "Finder"
    set allWindows to windows
    repeat with currentWindow in allWindows
        set currentWindowView to get the current view of the currentWindow
        set alternateWindowView to list view
        if currentWindowView is list view then
            set alternateWindowView to icon view
        end if
        set the current view of the currentWindow to alternateWindowView
        set the current view of the currentWindow to currentWindowView
    end repeat
end tell

Older version of the script is listed below. Although it works, I don't recommend using it any longer now that the above script works more efficiently.

tell application "System Events"
    set hiddenFilesDisplayStatus to do shell script "defaults read com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles"
    set hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus to "NO"
    if hiddenFilesDisplayStatus is "NO" then
        set hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus to "YES"
    end if
    do shell script "defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles " & hiddenFilesNewDisplayStatus
    do shell script "killall Finder"
end tell
  • Thanks. Give the keyboard shortcut a try. I've been using it for a number of years and has come in handy numerous times.
    – Anil
    Commented Dec 26, 2013 at 3:25
  • 3
    Tried in 10.9.1. Seems to work but need to click out and into folder for it to update. Not very elegant, but effective. Thanks
    – Joop
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 10:47
  • That's odd that you have to click out and into the folder. Do you have to do that prior to or after you trigger the shortcut? In any case, for Finder to recognize the change, it has to be restarted, when that happens, I simply use the ⌘ + TAB key to get back to the Finder window if needed.
    – Anil
    Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 14:48
  • 2
    I have found in 10.9x the finder does not have to be restarted. you can just change the views to something else and back again see my answer here stackoverflow.com/a/21790997/261305
    – markhunte
    Commented Feb 28, 2014 at 12:34
  • Thanks for the tip @markhunte. I didn't know about that workaround, and a good one too! Now I need to adjust my scripts so that it simply refreshes the view rather than killing Finder. Thanks again.
    – Anil
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 19:52

Never knew that that feature existed. But then, I've always used a different way, one that still works in 10.9:

The system extension Default Folder X. It's an old goodie, and still working well.

One of its Advanced options is to hold down Option when choosing Open/Save etc. to show all files, including the hidden ones.


It does still work, but it was buggy for me.

I had to change directories and then return to the first folder. Then it displayed hidden files.

It doesn't help to close/reopen the dialog. I'm not sure how widespread the bug is or what the trigger could be (this laptop is less than 48 hours out of the box).

  • Same issue here. My laptop is one week old.
    – Vitaly
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 15:09

The shortcut ⌘⇧. still works fine for me in Mavericks. It doesn't seem to have been changed since previous versions of OS X.

Some things you can try…

  • Make sure that the folder you're looking at has hidden files/folders.

    • You can use ls in Terminal to see if there are hidden files/folders:

      cd /path/to/folder && ls -la
  • Make sure you've not remapped the shortcut to something else.

    • Check System PreferencesKeyboardShortcuts for any mappings to ⌘⇧.
    • Check any 3rd party apps for mappings to ⌘⇧.
  • Did you upgrade or a fresh install? Do you have any other script/hook things installed? Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 15:56

As many others said, it still works perfectly fine. Maybe you changed a shortcut to this and that masks your intended task which is to show the hidden files.


This is not a solution to a hot-key but I will share what I use for this task. Funter app


You can turn it on by default doing this Terminal command:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles -boolean true
killall Finder

...but this is less than convenient compared to a keyboard shortcut... but you could create an Automator workflow which runs a service which runs a Terminal command all assigned to a System Preferences Keyboard Shortcut... but still not as convenient.

  • downvoters please leave a comment Commented Dec 30, 2013 at 11:24

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