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

3 Answers 3


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.


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

  • Unfortunately, in 10.6, Finder won't let you rename something to start with a . Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 0:56
  • @Nathan Terminal lets me rename files to start with a ., but you're right that Finder does not.
    – Troyen
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 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
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 4:32

In terminal enter the following to show hidden folders:

defaults write com.apple.finder 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 com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE; killall Finder;
  • 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
    Commented May 17, 2013 at 18:36

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