I want the OSX to show all kind of hidden files including ._ files too. I do not know exactly what I did, but I am successful in seeing .DS_STORE files, but not ._ files. Any idea how to achieve that?

  • 2
    You know you're unlikely to see dot underscore files on the Mac itself. It only writes them to drives that can't store the Mac's extended attributes correctly - NTFS drives etc
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 11:49
  • 1
    How are the drives that ._ should be on formatted? And how were the ._ files created
    – mmmmmm
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 13:41
  • @Mark In my particular case the files were created on a windows machine and have been zipped and sent to me on mail. On unzipping, they show me an empty folder.
    – noob
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 6:00

2 Answers 2


Open up terminal, and write:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

This makes you see dot files and hidden files in a grayish tint. You open . files with right click open. I do not know why you cannot just double click them though. If it is a problem, ask a separate question on that.

Just a little bonus: You can hide files by issuing:

chflags hidden /path/to/file

and unhide by issuing:

chflags nohidden /path/to/file
  • 1
    OP has already done this as he sees .DS_Store issue is ._ which requires more info
    – mmmmmm
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 13:40
  • Mark is right. This is exactly what I did and I tried again. I can see dot files, but not dot underscore files.
    – noob
    Commented May 12, 2015 at 5:59

The issue is that zip files just contain one string per path whilst OS X paths point to a file and also metadata and resource forks. When HFS+ directories are zipped OS X tools will put this metadata and other info into ._ files in the zip if copying to another file system. See this Ask Different question

I think (but have not found a reference) that when an OS X aware tool unzips an archive with ._ files in it will reapply them as metadata or resource forks i.e. the opposite action to the one that created the ._ files

  • 1
    That's right, ._* are usually Extended Attributes and are "merged" into original file on OS X file system. Commented May 12, 2015 at 11:47

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .