question is in the title. There's some files that most Apple users don't need access to, but if you program you do need access to. in particular the bash profile. anyone know how to make these visible in the finder?

i'm using a macbook pro 10.6.8

2 Answers 2


All you need to do is set the AppleShowAllFiles preference to "true." From terminal:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles true

If you'd like to reverse the change, enter the following:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles false

For the changes to take effect, either restart the Finder or logout and back in.

  • 1
    To see the changes you may have to restart the Finder.
    – karmatic
    Sep 13, 2011 at 5:28
  • 1
    And set it to 0 if you want to do the opposite.
    – Lizzan
    Sep 13, 2011 at 6:42

I've gotten very attached to an utility which makes toggling "see invisible files" trivial; I highly recommend it to anyone else.

TotalFinder: http://totalfinder.binaryage.com/. At time of writing, the author is asking $18, but he also gives away free license (for a number of reasons).

  • Why down-vote this? The utility has saved me a lot of time switching the setting back and forth. The answer was written with the intention of being helpful to others; there is nothing spiteful, malicious, or misleading. Oct 18, 2011 at 23:32
  • +1 for TotalFinder because it also doesn't require relaunching the Finder. I suggested TotalFinder in a similar question and it was down-voted without explanation, too. It makes no sense to me for someone to down-vote a viable answer without explanation. If there's a good reason for the down-vote, it remains unknown and the answer will likely be repeated elsewhere.
    – joelseph
    Oct 19, 2011 at 0:04

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