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In the finder, files that begin with a . (dot) are not being shown for me.

How can I configure the finder to reveal all files, including ones that begin with a dot?

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Open your Terminal (/Applications/Utilities), then enter:

defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles YES

Then restart your Finder by holding down Option and control- or right-clicking on the Finder's icon in your Dock and choosing Relaunch Finder.

To revert this behavior, simply change the YES to NO in that defaults command.

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  • Unfortunately this does not change the behaviour of finder in an Open File window, for example. But see abh's shortcut below
    – DrGC
    Jun 4 '17 at 15:38
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A handy related shortcut to reveal files that begin with a . (dot) in Finder dialogs that popup from a File->Open action is:

Shift + Command + "." 

This toggles "." (dot) files to show/ hide without needing to restart Finder.

You can also define an alias to quickly toggle hidden files within Finder:

alias AllFilesTRUE='defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE; killall Finder'
alias AllFilesFALSE='defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles FALSE; killall Finder'
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  • 3
    The keyboard shortcut is a great tip! I wish I could do that directly in Finder (not just in an "Open" window). Aug 26 '16 at 23:21
  • This is better.
    – xi.lin
    Nov 30 '18 at 8:29
  • 1
    I prefer this since I often don't want to see the dot files Apr 16 '20 at 12:32
  • 2
    This should be the accepted answer! It works in the finder too.
    – hasen
    Mar 24 at 10:25
  • 1
    This also works in the System Information app, in the File Browser
    – dldnh
    Aug 31 at 20:46

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