I'm fairly new to OS X and just started working on a Lion box at work. I went ahead and purchased a new MBP with Lion, and am enjoying it immensely so far!

I have tried to transfer some files from my work desktop to my MBP using AirDrop. This works well and quickly for normal files. When I attempt to transfer a "dot" (in particular my .emacs) file, upon dragging the file to the AirDrop icon for my MBP there is a white circle with a line through it indicating this is not allowed.

Is this intended behavior? Is there a workaround that allows AirDropping of "dot" files?

To enable seeing hidden files in Finder, I did the following if it makes any difference:

$ defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE


There are a few restrictions with .files, mainly because they are usually files important to the system. For example, aside from being hidden by default you can't rename a normal file to ".file" (You will get a system alert, I'm pretty sure), nor you can rename a ".file" directly from any Finder window, like most other files: you need to "Get Info", and rename it from there.

One plausible solution I can think of is perhaps renaming it before you send it, though if you want to avoid this (because they are sensitive files after all) you can compress it and then rename the zip file you get. Simply:

  1. Control click on the file and select "Compress ..."
  2. Control click the zip file and select "Get Info"
  3. Under "Name and extension" you should be able to change the name of the file. Simply remove the period.

I know its kind of a log workaround, but its the best I could find. :/ Hope it helps though!

  • Thanks for the response - I did not know about the "Get Info" trick. If I were going to have to go to the trouble of renaming things, it would just be easier (for me) to transfer via ssh in a terminal. The drag-and-drop feature of AirDrop is very convenient, it would just be nice if it worked with .files! – cm2 Sep 20 '11 at 15:41
  • I totally agree :) – kevin9794 Sep 20 '11 at 21:36

I moved all hidden (.prefixed) files into a new directory that was not hidden, then transferred them all via airdrop. All hidden files nested in the top directory were successfully transferred.

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